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Smoking on a Gas Grill

July 18th, 2008

smoking on a gas grill

Here is a quick tip on how to build a smoke pouch to give more flavor to your gas grilling:

Materials:

  • Wood Chips (get them at any box store)
  • Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil
  • Bowl to soak the wood
  • Knife

Directions:

  1. Soak the wood chips in a bowl of water for about 30 minutes.
  2. Put a handful (or several, depending on how long you will be grilling) onto the middle of a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil.  About a cup of wood chips should be good for most grilling.  For meats requiring longer grilling times, like beer can chicken, go ahead and make two smoke pouches so you can throw the other one on the grill when the first stops smoking.
  3. Fold all ends of the aluminum foil together to make a burrito-looking pouch.
  4. Smoke Pouch

  5. Turn the pouch over and poke about 10 holes in the bottom of the pouch with a knife or fork.
  6. Smoke Pouch for Gas Grill

  7. Lift the grate of your gas grill and insert the pouch over a burner shield.
  8. Smoke Pouch on a Gas Grill

  9. If you don’t want to lift the grill grate (or don’t have the room), you can try this alternative that I have been using a lot lately.  It doesn’t look good, but it gets the job done.  Use 2 bricks to suspend a small rack (like a small oven rack) a few inches off of the grill.  The point is to get the meat above the smoke so that it circulates around the meat.  Here’s a picture of my new preferred method (shown here with a delicious grilled pork loin roast:
  10. pork loin roast

  11. Light your grill and turn it to high heat.
  12. When the pouch starts to smoke, you are ready to grill!

Remember, it doesn’t take much exposure to smoke to give your grilled food a nice hint of smoke flavor!  Just grill your food like you normally would, only keep the lid closed as much as possible to allow for the smoke to circulate around the meat.

Got more time and want to get into more authentic barbeque?  Why not make your own smoker?  Jump over to this link to learn how to build a smoker.  You will be smoking whole chickens “slow and low” before you know it!

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36 Responses

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Brandy

07-30-2010

My Momma told me: “There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers.” So, what is a “box store”?

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Steve

07-30-2010

Your Momma is right. Lowes, Walmart or Home Depot would be considered a box store.

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Eric

04-19-2011

The chip soaking I’ve never understood why so many people recommend. All you do is make the chips take longer to start smoking which intern takes away from your most valuable smoking time, when the meat is below 145 degrees.

Not to mention the water keeps the temp down, and you end up with copious amounts of white smoke. White smoke is bad and imparts a bitter taste, you want TBS, (Thin Blue Smoke). The white smoke is full of particulates like creosote.

If you go to just about any pit master’s website, you’ll see that they all recommend not soaking your wood and avoiding white smoke at all costs.

I don’t know, just what I’ve found to avoid. When I first started smoking, I tried the water chip thing but as soon as I realized that the water was just boiling off, and then giving me smoke, it just seemed kind of silly, and counter productive..

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Steve

04-20-2011

Hey Eric. Good point. I wrote that article a long time ago and since then, I have wondered about soaking. I actully don’t soak them much these days, but mainly because I am lazy and rarely think far enough ahead. I think I may try an experiment to see which is better. As for the white smoke, I don’t ever get bitter taste from the smoke, but the real point to avoid that is to make sure there is proper exhaust so the particulates don’t settle on the meat. I don’t really think it has to do with type of smoke, but some of those pitmasters have a lot more experience than me.
Thanks again for the comments.
Steve

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City-Boy from the South

05-30-2011

Hello,

I am not a grill master, pit-master, or even average griller. However, I am not a moron. The suggestions herein might sound appealing, but you would be well advised, reader, to survey a different set of methods. For example, placing a soaked “burrito” of wood chips underneath your gas grill rails will certainly get you a lot of smoke. However, it will only be because the chips are on fire. Soaking the chips will require a minimum of 45 minutes to attain a pitiful amount of smoke, and ultimately delay your dinner time by the same. I would recommend making a smoke “tray” out of aluminum foil, placing a good sized handful of chips inside, and setting that shit right on top of the grill rails. Turn the grill up to high and ride the lightning. Once smokin’ (which should take no longer than 5 minutes) set yer meat on that grill and lower the heat to the appropriate temp. for the size/type of meat you are grilling. Done and done.

