How To Use a Smoker Box On a Pellet Grill? (Easy-to-Follow Guide)

Nothing compares to the aroma and taste of smoked meats, cheeses, and vegetables. For many individuals, having the ability to prepare their smoked foods is a dream come true, but with the advent of smoker boxes, this dream is becoming a reality for many food enthusiasts. Using a pellet grill to smoke your favorite foods brings a whole new culinary deliciousness. 

If you’ve ever scratched your head over how to use a smoker box on a pellet grill? This article will guide you on a step-by-step journey, ensuring you get the most out of your smoking experience. Read on as we delve into the ins and outs of using a smoker box on a pellet grill.

How to use a smoker box on a pellet grill? step by step guide

How to use a smoker box on a pellet grill?

Smoke-infused flavors can take your grilling to the next level. This in-depth guide is designed to give you a step-by-step account of using a smoker box on a pellet grill. Using easy-to-understand language and helpful tips, we’ll ensure you’re ready to start smoking on your pellet grill in no time.

How to use a smoker box on a pellet grill (detailed guide)

Preliminary Steps: Prepping your Smoker Box and Pellet Grill

Before beginning the actual smoking process, there are a few preparatory steps to undertake:

  1. Choosing Your Wood Chips: Different wood chips give different flavors to food, so your choice of wood chips is crucial. For example, apple wood chips provide a sweet, fruity flavor, while hickory chips offer a robust, bacon-like flavor.
  2. Soak Your Wood Chips: It’s necessary to soak the wood chips in water for at least an hour before use. This allows the chips to burn slower, thus producing more smoke.
  3. Prepare the Smoker Box: Once soaked, drain the chips and place them in the smoker box. Don’t overload the box, as it may limit the circulation of smoke.

Step by step guide

  • Preheating the Pellet Grill: Preheating your pellet grill to the right temperature, often between 225-250°F for most recipes. Allow the grill to reach this temperature before proceeding.
  • Positioning the Smoker Box: Place your filled smoker box directly onto the grill grates. This allows the heat to directly hit the smoker box and produce smoke.
  • Adding the Food: When you see smoke escaping from the smoker box, it’s time to add your food. Arrange the food so it isn’t directly over the smoker box to avoid cooking too quickly and ensure maximum smoke exposure.
  • Monitoring the Temperature: Maintaining a consistent temperature is crucial for successful smoking. Monitor the temperature often to ensure it remains steady throughout the cooking process.
  • Finishing up: The smoking time will depend on what you’re cooking. A rule of thumb is that the food is ready once it acquires a brownish color. Once done, remove the food from the grill and let it rest.

When To Use A Smoker Box On A Pellet BBQ Grill?

A smoker box is an excellent tool for infusing a deeper or specific smoke flavor into your food on a pellet BBQ grill. Here are specific scenarios where a smoker box is most effective:

When To Use A Smoker Box On A Pellet BBQ Grill
When To Use A Smoker Box On A Pellet BBQ Grill?
  • When cooking with high-temperature resistant food: Foods that can withstand high temperatures for extended periods, such as larger cuts of meat like brisket or pork shoulder, benefit greatly from a smoker box; the prolonged cooking time allows the smoke from the box to deeply penetrate the food, enhancing its flavor.
  • When you want to experiment with different wood flavors: Pellet grills typically use specific wood pellets for fuel, which does infuse some smoke flavor. However, if you want to experiment with different wood flavors — for instance, cherry, hickory, or mesquite — a smoker box allows you to do that.
  • When you want to increase smoke production: A smoker box can also increase the smoke production of your pellet BBQ grill. If your grill isn’t producing as much smoke as you’d like, adding a smoker box filled with wood chips or pellets can help.

Can you use a smoker tube on a pellet grill?

Yes, you can use a smoker tube on a pellet grill. A smoker tube is a supplementary accessory designed to add extra smoke flavor to your food. Generally, a pellet grill should produce enough smoke on its own, but using a smoker tube might enhance the smoke generation and help you to achieve a stronger flavor profile.

Can you use a smoker tube on a pellet grill
Can you use a smoker tube on a pellet grill?

