Last updated: August 11, 2021

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.




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 smoker box is still a fairly unknown barbecue accessory in Germany. It is a method of smoking meat, fish and other foods in addition to barbecuing and thus giving the barbecued food a special smoky flavour.

The smoker box is a healthier alternative to the charcoal grill. (Source: unsplash.com / Anthony Cantin)

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?

A smoker box is basically suitable for all types of barbecues. Whether gas grill, electric grill, charcoal grill or kettle grill, the smoker box brings out its advantages in all of these grills. However, the efficiency of the smoker box varies with the different grills. With a charcoal grill, the smoker box can be placed on the grate or next to or on top of the coals. Depending on how big the grill is. Unfortunately, the smoke on the grate dissipates very quickly and cannot release its aroma to the grilled food. Also, if the box is placed under the grill, make sure that the smoke hits the meat and/or vegetables evenly.

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?

Using a smoker box has several advantages. Because with such a box, you no longer have to do without the smoky taste of an electric or gas barbecue. In addition, you can influence the taste experience according to your own wishes and give the dishes a special flavour. This works perfectly with a smoker box. But probably the biggest advantage of a smoker box is the health aspect. The box and the smoking wood do not contain any harmful substances and can therefore be used without hesitation.

The greatest efficiency for smoking is achieved in a kettle grill (Source: unsplash.com / Taylor Grote)

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?

In order for smoke to come out of the smoker box, you need the appropriate smoking wood. There are different types of wood that give off different aromas and differ in their composition. Smoking wood is available as wood chips, shavings or flour. When buying smoking wood, you should bear in mind that there are different types of wood and that they also release different smoke aromas. Wood chips are the most commonly used for smoking. In the end, these are decisive for the subsequent taste. A classic for smoking fish, sausage and ham is beech wood. It is also very suitable for vegetables and even cheese. So beech wood is a real all-rounder. Smoking with hickory is still quite unknown in Germany. The trend comes from the USA and is used there for classic BBQ. Hickory is therefore ideal for all types of meat, but is unsuitable for fish. It has a rather pungent aroma compared to beech wood. Wood chips that have been specially treated can also be used. For example, wood that was previously used for a whisky barrel. Such smoking woods that have had a special past give the grilled food a very special aroma.
Did you know that watered wood chips last longer? The watered wood chips can give off smoke for more than twice as long as non-watered wood chips. At 60 grams, they glow for about 40 minutes.

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?

The cost of a smoke box depends on the manufacturer, the quality of workmanship and materials. Well-known brands in manufacturing are the following:

  • Broil King
  • Weber
  • Rösle
  • Outdoorchef

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?

Besides the smoker box, there are three other popular alternatives for smoking grilled food. They differ in the way they are used and their size. Each of these models has its advantages and disadvantages. That is why this section provides a brief overview of alternative smoking devices for barbecue lovers.
Type Description
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:

  • Material
  • Floor
  • Smoked wood
  • Dimensions

In the following paragraphs, we will explain to you what the individual criteria are.

Did you know that Germans spend 1.2 billion euros on barbecuing? A third of this is spent on barbecue accessories. Americans spend about 5 times as much on their barbecues.

Material

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.

Floor

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.

Smoking wood

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.

If you want to grill like a real American, you should use hickory for smoking. (Source: pixabay.com / FeeLoona)

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!

Dimensions

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

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