How To Use A Smoker Box On A Charcoal Grill: A Guide For Dummies


“How to use a smoker box on a charcoal grill?’’ – Are you wondering about this? Well, you are not alone, we all are. 

Meanwhile, summer time is drawing in closer to us, bringing with it the blistering heat, sweaty breeze, party nights, road trips and every other amusing blast, only waiting for you to rock.

However, if you’re like us, already exhausted from all the incessant amount of workload and social exposure, then summer time is definitely time of your own life. It’s when you start to look out for yourself and appreciate every little memory with your family.

Hence, backyard barbecue is totally a must, hey you FOMO. That’s the part that makes summer count. There are apparently so many things fascinating about it, from family gatherings after ages, seeing how fast your cousins have grown, to preparing food together.  

It’s also when you prove yourself to be a resourceful brother/sister and not a kiddo as your father said. 

Then first, keep reading to learn everything about how to use a smoker box on a charcoal grill. 

How To Use A Smoker Box on A Charcoal Grill – Set Up The Grill

how to use a smoker box on a weber charcoal grill

A charcoal grill contains in it every complex structure that you might not be able to name exactly at the first glance. But once looking into it, you can see that it’s all very familiar.

People still use the method of charcoal grilling in many regions, due to its affordable materials and quick set-up time. Plus, the charcoal does add a really distinctive flavor and smell to the flesh part, which satisfies many people’s tastes. 

Here are all the materials you need to organize a charcoal grill.

Great grilling starts with setting up the equipment safely and perfectly for the perfect fire. Follow along these steps to build a charcoal grill:

1. Put the grill in a wide and open space.

This wide and open space should be in your backyard, or a place by the beach with lots of fresh air.

Prepare your charcoals.

how to use a side smoker box on a charcoal grill

Charcoal briquettes have medium heat and burn for a long time, while hardwood charcoals burn really hot and don’t last as long. 

You can choose either the charcoal briquettes or the hardwood charcoals. But we often opt for the combination of them both, for the perfect flavor of hardwood and long burning time of briquettes.

Once chosen, the charcoals should be put evenly inside a chimney to the top, lying above some dry papers. Use a blowtorch or lighter to ignite the paper underneath. Then the charcoals can catch fire. 

Wait for some time until the charcoals have some live flames on them and just start to ash over.

After that, put on your insulated barbecue mitts to grab the whole chimney starter and pour the charcoals down into the grill.

2. Put the upper grate into the grill and wait some time to preheat it. 

Make sure the vent underneath the grill is slightly open, so that the fire has air to keep burning. Then cover the grill with a lid for about five minutes.

Check the temperature:

Place your bare hand about 15 centimeters from the grate to make sure there are both hot and cool spots.

If you can only hold for three or four seconds, that’s the hot spot, but if you can hold for six seconds or more, that’s the cool spot. 

Take advantage of these spots to cook wisely. 

These are the basic steps to set up your homemade charcoal grill. Let’s move on to the next part.

How To Set Up A Smoker Box On A Charcoal Grill 

The charcoal grill is great, but it’s even greater to add some smoky flavors to your food with this amazing magical smoker box. Let’s take a closer look!

How To Use A Smoker Box

a smoker box can be quite handy 

A smoker box is a box made out of stainless steel and has holes on every face to release the smoke. Also, this barbecue accessory is used for containing wood chips inside for a flaky flavor that will promise to blow you off!

Inserting it into the grill is comparatively simple, especially when you have made it out of the charcoal set-up, we would say. Follow our lead:

  • Place your empty smoke box onto the upper grate and leave it for a couple of minutes to heat with the barbecue 
  • Carefully use the tongs to remove the lid out of the box
  • Add some wood chips into it. Make sure the chips are put evenly enough to cover the bottom of the box.

Note: Some wood chips need to be pre-soaked slightly before inserting. So don’t forget to read the instructions of the products carefully.

  • Close the lid of the barbecue for some time, so that the woods can ignite.
  • When the woods catch fire, use the tongs to cover the lid of the box again. And then the chips should begin to smoke.
  • Finally, put your food inside the barbecue grill, next to the smoke box. And you’re done! It’s simple as that, isn’t it?

Safety Guidance  

how to use a smoker box on a weber gas grill

Here is what you should note down in order to work with a charcoal grill in the safest way possible

First, keep the children at least two meters clear of the charcoal grill during the whole process in avoidance of any unexpected accidents. 

Second, always use your insulated barbecue mitts when working with the grill as well as putting the food in and out of it. 

And finally, never put a charcoal grill inside an air-conditioned room or a place with poor ventilation. The amount of carbon monoxide over time might suffocate you. Always put it in an open location outside. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. How best to pour down the charcoals into the grill?

There are mainly three ways to put in the charcoals. 

– One, you can pour all the charcoals over half of the area of the grate. The food will be put on the other half. This close exposure to heat would give your food a nice searing and medium heat inside. 

This method is often used for cooking steak and chicken on the bones. 

How To Use A Smoker Box On A Charcoal Grill 2020

– Two, you can try spreading the charcoals all over the grill area. The food would then be put on another grate on top. This method is suitable for vegetables and thin cuts of meat. 

How To Use A Smoker Box On A Charcoal Grill on 2020

– For the third method called ‘ring of fire’, you are supposed to put an aluminum tray in the center of the lower grate, then spread the charcoals evenly around. 

What the aluminum tray does is that it absorbs the heat. The food then would sit on the upper grate, which is similar to an oven.

How To Use A Smoker Box On A Charcoal Grill - Tips

This method is often used to roast the whole chicken or big lumps of meat. 


2. What am I supposed to do with the ash leftovers?

Throughout the process of grilling, a lot of ashes are exposed as residues underneath. You need to sweep them clear for the air circulation.

And when you finish grilling, cover the grill with a lid until it’s warm enough that you can touch. After that, spill all the ashes into a bucket filled with water. Leave them overnight and throw them away.

3. How can I tell if my food’s okay to eat? 

Use a meat thermometer. Take a dip into the meat and see. For instance, cook pork to 71°C, well done beef to 77°C and chicken slices to 74°C. 

There is actually no such things called ‘perfect temperature to eat’. It’s just a matter of personal preference there. Try it for some time and figure out yourself! 


That’s pretty much what you need to note so far for a dreamy homemade barbecue party. 

Now, if any of your cousins ask you to teach them how to use a smoker box on a charcoal grill, don’t hesitate to show off your know-how, buddy!

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