To use a smoker tube on a pellet grill, follow these steps:

  1. Fill the smoker tube with wood pellets or smoking chips: Choose your preferred type of wood pellets or chips for the desired smoke flavor.
  2. Light the smoker tube: Ignite the wood pellets or chips inside the tube using a torch or a long-reach lighter. Let the pellets burn and flame for a few minutes, then blow out the flame, leaving smoldering pellets that produce smoke.
  3. Place the smoker tube inside the pellet grill: Position the smoker tube on the grill grates or near the heat source. Ensure there’s proper airflow around the tube to maximize smoke generation.
  4. Adjust your pellet grill settings: Set your pellet grill to your desired cooking temperature and use indirect heat to cook your food, allowing the smoker tube to add extra smoke flavor.

Should smoke come out of the pellet box on a Traeger?

No, smoke should not come from the pellet box or hopper on a Traeger grill. Smoke emanating from the pellet box indicates a potential issue that requires attention. In a properly functioning pellet grill, smoke should only be produced within the cooking chamber and exit through the ventilation or chimney.

There are a few reasons you may see smoke coming from the pellet box:

  1. Pellet dust combustion: Excessive dust or small particles in the pellet box can ignite and produce smoke. To resolve this, clean the hopper and remove any dust or debris buildup.
  2. Backdraft: If there’s a problem with the grill’s ventilation system, smoke can back up and escape from unintended areas like the pellet box. Inspect the chimney and exhaust vents to ensure they are clear and functioning correctly.
  3. Auger malfunction: If the drill is not transporting the pellets into the firepot properly, pellets can accumulate and ignite within the auger tube, producing smoke within the pellet box. Check for a jam or malfunction in the auger system and fix it as needed.
  4. Failed draft induction fan: A malfunctioning or failed draft induction fan can lead to poor combustion, causing smoke to leak from the pellet box. Ensure the fan is working correctly, and replace it if necessary.

Can I use a smoker box in a Traeger?

Yes, you can use a smoker box in a Traeger grill, but it’s important to note that it’s usually unnecessary. Traeger grills are designed to use wood pellets to fuel the heat and add a smoky flavor to your food. These grills are essentially smokers by nature, so they should produce enough smoke to flavor your food without needing a smoker box.

Can I use a smoker box in a Traeger
Can I use a smoker box in a Traeger?

However, if you feel that you’re not getting enough smoke flavor from your Traeger or simply want to experiment with additional flavors, you can add a smoker box. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Fill the smoker box: Fill the smoker box with your choice of wood chips or pellets. You can use a variety of different woods; each will impart a unique flavor to your food.
  2. Preheat the smoker box: Place the smoker box over the heat source. Close the lid and let the smoker box heat up until you see smoke escaping.
  3. Place your food on the grill: Arrange your food on the grill so that the smoke from the smoker box will pass over it.
  4. Close the lid and cook: Close the lid to keep the smoke inside the cooking chamber. Monitor your cooking closely, as introducing additional smoke may alter your cooking times or flavors.

Can you put smoker pellets in a smoker box?

Yes, you absolutely can put smoker pellets in a smoker box. Smoker boxes are designed to handle either wood chips or wood pellets. Using smoker pellets in a smoker box can enhance the smoky flavor of your grilled foods. Follow these steps to use the smoker pellets in the box effectively:

Can you put smoker pellets in a smoker box
Can you put smoker pellets in a smoker box?
  1. Choose the wood pellets: Different types of wood pellets will give different flavors to your food. For example, apple wood pellets give a sweet, fruity taste and are great with pork and poultry, while hickory pellets give a strong flavor that pairs well with beef and lamb.
  2. Add pellets to your smoker box: Fill your smoker box with your selected wood pellets. You do not need to soak the pellets before using them.
  3. Heat the smoker box: Place the box over your grill’s burners and turn on the heat. The pellets will begin to smolder and produce smoke.
  4. Add your food to the grill: Once the box starts to smoke, it’s time to put the food on the grill and close the lid.
  5. Monitor your food: Pay careful attention to the cooking time and the color of the smoke. The smoke should be thin, wispy, and blue for the best results.


In conclusion, a smoker box can be used on a pellet grill to amplify the smoky flavor. Although pellet grills are designed to generate ample smoke independently, incorporating a smoker box filled with flavor-inducing wood pellets or chips can be advantageous in augmenting the taste. Proper placement, knowledge about controlling the smoke, and regular monitoring ensure a flavorful meal. Whether you are an experienced grill master or a novice, experimenting with a smoker box can elevate your grilling game by adding an extra layer of flavor to your culinary creations.

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