If you enjoy grilling you probably have some appreciation or outright love the delicious scent of smoke that lightly perfumes your BBQ meals. But if you have a gas grill, you might not want to invest in a pellet smoker to get that classic smoky taste.
You also probably understand how each Maple and Hickory chips can make your smoked meals taste differently.
For that reason, we recommend buying smoker boxes and smoker tubes. They’re the perfect attachment for your grill. Plus, they’re so affordable, you can hardly call it an investment. But, a smoker tube will make a world of difference when it comes to flavor.
Let’s take a look at the top smoke tubes and how to use them.
In this post we'll cover:
- 1 Why do I need a smoker box or smoker tube?
- 2 What are Smoker Attachments?
- 3 Best Smoke tubes reviewed
- 4 How to use a Smoker Attachment
- 5 Conclusion
Why do I need a smoker box or smoker tube?
Sometimes we don’t have time to take out your smoker and light up an entire load of charcoal to start a long smoking session. Or, you already have a great barbecue and just don’t want to invest the extra space and money in a complete smoker.
Maybe you just want to subtly flavor a meat cut and not give it the entire treatment.
Whatever might be your reason, smoker attachments are the solution. They add some extra smoky wood flavor to your next grilled masterpiece. Best of all, they cost a lot less than a completely new smoker, especially if you already have a grill.
The smoker box and tube attachment is the easiest and cheapest way to smoke your food without buying a new smoker.
Our top pick
My favorite smoker attachment is currently this Skoo Pellet smoking tube since it’s not only easy to use and of high quality, but it’s also pretty affordable and the smoke lasts up to 5 hours, which is all the time I need when smoking on a grill.
On top of that, once it’s lit you don’t need an additional heat source.
However, before it used to be this A-MAZE-N Pellet smoker due to its size and the fact that it comes prefilled with high-quality BBQ pellets.
My favorite detail was the fact that it can smoke for as long as 11 hours. Pretty amazing for an attachment.
To give you a quick run-through of both attachments, check out the products below:
|Best pellet smoker tube: Skoo||
|Best large pellet smoker attachment: A-MAZE-N Maze pellet smoker||
|Best square pellet smoking tube: Carpathen||
|Best smoke box for gas grill: Charcoal Companion Smoker Box||
Paul’s Q has a video on how to use a pellet smoke tube in his Youtube video:
To get a detailed review of both of these and an additional runner up, continue reading. I will go into detail about the pros and cons and what made me choose the Skoo as my personal favorite.
What are Smoker Attachments?
Smoker attachments can come in different shapes and sizes. They’re usually made out of high-quality stainless steel.
They’re the perfect way to get some extra smoke when using your grill. It’s worth noting that they work on gas, electric, and charcoal grills so there are no limits to them.
They’re basically hollow cylinders (in the case of the tubes) and have several small holes drilled into them which makes them look like a very thick tube burner on a gas grill.
The mazes resemble a grate with sides in order to hold the pellets in place.
You can use smoker attachments with pellets and wood chips. Best of all, these attachments are reusable and affordable so you can turn any grilling session from bland to wow by adding tons of flavor to your meat.
What is a smoker box and smoker tube?
A smoke box or smoke tube is the top smoker attachment on the market. It makes smoking possible for gas grills.
The smoke box is a small metal container shapes like a box, hence the name. It is used on a gas grill to give the meat a smoky flavor. You have to fill it up with pellets or soaked wood chips and place it under the grill grates.
Do I need a smoker tube?
The main reason for using a smoker box or tube is for the flavor. It doesn’t help with the heat or the cooking process. Instead, it gives your food that extra tasty smoky flavor. You should know that when you burn wood chips or pellets in the smoker tube, it doesn’t affect the cooking time or the cooking method. However, you really can’t compare smoke-free grilled meat with wood or pellet smoked foods.
What’s better: smoker box or smoker tube?
Both of these attachments are very good for infusing your meat with a smoky flavor. They are also both easy to use. So, is one superior to the other? In my opinion, the smoker tube is better because the pellets don’t burn as fast. The wood chips in the smoker box will burn at a faster rate whereas pellets burn slowly and consistently for many hours. They are perfect if you’re smoking large cuts of meat.
