How to use a Smoke Tube in a Pellet Grill

smoke tube in a pellet

For low and slow cooking, a pellet grill’s ease is tough to beat. But occasionally, especially with bigger cuts of meat like hog butt and brisket, the smoke flavor isn’t as intense as what you get from burning wood or charcoal.

A smoke tube can be used in this situation. Learn how to utilize this inexpensive addition to your pellet grill in this article to enhance the flavor of your barbecue.


What is a Smoke Tube?

smoke tube

In order to contain wood chips and pellets for smoking, a smoker tube is a perforated metal cylinder that will hold the bigger pieces in place as they burn and smoke. The perforations allow the smoke to easily disperse where it is needed.


When Should You Use a Smoke Tube?

A smoke tube has the unique feature that it can be used for anything! Your smoke tube is the solution if you want to add a smoky flavor to anything, including chicken, beef, or even vegetables.

Contrary to popular belief, you may use a smoke tube for anything that will be grilled for a prolonged period of time. You can use your smoke tube even for foods that cook rapidly, but if you need supper on the table right away, the 15 minutes it takes to set it up might not be worthwhile.

For a method known as cold smoking, about which more will be spoken later, you may also use your smoke tube when the grill is off.


Requisites for using a smoke tube in a pellet grill

Make sure to gather the following materials before you start using your smoke tube with your pellet grill, since you will require a few different items to do so.

  • Smoke Tube

  • Pellets or Wood Chips

  • Lighter

  • Grill grate for your grill

  • Food to cook

When you have everything listed above, you are ready to grill!


How to Use a Smoke Tube In a Pellet Grill

Use a Smoke Tube

Following these easy procedures will allow you to use a smoke tube on a pellet grill:

  1. Ensure that the smoke tube is dry and spotless.

  2. The smoke tube may be filled with your favorite wood pellets.

  3. The tube should be placed on the grill grates, and it should be lit from one end until a nice flame is rolling.

  4. For the pellets to remain light, let the flame burn for 15 minutes.

  5. After 15 minutes, extinguish the flame and let the cooking chamber fill with smoke.

Place your meal on the grill and let it smoke for however long is necessary, replenishing the smoke tube as necessary.


How does a smoke tube work?

Fill the smoke tube with your preferred pellets and fire them to begin producing smoke. You can mix up the pellets or use the same ones you use in the pellet hopper. A successful combo is usually apple and cherry.

Blow out the flame once you’ve achieved a nice, clean burn, and the pellets will begin to smolder and produce a considerable quantity of smoke.

They keep smoking for as long as it takes the pellets to finish, which is typically 5 to 6 hours in a 12-inch smoke tube.

As a result, your cooking space will be continuously filled with pure smoke, giving your meal a richer flavor than it would have without it.


How to Fix Your Smoke Tube

Although using a smoke tube is typically straightforward, there are a few potential problems.

There’s No Smoke

Wait a bit longer before putting out the flame if, after 15 minutes, there isn’t smoke coming out of the smoke tube. The amount of smoke you require may take more than 15 minutes if you have to repeatedly relight the flame.

The Smoke Tube Keeps Going Out

Make sure the tube, pellets, and/or wood chips are completely dry if you are having trouble getting the smoke tube flame to ignite. Any of these places with moisture will make it challenging to maintain the smoke tube’s flame.

If you notice that the smoke tube keeps leaking after you start cooking, your grill probably doesn’t have adequate ventilation. Try again after pushing your smoke tube as close as you can to the air opening.


How to Cold Smoke on Your Pellet Grill

You have some cheese that you would like to flavor with smoke. Using a pellet grill and a smoke tube, this is a pretty simple operation!

Step 1: Fill the Smoke Tube

Make sure your smoke tube is clean and dry before adding your preferred wood chips or pellets.

Step 2: Light Your Smoke Tube

Use a lighter to start your smoke tube, and make sure the flame is strong and healthy. 

Step 3: Wait 15 Minutes

To put out the flame, wait 15 minutes. The smoke tube ought to be spewing smoke by this point.

Step 4: Smoke Your Cheese

Place your cheese on the smoke tube-equipped, COLD pellet grill. As soon as you have the necessary length of time, close the lid. You have now successfully cold-smoked some cheese!


Pros and cons of a smoke tube

The smoke tube is a straightforward and practical piece of gear, but it has several drawbacks. Let’s examine some benefits and drawbacks.


  • A cheap method to flavor your meal with smoke

  • Portable for road trips or camping

  • May combine different flavors and types of wood

  • For extended cooking sessions, burn slowly.

  • Simple to clean


  • With continued usage, thin metal readily corrodes

  • Over a period of 5 to 6 hours, it must be replaced with cooks


Are There Other Options Beyond a Smoke Tube?

Absolutely! You may also use a foil packet or a smoke box instead of a smoke tube to impart a smoky flavor to your grilled meal.

Foil packers and smoke boxes are only indicated for shorter cooking periods, like steaks, because they burn much more quickly than a smoke tube. They are not quite as simple to use as a smoke tube, though.


Wood pellets vs. Wood chips

Wood pellets vs. Wood chips

Although smoke tubes are intended to be used with wood pellets, wood chips work just as well. While wood chips tend to burn more quickly and require replacement, the advantage of using pellets is that they last longer and provide constant smoke.

In the event that wood chips rather than pellets are used, check with the manufacturer to be sure any warranties are still valid.


Bottom line

A smoke tube is a simple and practical way to add richer smoke flavor to any barbecue, including a pellet grill.

If you want a smokey flavor and already own a grill, you don’t need to purchase a stand-alone smoker. Place a smoke tube on the grates and wait for it to impart the desired amount of smoke flavor.


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