Smoking meat is an art. There are many steps to smoking meat, from rubbing, curing, putting it on the grill, and resting it after smoking. But if you’re looking to get the best smokey flavor from your meat, we recommend using a smoker box.
This is a very convenient tool that you can use to make sure the wood chips are always at the right temperature.
But buying a smoker box is just half the battle. If you really want to get the smoker box to do its job, you need to use it right. And that’s why we’ve made this comprehensive guide on how to use a smoker box.
We’ve also included some key information the benefits of a smoker box and a couple of quick tips.
Read on to learn more.
How to Use a Smoker Box
Using a smoker box is very easy. This fairly simple device keeps your wood chips from getting too hot. So, all you need to do is load the chips into the box, place the box in the smoker, and refill as needed.
But if you need more information, we’re getting into the details of each step below.
Load The Chips
The first thing to make sure is that your wood chips are dry. Once you have dry wood, you can load them into the compartment. With that said, there is a debate on whether you should soak your woodchips beforehand to keep them from burning.
Soaking the wood chips has left a lot of the community divided. So, if you have a better experience soaking your wood chips, feel free to do that before loading them into the smoker box.
With that said, modern smoker boxes take out the need to soak your chips. This is because these boxes have holes in the bottom, which completely prevents your chips from burning, so you don’t have to soak them before loading them into the compartment.
Place The Box in The Smoker
Once the chips are loaded, you’re ready to put them in the smoker. The most important thing to remember is to keep the box as close to the heat source as possible. So, if you’re using a traditional charcoal grill, then it’s best to place the box on the charcoal directly.
The smoker box should be placed on top of the actual burners for those with gas burners. Since the box doesn’t touch the heat directly, it will take a while for the box to heat up. So, we recommend raising the heat to the maximum when getting the box smoking.
After the box starts to smoke, it’s time to lower the heat. That way, it retains a constant temperature. You can place the meat on the grill and wait for it to reach the ideal internal temperature. Smoker boxes are designed to retain their heat for a long time, so once it gets smoking, you can turn the heat down and smoke your meat normally.
Refill As Needed
It’s a rare occurrence, but there are times when your wood chips will burn out before the meat is done smoking. There’s no reason to panic when this happens, as all you have to do is refill the chamber with more wood chips. When doing this, make sure to use heat-resistant gloves and tongs to keep your hands protected.
Things to Keep In Mind When Using a Smoker Box
There are a couple of things that are very important to remember when using a smoker box. For one, you want to heat the chips up as fast as possible. Since you aren’t directly setting the chips on fire, you need to make sure that the heat is high so that it starts smoking as fast as possible.
Additionally, it may be good to use cold meat on the smoker. When you take meat straight out of the refridgerator and toss it on the smoker, it will absorb the flavor much better compared to room-temperature meat.
Another thing to remember is to keep your smoker closed. As tempting as it is to constantly check on your meat, you want the smoke to permeat the meat as much as possible. And if you make sure that the smoker is closed at all times, the meat heats up faster so you won’t have to wait as long.
Why Use a Smoker Box?
The main reason you should use a smoker box is consistent temperature. Smoke has different qualities depending on the temperature. If you want the most flavor-rich smoke, you need to keep it between 550-750 degrees Fahrenheit.
While there’s nothing wrong with the smoke reaching temperatures higher than that, it will make for a less intense flavor. But if you use a smoker box, the wood chips won’t burn, keeping the moke at a low temperature which ensures that the meat absorbs all the flavor possible.
In fact, even if you decide to smoke vegetables like zucchini, a smoker box does a great job as well.
Should You Soak Your Wood Chips?
In the smoking community, people are divided when it comes to soaking your wood chips. Many people choose to soak wood chips to keep the temperature as low as possible and make sure that it doesn’t burn.
And while this works, you won’t need to soak wood chips when using a smoker box. With a smoker box, there’s no chance that your wood chips will burn, especially if you use one of the modern models with holes at the bottom.
So, if you don’t have a smoker box, soaking your chips is worth considering. But with a smoker box, soaking your wood chips will just make it longer for the chips to heat up.
There are many things to consider whn smoking meat. But aside from the cut, rub, and marinate, it’s also important to keep a close eye on the temperature of the smoker. And since smoke between 550 and 570 degrees Fahrenheit offers the most intense flavor, smoker boxes are a great tool to have in your arsenal.
But even if you already have a smoker box, you need to make sure you know how to use it. So, now that you’ve gone through this guide you’re as ready as ever to head to the smoker. And if you follow all the steps properly, you’re sure to have a flavorful and tender cut of smoked meat.