Are you missing the smoky flavor of BBQ dishes for not having a smoker? Read about how to smoke on a gas grill to fire up a gas grill as a smoker.
Do you like the overflowing juicy, fresh and tender smoky foods? I think there are only a few people who don’t like the barbecue flavor.
So, like you guys, I’m a true devotee of BBQ foods. Though unfortunately, I own a gas grill but don’t have any charcoal grill or smoker. But that doesn’t mean I have to stop enjoying the deliciousness of smoke. So I learned how to smoke on a gas grill.
Today, I’ll walk with you through 5 methods and several step-by-step instructions. It will surely make your gas grill your favorite appliance to cook smoky items easily. So first read on this post till the end and get ready to impress your beloved person.
Is It Possible to Smoke On a Gas Grill
Yes, it is possible to smoke on a gas grill. Though gas grills aren’t designed for barbecue, You can still use them to cook smoky meat, fish, etc.
But of course, there will be a gap in taste between a dedicated smoker and a gas grill. Oh, don’t get upset. Because the taste is not less and of course it’ll satisfy your heart. You can also control temperatures by turning the knob.
But if you’re organizing a BBQ party or preparing a lot of them, my suggestion is not to depend on the gas grill. Instead, it would help if you looked for a smoker or barbecue grill.
Prepare Your Gas Grill Before Smoking
Well, if you prepare a gas grill before smoking it becomes the magic behind a successful and great tasty barbecue. So today, follow up the instructions below to get your gas grill prepared.
Preheat Your Gas Grill: Open the lid of the grill, so the gas doesn’t be clocked on the cook box. Then turn on all the burners in high heat mode. Close the lid and wait to take it to preheat for 10-20 minutes.
Clean Cooking Grates: When you see the temperature reach 500° Fahrenheit, clean your cooking grate with a long-handled stainless steel grill brush earlier when you start cooking. Also, Don’t forget to wash the brush regularly.
How to Smoke On a Gas Grill – The Most Important Part
Below I described three major methods on how to smoke on a gas grill. I tried to discuss every single point so that you may not face any lack of knowledge. Let’s jump on the methods.
Using Smoker Box
If you don’t know what a smoker box is, then let me tell you. The smoker box is used for holding wood chips or chunks in place to the top of the cooking grate. It helps to produce smoke from the woods without burning or flaming.
Nowadays, many gas grills have built-in metal smoker boxes inside them. You’re lucky if your gas grill has it also. But if not, don’t worry because single smoker boxes are available online or in markets.
But look for a durable stainless steel smoker box. Because stainless steel materials are good at quick heating, plus, ensure the box design can produce smoke as much as possible. I’ll assist you here with step-by-step instructions for using a smoker box to smoke on your gas grill.
Preheat Your Gas Grill: You need to preheat the grill before you place the smoker box onto the grill. For getting a fast high temperature, turn on all the burners.
In my experiment, it takes 10-20 minutes to get the perfect heat of the grill.
Prepare Smoker Box with Soak or Dry Wood Chips: Now it’s time to fill the smoker box with wood chips. Here you have many options to choose from for the wood. You can use soak or dry wood chips as your desire.
Remember, you have to soak the wood chips for 30 minutes before using if you prefer to soak the woods. You should fill the box in more than half. Once you fill up, shake the box so that the chips can fit evenly inside it.
Keep the Smoker Box on the Gas Grill: Next, open the grill’s lid and remove one grate to keep the box. Place the smoker box over the dedicated burner.
Turn Off the Burners and Set Temperature: Turn off all the burners of the grill, except the one with your smoker box. That’ll help you to smoke woods during the cooking.
Set the other burners in indirect cooking for a temperature of 225°-250°. Make sure the heat is not excessive than the range. In that case, you can measure temperature with a thermometer.
Put the Food in the Grill and Close the Lid: When you make the temperature adjustment, put the food you want to cook into the grill. Keep that on the cool side of the grill and close the lid to start the cooking process.
Cook with Indirect Heat: Give the food efficient time for proper cooking with indirect heat. Meat probably takes over one hour to be cooked. But for steaks, it takes less than 45 minutes. So wait until the mouthwatering dish gets your desired smoky flavor.
