If you really enjoy grilling, then purchasing a cast iron smoker box may be the perfect upgrade to your set up. A cast iron smoker box will add a delicious new flavor to your meat and up your grilling game in one easy move. They’re pretty easy to use, but you should still take some time to familiarize yourself with one before jumping right in.
In this guide, we’ll give you a quick run down on everything you should know about purchasing and using a heavy duty cast iron smoker box. Read on to discover the benefits of having one, how to use it, and just why you should choose cast iron over a regular stainless steel smoker box.
What is a Cast Iron Smoker Box?
Right off the bat, this box is pretty straight forward. Simply put, it’s a square or rectangular shaped box where you can heat up and access to put smoking wood chips and coals. This box will typically have a pattern of holes on the top where you can put your meat in order to give it a delicious, smoke flavor.
A heavy duty cast iron smoker box is generally considered a bit of an upgrade. Unlike most metals, cast iron is able to withstand even the hottest temperatures in a grill without warping over time. The heavy duty cast iron construction also distributes the heat evenly across the meat, so one side won’t be too cooked while the other is barely cooked enough.
While the purpose of a smoker box is to protect the wood chips from being exposed to too much heat, you can still smoke meat without one. It may be a bit more time consuming, but perhaps you enjoy the process so it’s not that big of a deal. Still, choosing to purchase this box can provide more benefits to your grilling than at first glance.
The first and most obvious benefit of a smoker box is that it makes controlling the heat of your wood chips much easier. You don’t have to worry about them burning as quickly and it’s an easy enough device to set up and get started.
With the wood chips perfectly heated, they’ll release smoke in a constant, smooth way. The meat absorbs this smoke and takes on the smoke flavor of whatever type of wood chips you’ve heated. This works not only for charcoal grills but also smokers, and offset smokers since a smoker box is fairly versatile and easy to move around. You can also use the best smoker box for gas grills.
Smoker boxes really make smoking meat so much easier which is the biggest draw for people who buy them. All you need to do is fill them with your desired wood chips, close the box, and place it on a charcoal mound in order to use it. You’ll be able to smoke lots of meat at once and not have to worry about the chips. Plus, they are very easy to clean.
How to Use It
Using a cast iron box is pretty easy. It doesn’t require a lot of skill or necessary set up beforehand. When purchasing this box, be sure to measure your grill in order to buy a smoker box that will fit. Most rectangular boxes will fit any grill, but if you aren’t certain or are buying a box that’s a different shape than normal, it’s best to measure the space beforehand.
Once you have your smoker box out and you’re sure it will fit in your grill, go ahead and start soaking your wood chips. It’s important to let them soak for at least 30 minutes before using them and adding them to the box. Don’t fill the box too full when adding them either, only about halfway will be plenty.
After soaking your wood chips, start up your grill. Let it heat up until it smokes when you lift the cover, typically about 20 minutes. You can also start this process while your they are still soaking if you want to be more efficient.
Put your smoker box in the grill and place your meat on top. That’s it! That’s all you need to do when using this.
Cast Iron vs Stainless Steel
Since your smoker box will be facing high temperatures for long periods of time, the best ones will be extremely durable and long lasting. Stainless steel and cast iron construction smoker boxes are both good options and very durable, but cast iron construction will typically be able to withstand the high temperatures better than the stainless steel. Stainless steel, on the other hand, is more rust resistant and won’t corrode from its stainless steel quality. From this you can decide wether you want the stainless steel or the cast iron.
Purchasing a cast iron smoker box can really take your grilling game to a new standard. If you enjoy smoking meat often and think you’ll make good use of it, make sure to find a high quality box that will last for years. The better quality the box is, the better your meat will taste!