How to use the smoker box with a gas grill
If you have a gas grill, then you need to use the smoker box or tube. Did you know that gas grills are not made to accommodate wood and ash within the grill? Therefore, you cannot, or should not, put smoking wood chunks or chips directly in your grill or on the burners.
Instead, soak your wood chips for about 30 minutes before you place them in the smoker box. If you use them dry, they burn much faster and you’ll have to keep adding more. Now, fill the box with the soaked chips and close the lid. Before you start to cook, place the smoker box between the cooking grate and the burners.
Best Smoke tubes reviewed
Now let’s get into the particular aspects of each attachment and their features.
Best pellet smoker tube: Skoo
An affordable smoking tube creates smoke that lasts up to 5 hours. Once lit, no other heat source is required. This smoker attachment is my favorite for a number of reasons. The main one, as I mentioned before is the fact that once you light it up, it doesn’t require any other heat source.
On top of that, it can produce smoke for five hours which works perfectly for hot and cold smoking. This one works with pellets and they burn slower and last longer. So, you can smoke that large cut of meat until it’s nice and juicy.
Another reason why this attachment is so great is that you can get clean smoke at 225° F or more. Also, you can also produce cold smoke under 100° F which works amazingly for fish, cheese, and nuts.
So it’s a simple way to add an amazing smoked flavor to any meal.
I haven’t had any issues with the build quality. I gifted one of these tubes to my relatives and they’re very satisfied with the quality.
A good smoker aficionado makes sure his tools are clean as well and this attachment is small, light, and portable which makes it extremely easy to clean up after each use.
And the compact size means it’s easy to transport from your home to any BBQ party or event.
Since it’s made out of stainless steel, it’s durable, lightweight, heat-resistant, and anti-corrosive.
It is safe for repeated use and will never break, bend or rust. Their marketing states it’s built to last for unlimited uses and so far that has been true for me.
It’s shaped like a hexagon rather than a circle that keeps in place so it doesn’t roll around the grill or fall off.
It’s 12” long so it holds a good amount of pellets and has 2 caps at the ends.
One end it’s closed and the other it’s open so you can easily fill and refill. The ash doesn’t fall out so just add more pellets.
How to use the Skoo Pellet Smoker Tube:
- Hold it vertically and fill it up with your preferred wood pellets. Make sure you leave about an inch empty at the top of the tube.
- Using a propane torch on the lowest setting, light the pellets through the open side for about 15 to 30 seconds until you see a small flame appear.
- Wait for the pellets to burn well for about 5 to 10 minutes and then blow out the flame.
- Place the smoker tube inside the grill and let it generate smoke for your meal, just make sure it has adequate ventilation.
The first time you use it, make sure you let the tube burn in the grill or smoker for at least 30 minutes at 275° F to make any residual manufacturing oils are gone.
It’s also worth noting that this particular set doesn’t include the pellets so you can get your own according to your preferences.
Also read: make your first meal a smoked meatloaf meal
Best large pellet smoker attachment: A-MAZE-N Maze pellet smoker
The smoking maze can produce smoke for up to 11 hours. It needs an additional heat source. It’s similar to the other pellet smoke boxes and works very well. I recommend this particular smoker box because it’s big enough for large grills. If you’re cooking for a large family or a large group of guests, this fits enough pellets to last the whole session.
This fantastic smoker attachment is also made of stainless steel but due to its shape, it can burn up to 12 hours.
You can use either BBQ wood pellets of sawdust, but this particular kit already comes with its own pellets.
It also doesn’t have any additional binders, oils, or fillers so you can definitely start smoking your meals right away.
This is the perfect smoker accessory to take on a camping trip and pair it with your electric smoker (though it works in any smoker) due to its compact size.
On top of that, it includes a 2lb bag of Pitmaster’s Choice pellets so you’re all set.
However, the biggest advantage of this attachment is that it’s perfect for cold smoking since it doesn’t generate any heat with the smoke.
With this attachment, I was able to smoke an entire pork shoulder with only 2 rows and it didn’t even burn through.
When I decide to use this one, I place it on the bars at the very bottom of the smoker and cover it with the drip pan. Therefore, the drips don’t fall on the attachment.
I’ve done multiple meat cuts and the smoke flavor has been extremely pleasing so far.