Make Smoke On Gas Grill With a Pellet Tube
The Pellet tube is slightly like the smoker box to hold wood. But it’s a long tube that comes in different sizes. Don’t get confused about sizes because I can assure you 12″ will be the best. 12″ long tubes can produce smoke for a more extended period of up to 4 hours.
The most beneficial thing about a pellet tube is using it as both a cold or hot smoker. Also, it doesn’t need any burner to heat. Place it anywhere over the grate of the grill. Let’s have a look at the steps below of using a pellet tube to make smoke.
Prepare the Pellet Tube: Firstly, fill up the pellet tube with wood cooking pellets. It would be best to load it until the pellets reach less than one inch from the top.
But be sure you’re using wood cooking pellets, not wood heating pellets, because only cooking pellets are used to make smoke for cooking. But You can choose any kind of your favorite flavor of wood pellets.
Light the End of Pellet Tube: Use a long lighter or match or a blowtorch to light one end of the pellet tube. Once it starts to burn, let it begin smoking for 3-5 minutes.
Start Smoking: Lay your loaded pellet tube on the grill and close the lid so that it can produce smoke correctly.
Use Cold Smoke Generator for Smoking On Your Gas Grill
Do you want to try cold smoked cheese, butter, or salmon? If yes, using a cold smoke generator is the best option for you.
But the problem is many gas grills are not designed to use cold smoke generators. Maximum affordable cold smoke generators have small holes at the bottom. So the ash will drop out inside the gas grills.
Even the gas grills aren’t designed for cold smoking; you can still use a few cold generators in your grills. You can use some cold generator smoker tray or the cold generator that comes in the tube.
Use a Cold Generator Smoker Tray: Through the following steps, you can use a cold generator smoker tray in your gas grill.
- Put the wood pellets on the tray and fill it.
- Place it on the grate of the grill.
- Turn on all the burners of the grill.
- When it starts to smoke, keep the food on the grate.
- Wait until the food gets your desired smoke.
Use Cold Smoke Generator Tube: It’s a kind of excellent cold smoke generator for gas grills. On top-notch, it’s easy to use. Because it does not need to be placed inside the grill, rather you can attach it through the rotisserie hole, and smoke will produce through the pipe.
- Load the tube with BBQ pellets.
- Plug it into the power supply.
- Turn on the switch of the tube.
- Attach it to the gas grill through a rotisserie.
- Wait a minute to start smoking.
- When starting smoking, keep the food on food grates.
- Wait until it becomes ready.
Turn Your Gas Grill Into a Smoker- Another Great Way to Smoke on a Gas Grill
What do you think I finished describe all the methods? Not at all. Here I came with another great way to smoke on a gas grill.
Step-1: Use Foil Pouches to Make Smoke: Foil pouch is another excellent, affordable and effective way to make smoke in your gas grill. In fact, you don’t need to spend a single penny for using it.
Of course, you already have the aluminum foil in your kitchen cupboard. Let’s check out the further steps to turn your gas grill into a smoker.
Step-2: Find Some Aluminum Foil: Grab two large and heavy-duty sheets of aluminum foil. Now layer them smooth beside the surface of your cooking area.
Step-3: Make the Foil Pouch: Firstly, put down two cups of wood chips on the middle point of aluminum foil. Fold all the sides around the wood chips and roll down the ends to create a completely airtight pouch. And you are done to make a perfect foil pouch for perfect smoking.
Step-4: Poke Holes in the Foil Pouch: The next thing is creating holes in your foil pouch. Poke holes in the top of the pouch. Holes will allow the heat of the fire to ignite the wood chips within the pouch.
When the wood chips start to ignite, it will produce beautiful smoke through the holes. Since the smoke adds to the food, it’ll bring a delicious smoky flavor that you expected.
Step-4: Place the Pouch On Gas Grill: Now remove one grate of your grill and put down the pouch directly over one of the burners. Wait, no matter of fear. The enhanced flavors of this technique you’ll surely like so that you must give it a try!
Step-5: Start Cooking: Finally, it’s time to start your cooking! Fire up your grill by turning on the burner under the pouch. Place your food on the other side of the smoking pouch. Monitor the temperature and try to keep it around 200° to 275° Fahrenheit.
