Welcome to our big smoker box test 2021. Here we present all the smoke boxes that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best smoker box for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy the product.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 The most important facts
- 3 Smoker Box: Our Picks
- 4 Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a smoke box
- 4.1 What is a smoker box and who is it suitable for?
- 4.2 Which grill is a smoker box suitable for and where can I place it?
- 4.3 Why should I use a smoker box?
- 4.4 Which wood chips or shavings should I use for smoking?
- 4.5 How much does a smoke box cost?
- 4.6 What alternatives are there to the smoker box?
- 5 Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to evaluate and compare smoker boxes
- 6 Facts worth knowing about the topic of smoker boxes
The most important facts
- The smoker box is very suitable to get the smoky taste also in the gas or electric grill.
- In addition, a smoker box is much healthier than normal charcoal, as no carcinogenic substances get into the food.
- With a smoker box, many different flavours can be produced, which expand the taste experience many times over.
Smoker Box: Our Picks
Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a smoke box
What is a smoker box and who is it suitable for?
The best quality smoker boxes are made of stainless steel or cast iron. These materials cannot be deformed by extreme heat and do not deposit substances. The lid of the box has numerous holes and slits so that the smoke produced can escape from the box. For anyone who has ever wondered what the classic American BBQ tastes like, it is worth buying the smoker box. The smoker box is suitable for every barbecue fan who does not want to miss out on the smoky taste experience despite having a gas or electric barbecue. In addition, using the box with a charcoal barbecue is healthier, but more on that later. This table shows you how to use the smoker box correctly:
|Sequence of steps||Description|
|Step 1||Soak the smoking wood in liquid (water, beer, etc.) 1 hour before starting the barbecue.|
|2nd step||Drain the smoking wood and place in the box.|
|3. Step||Remove the grill grate and place the smoking box on the burner cover or place the box on the grill grate.|
|4. Step||Switch on the grill and enjoy the new taste experience.|
|5. Step||After use, let the box cool down and clean it afterwards.|
Which grill is a smoker box suitable for and where can I place it?
The smoke box is also ideal for electric and gas barbecues with a lockable lid. This allows the aromatic smoke to circulate in the grill for longer and releases more flavour to the food. You can also place the box on the grill with these grills. With a gas barbecue, you can save space by placing the smoker box on the burner cover. The smoker box is most effective on kettle grills. It doesn't matter where the box is placed (on the grate; by the coals), the smoke lingers inside the grill through the closed lid and envelops the food well.
The longer the cooking time of the grilled food, the more intense the flavour will be.
You can extend the cooking time by grilling the food over indirect heat. This prepares the meal more gently and allows it to absorb the aroma for longer. If necessary, grill the meat over the hot coals.
Why should I use a smoker box?
With a charcoal grill, combustion residues get into the food during the grilling process. These are ingested when we eat and are carcinogenic substances.
Which wood chips or shavings should I use for smoking?
Other smoking woods would be hardwoods, such as alder, oak or birch, or fruit woods, such as plum, cherry or apple.
How much does a smoke box cost?
- Broil King
The prices for such a brand box are in the upper segment in terms of price, but this is still within reason. The costs are around 20-40 euros. However, the brand boxes have the best ratings for this. In addition to the brand boxes, there are also other manufacturers who offer such smoking boxes for a price starting at 5 euros. This is the lowest price for a smoker box. The most expensive smoker boxes are around 70€.
What alternatives are there to the smoker box?
|Cold smoking snail||The cold smoking snail is only filled with smoking flour. It takes a long time for the snail to smoke out, so it doesn't need to be refilled during barbecuing. It must be set to smoke with a tea light before use. Unfortunately, the cold smoking snail can only be placed on the grill grate and therefore takes up a lot of space. This smoking method is also quite inexpensive, costing up to 40€ for the snail.|
|Cold smoke generator||With a cold smoke generator, the smoke is produced outside the grill and the food is enveloped in the smoke via a hose. The cold smoke generator produces the smoke over a long period of time and does not take up any space on the barbecue. However, such a device is very expensive. The price is between 100-200 €.|
|Aluminium foil tray||An aluminium foil tray can be built yourself or bought. A bag is made from the aluminium foil. There are holes in it from which the smoke can escape. The bag is filled with smoking chips.|
Each of these smoking methods has its own advantages and disadvantages, but for beginners it is definitely worth buying a smoke box. Advanced barbecue masters can try the cold smoke generator. The aluminium foil tray is the most cost-effective compared to the other variants. Another alternative to smoke boxes are smokers, with which you cook the food slowly by indirectly supplying heat. You can find out more about smokers here:
Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to evaluate and compare smoker boxes
The following section will give you more detailed reasons for choosing between the many possible smoker boxes. You can compare smoker boxes with the help of these listed criteria:
- Smoked wood
In the following paragraphs, we will explain to you what the individual criteria are.
A smoker box comes in many different materials. The best materials are stainless steel and cast iron. But there are also smoker boxes made of steel and plastic, but these are not recommended. The smoke box should be made of stainless steel or cast iron, as it is or can be exposed to extremely high heat. These two materials are very heat-resistant and also easy to clean. They also do not emit any other substances compared to other variants. A stainless steel smoker box will lose its beautiful shine after a few uses. However, this does not affect the quality. It doesn't bend or warp and is still excellent for smoking.
A steel box might start to rust quite early. Stainless steel and cast iron will last a lifetime if treated well.
There are two different types of smoker boxes. Most smoker boxes have a closed bottom, but you can also buy some boxes without a bottom. However, the difference between these two types is not very big. A smoker box with an open bottom is much more smoke-active. It gives off more aroma than a box with a closed bottom. This is because the moisture in the smoking chips escapes more quickly. The closed bottom is suitable for refining the grilled food. Often the smoking chips are treated with other liquids or spices in addition to water. These smoking boxes can release several aromas to the food at the same time.
The smoking wood is decisive for the taste of the grilled food. That is why there are many different types. There are hardwoods and fruitwoods that can be used. But you can also treat the smoking chips before grilling.
As reported above, beech wood is very popular for smoking and hickory is also slowly making a name for itself in Germany. Beech wood can be used for many dishes and is justifiably a classic, providing that familiar smoky flavour. Hickory is quite similar to beech wood but has a sharper flavour. Many "grill masters" use liquids or spices before grilling to give the grilled food a further aroma. Red wine, beer or even juices are often used here. Other alcohol is also often used, such as whisky. With the different flavours, you can try out quite a lot and see what you really like. There are extremely many possible combinations, so feel free to try out many variations!
With the numerous smoking boxes on offer, there are of course big differences in the size of the boxes. Before you buy a smoker box, you need to know how big or small the grill or grate is. Now you should make sure that the smoker box is not too big for the grill and that there is enough space for the food on the grate. So think about the size of the smoker box so that you can make perfect use of the space and shape of your barbecue. For kettle grills, there are extra curved boxes that fit the shape perfectly. This makes them more space-saving than rectangular smoker boxes. For other grills, the rectangular boxes are more effective than the curved ones.
Facts worth knowing about the topic of smoker boxes
Can I build a smoker box myself?
Instead of buying a smoker box, many people assemble a pack for barbecuing, which has the same effect as the box. To do this, the smoking chips are wrapped in aluminium foil. Then holes are poked in the foil so that the smoke can escape. That's all you have to do. Are you still looking for the perfect smoking chips for you? Then we have linked you to our comparison of the best smoking chips. So that you can also watch it, we have selected this video for you. It also shows whether you should water the smoking chips or not.
Image source: 123rf.com / arinahabich