Timothy Woods
Published by Timothy Woods
Last Updated On: September 19, 2022

I am sure that many people enjoy smoked foods from meat to fish and even cheese.

I recently came across a smoke tube that I can use at home, and I don’t think I have ever been more impressed with a grilling tool.

Of course, I take advice from pitmasters and chefs very seriously and plan to share that with you too.

Quick Summary

  • Use a smoke tube by filling wood chips or wood pellets until it is full. Try not to leave space – you can tap in on the ground to make sure it’s compact inside.
  • Light the smoke tube before putting it in place. Let it ignite vertically, blow out the flame, then place it on the pellet grill.
  • It can be used to add a smoke flavor to your food or for cold smoking in a closed pellet grill.

How Does A Smoke Tube Work?

A smoke tube is a fantastic tool whether you are trying to add a smoke flavor to your meat and other foods or use it for cold smoking and curing.

A pellet smoker tube works in a pellet grill by burning the wood inside and releasing smoke. The smoke encapsulates the food and gets absorbed as flavor. It smokes for 2-5 hours, depending on the length of the smoke tube.

How To Use A Smoke Tube Efficiently?

smoker tube in a grill

1. Fill The Smoke Tube

To efficiently use pellet tube smokers, you must first fill the pellet tube with wood chips or wood pellets until the entire smoke tube is full. Small wood pieces are best because you can maximize the space better that way.

Always knock the pellet tube slightly on the ground to get the wood further in. If there is still some space to fit in a few small pieces of wood, add them in.

2. Light The Tube

After filling the pellet tube, it’s time to ignite it. Make sure your wood catches fire and let it burn for 6-7 minutes. Blow the fire out and then use it in the pellet grill.

You can light it with a butane torch, Brulé torch, or large kitchen lighter, and always light the smoke tube vertically. Remember to always take safety precautions.

3. Let The Tube Smoke

When using a smoking tube, it is best to use a pellet grill that you can close, as that way, you will get the best-smoked effect. If you have an open grill, place it under the grate.

The pellet tube will automatically continue to smoke once you place it down horizontally. It is the easiest way to infuse a smoked flavor.

What Wood Should You Use In A Smoke Tube?

handful of wood pellets

You can fill your smoke tube with any wood chips suitable for smoking.

Any wood pellets or chips like cedar, applewood, or hickory work perfectly. You can also use cherry wood, mesquite, pecan, etc.

Ideally, you would want smaller wood chips that will easily fit into the smoke tube and allow maximum space usage.

If you have larger pellets, it is recommended that you first cut them up to fit more efficiently into the smoke tube.

How To Use Smoke Tubes For Hot Smoking?

Fill the smoke tube with your wood chips, light it vertically, and let the flames burn for at least 6-7 minutes, or longer if necessary, depending on wind and the type of wood chips.

After letting the flames burn for several minutes and you are sure it is burning correctly, blow the fire out.

Then place it horizontally on your pellet grill. You are now ready to add your food. You would typically use this method to add a smoke flavor to your barbeque meats, chicken, fish, and veggies.

How To Use Smoke Tubes For Cold Smoking?

smoker tube lighting

A smoke tube for cold smoking works similarly to the hot smoke method with a slight difference.

After you have filled the pellet tube with wood, light it vertically. Let the flames burn for around 6-7 minutes, or up to 10 if needed.

After leaving the flame to burn, blow it out and place it horizontally on the gas grill.

Now here is where it differs from hot smoking – you have to close the lid and let it be for a couple of minutes to produce smoke.

When you notice that it is smoking, you can put your food on the grill and close the lid again.

The pellet tube will smoke for around 2-5 hours, depending on the size, type, wood, and environment. Cold smoking is incredible for your fish and cheeses or any other food that you can cold smoke.

What Foods Can You Smoke With A Smoke Tube?

grilling meat with a smoker tube

A smoke tube can be used for many types of food options. You can practically smoke anything you desire.

A few possibilities are meats and chicken, bacon, cheeses, corn, fish, nuts, tomatoes, and so much more. You can use a smoke tube for cold and hot smoke [1].

The trick when smoking food is to be patient and let the smoke tube do its job for as long as needed.

The longer you leave it to burn in the pellet tube smoker, the better smoke flavor you will get. Tony Roma validates the concept by saying, “Happiness is best served slow-smoked and sauced.” [2]

How To Prevent A Smoke Tube From Dying?

Smoke tubes are very unlikely to die out. Once you ignite it with a proper lighter torch and allow the flames to remain for 6-10 minutes, it will not die.

It is probably because you did not light the tube smoker properly, or there was a lack of oxygen on the chance it died out. You can raise your chimney cap to increase the airflow and, if needed, fan it slightly to help with the burning.

Once you get the flames burning with sufficient airflow, your smoke tube will not die and continue to smoke consistently for a long time.


Using a smoke tube has never made it easier to infuse that tasty smoke flavor into your favorite foods.

Whether you use it for a barbeque or to cold smoke some salmon, you are guaranteed the best results every time as long as you follow the correct method as detailed above.

Check out our list of quality pellet tube smokers that will surely last.


  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/smoked-salmon-calories
  2. https://tonyromas.com/
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