Most helpful critical review
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2010
I have used this box twice, and have had some learning issues with it.
First: it is a quality product. Heavy gauge stainless steel; I'm guessing it will last a long time. It fits in my BBQ without any problem.
Second: it has a design issue. The lid is a separate piece which fits loosely on the box. This is fine until you need to put some more wood chips into the box. Since the box will be very hot, you will be using some sort of tool to manipulate the box lid, and you suddenly have your hands full, including a dangerously hot piece of metal in your tongs (or vise-grip or plier), so you need to set that somewhere. Then you need to either empty the ashes (which will proabably include some glowing coals) so you can refill the box with more wet chips. Then you have to wrestle the hot lid back onto the hot box and then return the unit to the barbecue. It can be done, but it does demand you have a little coordination and that you pay attention to what you are doing (because of the heat involved).
Third: the first time I used it, the wet chips in the box went from light smoke to fully aflame in minutes. I had put the box on the ceramic briquettes just above the burners on my propane BBQ. It took several minutes for the soaked chunks in the box to start smoking, at which point I put my chicken into the BBQ. After several minutes I checked because I didn't see any more smoke. The box contents were fully engulfed in flames.
I reloaded the box and set it on the cooking grill (several more inches above the fire). This is the method I used the second time I used it, too. This seemed to work better so far as getting smoke was concerned. It takes awhile for the chunks to heat up and start smoking, but they didn't burst into flame.
So...well made product with some design issues (does the box need a hinge on the lid?), and you will need to experiment with it to determine the best way to get smoke. I believe the product will last a long time and I will continue to use it.