Wood Chips VS Pellets- Which is Better for Smoking On a Gas Grill
Wood chips or pellets? That is a confusing question for many of us. But before I find out which is the best, look at the overview of what they are.
Comparing the duration of burning, it’s clear that wood pellets burn much slower than wood chips. Pellets take up to 4 hours (sometimes I can use them up to 5) to add more wood chips for every 30 minutes.
Moreover, wood pellets produce more hot temperatures rather than chips. Pellets are ideal for both good flavor and higher heat. On top, it is better than wood chips because, with pellets, you can control the temperature and smoke.
Though wood chips are ideal for short-time cooking, wood pellets are considered for a longer cooking cycle.
Also, wood pellets are great to turn your gas grill into a smoker. Because of its slow-burning rates and high smokes, it’s also ideal for cold smoking. But cold smoking can’t be possible with wood chips.
Lastly, I can see wood pellets are burned longer, hotter, add more flavor, and produce more smoke than wood chips. Furthermore, as your gas grill has a lid, it can hold the smoke as well.
So the wood pellet is better than wood chips for smoking on a gas grill.
Monitoring Temperature Is Important While Smoking
Once you get to know all the methods of making smoke on a gas grill, then the important thing you should focus on is monitoring temperature while smoking.
In standard, 225°-250° F temperature is ideal for producing sufficient smoke and heat. For cold smoking, the temperature should be in the range of 68° to 87° F.
If you don’t monitor the temperature, it can produce excessive heat, removing moisture from the food and drying it out. Sometimes it can be overcooked. If so, you’ll miss the exact taste of the dish and get a bitter experience. On the contrary, excessive heat can cause a fire on your gas grill.
Otherwise, if the temperature gets very low, then you can’t cook your food. So it’s imperative to monitor the temperature while smoking.
Most gas grills come with a bi-metal thermometer. But sometimes, I can’t get accurate results from it. If you are also facing this problem, then buy a digital thermometer to monitor the temperature.
Problems You May Face When You Smoke On Your Gas Grill
I highlighted here some of the problems that you may face making smoke on a gas grill to let you know it earlier before trying.
A lot of Vents on the Gas Grill: Gas grill designed with a lot of vents inside the lid. So probably the cooking surface won’t get the highest heat temperature. Plus, you may face problems creating smoke along with holding. But that’s not impossible to do.
Adjusting Temperature: Adjusting the temperature on the gas grill is quite complicated. You’ll find it hard to control the smoke because it escapes mostly.
Don’t Get the Exact Flavor of BBQ.: Gas grills are the standard grills. You can’t ever get the same taste and flavor exactly as a BBQ smoker.
A Few of Frequently Asked Questions
Here I answered four frequently asked questions that can come to your mind after reading the whole article. Let’s have a look at them.
- How long does it take for wood chips to smoke on a gas grill?
Wood burns out fast. In general, it takes 5 to 30 minutes for wood chips to smoke on a gas grill.
- Do smoker boxes work on gas grills?
Of course, yes. In fact, modern gas grills are now equipped with a built-in smoker box. No matter if your one is not providing the convenience.
Luckily, you can use another smoker box on your grill, and it’ll work well.
- Do you need to soak wood chips for the gas grill?
In major opinions, soak wood chips help not catch fire’s flame or get burned. Also, it adds a stream flavor to the food. But if you use a smoker box to hold the wood, then in most cases, there is no need to use soak wood chips.
Because the smoker box prevents flame from directly touching the woods.
- How long does it take for wood chips to start smoking?
Generally, wood chips start smoking too fast. If that happens to me, I usually soak the chips before use.
In my experiment, soak wood chips take a few minutes, around 15-30 minutes, to start smoking. It depends on how much they are soaked. However, the dry wood chips smoke earlier than the soaked ones.
You have already known that you don’t have to worry anymore about not having a smoker. Following our article on how to smoke on a gas grill, you can make your gas grill a smoker machine.
You can try it right now using one of the suitable methods from our article. Or get ready to fragrance the upcoming summer season with fantastic barbecue dishes. Enjoy a smoky flavor with your friends and family in a great outing.
I wish you a happy grilling!