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Steve

05-30-2011

Uh, yeah, no one called you a moron, but ok let’s go with this advice. Your method works fine, but you forgot to mention that you have to close the lid once the smokin’ begins and place the food on the other side of the grill from the smokin’ chips so that the smoke circulates over the food. Done and doner.

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City boy from the South

05-30-2011

True no-one called me a moron, I was merely attempting to offset any chance should such a comment be made. Further, when the entire cooking surface (of my grill at least, remember, now, I am an amateur) is no more than 2′ square, there is probably no need to move the “smokin’” chips to the opposite side of the meat. Finally, mentioning that one must close the lid is unnecessary and obvious. Using simple deduction, one arrives at the conclusion, correctly so, that the smoke would blow away, and any wind would sacrifice the temperature equilibrium. Done, done, done.

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Steve

05-30-2011

Thanks for sharing your ideas.

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John

06-05-2011

I have found that he who claims not to be a moron generally is, at least to some extent. Let the reader make that determination; why lead him/her to that conclusion. Morons are easy to recognize.

Steve’s recommendations are valid and have been helpful to this amatuer griller. Try them before criticizing. Thanks.

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Jeff

06-08-2011

I was introduced to a wonderful option to wood chips for smoke….. onions. Try it… you’ll love it. Just slice a big onion (matters not what kind), separate the rings and place in a tinfoil ‘burrito’ as you would the wood chips. They start smoking quickly, require no soaking, and gives a slight hint of an oniony flavor. I also recommend laying sprigs of fresh rosemary or chives directly on the grill rails for smoke. Love your site, Steve… keep up the great work.

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Ryan

06-24-2011

I think the point of soaking the chips is that “ideal” is to only have it hot enough to get it to smoke, and over several hours let the warm smoke cure the meat (it’s supposed to take a long time). So in that senario, you want a lot of smoke and for it to last a while.

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Jim

07-04-2011

Rather than using tin foil get an old
bread pan about 5Wx8Lx5D (aprox)put it between the grates. The pan should have enough handle on each side to lay over each side of the grates. I do use a little water @ first but pour it out prior to heating the grill
30 min. it helps to keep the smoke from getting to heavy. It should smoke for about 4 hrs. I some times use beer instead of water for soak.

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rob

08-19-2011

I always thought soaking the wood chips added moisture to the meat. It creates a kind of steam/smoke combination. Whenever I grill a turkey over indirect heat I add water every now and then to the burning chips and I always get a very moist bird even without brining.

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L Gibbs

11-12-2011

I don’t use a gas grill, I prefer charcoal. Are there any changes I should make to accommodate this difference?

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Steve

11-12-2011

Charcoal is easy, just throw a handful of wood chips on the coals right before you put the meat on!

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Scotty

01-16-2012

For charcoal I use the same method of cooking/ smoking the meat as he does with gas… If you put the coals and wood chips to one side and the meat on the other (after marking the meat) you get a nice convection that circulates the heat and smoke, with reducing the direct heat applied to the meat.

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Roy

04-14-2012

I see a lot of talk about about smoking for a long time. I’ve been snoking Ribs for longer than I can remember and something I learded a long time ago from a very cool older man that; your meat will take on smoke for about the first 15 or 20 minutes of cooking. By that time the smoke will have penitrated the meat as far as it’s going to. So after the first 20 minutes or so all you have to be concerned about is keeping the heat under control and basting every 15 to 30 minutes, depending on how long you plan to be cooking the meat. When I do Rib’s I start around 9am to be done by 4pm. Some will cook longer and some cook less, but 7 hours work’s best for me and my cooking style. I’ve never had anyone turn down an invite to come over for Rib’s, Colle Slaw, Apple Sauce, and fresh roll’s.

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Bob

01-20-2013

i agree with Roy , 20 – 40 mins is all the more smoke penetration you’re going to get . The key is long cooking time at a low temp . That allows your salt to “soften” the meat. I smoke for the first hour, then the last 15 – 30 mins. before serving is the only time that i baste so that your “baste” is cooked . Even cooking a whole hog , I only baste the last hour

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Wendy

05-11-2013

Do you put the smoke pouch on the lit or unlit side if the grill?

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