Some people might find this easier to use than the tube-shaped smokers.
Also, check out this review from the Cooking with Jack show:
How to use this attachment
You will simply need to fill the tray lines with your favorite pellets, light them with a torch through the whole you can see on the side.
Once it’s lit, the others will follow in a domino effect as it goes around the pattern of the three lines in the tray.
Just make sure you follow the included instructions and you will always enjoy the results.
It really is that easy. Now get yourself some of these essential supplies and your good to go for your first smoker adventure.
Best square pellet smoking tube: Carpathen
This Carpathen Tube smoker is a runner up in the smoker tube category which is why I decided to include it in this review.
It’s a kit featuring smoking guides with recipes and tips. It also includes a meat temperature chart, a marinade, rubs, and BBQ sauces guide, a user guide, and a bag for storage, aside from the smoker itself.
As they state, this smoke generator makes the process of smoking easy and accessible to anyone and everyone.
It’s small in size but you will still get 5 hours of thin smoke to infuse your smoked meals with flavor.
Since it’s an attachment, it can be used in any grill or smoker without major modifications.
These are especially useful for owners of electric or gas grills who are aware of how hard it can be to get a pronounced smoke flavor compared to charcoal smokers.
This is a high-quality stainless steel pellet tube smoker which means it’s built to last.
However, they have a change and/or return policy with no questions asked. So you know you’re backed by fantastic customer service that is ready to solve your problems.
Best smoke box for gas grill: Charcoal Companion Smoker Box
Don’t let the brand name fool you! Charcoal Companion manufactures a large variety of grilling accessories and attachments, including some great smoke boxes for gas grills.
This particular model has a triangular shape which is perfect for most gas grill models. The v-shape of the box positions the smoke right under the grate so you get the most intense smoky flavor.
The downside to grilling on your gas grill is that you need to have a separate smoke box if you want to smoke your favorite foods.
But, this inexpensive attachment allows you to smoke using your favorite wood chips. It has a triangular V-shape and so it fits right between the flame deflector bars on your grill.
Imagine that you can use different flavored woods each time you smoke by simply placing the smoke box on the grill. It gives you a lot of flexibility and many options.
If you’re cooking fish, you can use cedar wood chips, and then if you want to switch to beef brisket, you can swap the chips for hickory!
Here are the main features of this smoker box:
- V-shape fits perfectly between the flame deflector bars on most gas grill models.
- Made of sturdy stainless steel, so it’s very heat resistant. You can grill at high temperatures without damaging the smoke box.
- It has a hinged lid that offers easy access to the wood chips.
- The ashes don’t fall out of the box, which makes for easy cleaning.
- The box measures 13 ¾” long
How to use a Smoker Attachment
- Unpackage the attachment and make sure you wash it with warm water and soap. Then rinse it well and let it dry completely before you use it.
- If your smoker attachment has a lid or cover on one end, remove it and fill it all the way with your preferred assortment of wood pellets, chips, or shavings.
- Before you turn on your grill, move the cooking grids and position the attachment on the sear plates. Then put the cooking grids back in place.
- Light the barbecue and preheat the grill to the needed temperature.
- These work best for cooking that last 30 minutes or more. Proceed to grill the food as you normally wood but try to keep the lid closed as long as possible for the best smoky flavor.
As I mentioned before, these attachments can work nicely on any grill so you can even take them on the go.
However, if you plan on smoking food that will take a bit longer you will need two attachments if you’re using the tubes so once the chips are spent, the other ones start burning.
Take this into consideration when analyzing this review.
Is there a downside to using smoker boxes?
In terms of flavor, no. But, over time you need to replace your smoker box or tube because it can warp from constant exposure to high temperatures. Therefore, it’s best to choose a smoker box made out of heavy-duty steel or very durable material. But honestly, most of these tools cost less than $30, so it’s not expensive to replace them.
There’s really no going wrong with a smoker box or tube because you can use it with your grill without investing in an expensive smoker. We all know a high-quality smoker can take you up to $2000. But, if you want to keep using your own BBQ and love the smoky flavor of wood chips and flavored pellets, then the smoker box is the best solution.
Now, all you have to do is choose your wood flavors and get grilling!