Most people incorrectly assume that if you have a gas grill, you aren’t able to smoke on it. In fact, you can smoke on a gas grill, but it’s a bit more complicated than smoking using a traditional smoker.
Can you smoke on a propane grill?
For one thing, smoking on a gas BBQ is less efficient as the venting allows some of the smoke to escape. You’ll also need to keep reloading your smoker box every 30 minutes or so – meaning you’ll want to smoke things that take less time.
A turkey, ribs, and even briskets are best left to traditional smokers. Chicken, pork chops, salmon or other fish, and cheese are all great items to smoke on a gas grill.
How do you use wood chips on a gas grill?
Using wood chips on a gas grill requires some sort of container. You can buy a stainless steel smoker box for under $20 and use that, but if you want to try smoking on your gas grill sooner than you can get the box, you can also make your own with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
You’ll want to poke a few holes in it, and put the soaked wood chips inside. Due to the fact that the wood chips will only last about 30 minutes, you’ll want to prepare a few packages beforehand so you can just swap them out. You can use any fruitwood or hardwood cut up as chips or chunks – some popular ones are oak, hickory, and apple.
Soak the chips in water for an hour, drain and add to your container. You can also use un-soaked chips but they are more likely to catch fire so you will need to stay very close to the grill! Now you’re ready to smoke!
preparing your gas grill?
First, preheat your grill so that it’s nice and hot by turning all the burners on high and lighting the BBQ. Once it’s good and hot, turn off half of the burners – smoking is done using indirect heat. Place your smoker box or foil pack with wood chips on the side of the grill that is still on; you can put the box on the grill grate or on the heat shields under the grate if it fits.
Close the lid of the grill and wait for the chips to start smoking before you put your meat (or cheese) on the opposite side (where the heat has been turned off). Depending on how wet they are, it could take anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes for them to start smoking, so be patient. Un-soaked wood chips should start smoking in between 5 and 10 minutes.
How long do you smoke wood chips on a gas grill?
Plan on smoking red meat for at least an hour and a half per pound and poultry for at least 20 minutes per pound. Know that these are rough estimates and you’ll need to check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to know when it’s done. Don’t open the lid of the grill. Other than to replace the wood chips when they stop smoking as this lets the heat (and smoke) out.
Smoking on a gas grill isn’t as easy as smoking in a purpose-built smoker. It’s an affordable way to try out this style of cooking! Have you tried smoking on your gas grill?
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