How to Smoke on a Gas Grill?

Gas grills are our absolute favourites when the summers come. As this grilling season is way more enhanced because of a gas grill. With the help of a gas grill, you can grill any number of barbecue recipes you want. If you are a frequent griller, you need to get one of these. And if you still haven’t, check our article on the best gas grills under $1000

So gas grills operate on propane or natural gas through burners unlike charcoal grills, which burn charcoal. Hence they do not have the charcoal smoky flavour usually. But you should not worry about this because you can also smoke in your gas grill. As a lot of gas grills have built-in smoke boxes for smoking your meat. And even if they don’t, you can accessories or make smoke bombs. Hence, you get both efficiency and the smoking feature from the gas grill. So why not buy it and get to experience it on your own.

How to smoke on a gas grill?

There are various ways to smoke something on the grill. Especially when you are smoking meat. Smoking adds a flavour to the meat which makes it authentic and delicious. And it just elevates your barbecue recipes. So that the ones who eat your food will remember it for ages. But you need to be careful when you do it. And properly follow all the instructions. Sometimes, people over-smoke the meat. Doing it properly will leave you with meat which has rich smoky flavour and is not a lump of charcoal 

Before we go forward with the processes, we will tell you about the most important thing you need for smoking:

Wood Chips

Something which you absolutely need for smoking is wood chips. As these are what burn to produce the smoke in a gas grill.

Best types

For you to give a good smoky flavour to your meat, you will need the best quality of wood chips. Different meats go well with different wood chips. Further, we will discuss some types:

  • Oak Wood Chips – Probably the most common choice for smoking are oak wood chips.
    If you are cooking red meat like beef or a brisket, this is the choice for you. And they lend the meat with a strong smoky flavour without taking over the taste of the meat itself. You can also use this as a layering for other wood chips.
  • Hickory Wood Chips – Next, we have the hickory wood chips. And we can use them with almost all red meats. They intensify the flavour of almost any meat you want.
  • Applewood Wood Chips – Then there are applewood wood chips, which we think are best for poultry. As they have a mild sweet flavour which enhance the flavour of poultry meats.
  • Mesquite Wood Chips – If you are looking for a wood chip which will lend an intense smoky flavour to your meat, these are great. So you can pair it with any red meat and it will give a bold and distinct smoky taste.
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Preparing wood chips

Before you smoke your meat, you will need to prepare the wood chips for it.

So many people straight up use dry wood chips. But we think that wet wood chips work best for smoking. Although it takes time, it gives your meat a delightful smoky flavour.

For that, you need to take the amount of wood chips your recipe requires. And then you soak them in water for 40 minutes before you smoke it. Make sure that you do not submerge them. Just a bit of water, enough to soak all the chips 

Smoking meat in a gas grill in a built-in smoker 

This is the process you need to follow:

  • First, you will need to preheat your gas grill. So turn on all the burners to the highest temperature. And wait till it reaches the temperature of 500°F. 
  • After that you will have to turn off one side of the burners. And lower the burner down on the other side according to the requirements of your recipe. This creates the perfect situation for indirect heat cooking. 
  • Next, make sure that the burners under the gas grill’s built-in smoker are set to high.
  • Then you will need to put on some oven mitts. And open the smoker box of the gas grill.
  • With the help of long-handled tongs, start adding the wood chips into the smoker. Add the amount you require for your recipe. And lay the chips evenly against t
  • Close the lid of the smoker and turn down the smoke box burner to low. And let the chips smolder.
  • Then close the lid of your gas grill and wait for the smoker to smoke out.
  • After the smoker smokes up the gas grill, place the meat on the side where the burners are not burning. And then let the meat slow.
  • Smoking takes different time duration for different meats. Hence the time frame depends on your recipe.
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Smoking meat in a gas grill with a home-made smoker box

This process shows you how to make a smoker box of your own if you do not have a gas grill:

  • First you take some heavy-duty aluminium foil. And tear two large pieces of it. Then lay them side by side.
  • Add wood chips to each piece. And crimp them up to form pouches of the chips.
  • If you have an aluminium tray at your house, you can use that too. Add the chips to your tray and cover the top of the tray completely with aluminium foil.
  • Then you will need to poke holes in the pouches/tray. As that will allow the smoke to escape from the chips to the grill.
  • After that you must preheat the grill at the highest temperature till it reaches 500°F.
  • When it reaches the required temperature, turn off the burners on one side. And lower the other side of the burners to medium or low. This will create the indirect heat cooking environment for the meat.
  • Then remove the cooking grates over the lit burners and place your pouches/tray directly on the burners.
  • Reset the grates and close the lid of the gas grill for a while to accumulate the smoke.
  • When you see smoke, open the lid and place your meat on the grill. And be sure to place it on the other side over the unlit burners.
  • Let the meat smoke for as long as the recipe allows it to.

Smoking meat with a separately bought smoke box

Another thing which may help you while smoking meat in a gas grill is a stainless steel smoke box. This box has holes all around which absorbs the heat and lets out smoke from the chips. And you can buy it separately:

  • First, you will need to place the wood chips in the smoke box.
  • Then you must let the grill preheat on high till it reaches 500°F.
  • Turn off the burners on one side. And on the other side, turn the burners to medium or low, according to your recipe.
  • After that, you must place the stainless steel box on the lit burner over the cooking grates.
  • Close the lid for a while to allow the smoke box to smoke up.
  • Then place the meat on the unlit burners side of the grill. And let it cook for as long as the recipe requires.
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Can I smoke my meat in a gas grill without a built-in smoker?

Of course you can. You can smoke your meat in a grill without a built-in smoker. In the above processes, we have also described the ways you can smoke your meat. Like the homemade smoke box or a store bought one.

Can I use smoker boxes on a gas grill?

Yes, obviously you can use the smoker boxes on a gas grill. The stainless steel smoke box will be absolutely compatible with your gas. And we have also discussed how to use it above.

Can I put wood chips in a gas grill?

So you will have to follow the exact instruction for it. Obviously the source of smoke in a gas grill are wood chips. But you cannot directly place it on the burners. For that you will need a smoker box or aluminium pouches. 

Where do you place the smoker box on a gas grill?

If you have a separate smoker box, you can fill it with wood chips. And then place it on the side of the grill which has lit burners. Also place it over the grates and not under.

If your smoker box is home-made with aluminum foil, place it directly on the lit burners.

Do I need to soak the wood chips before grilling?

Although not necessary, we advise you to soak the wood chips for 30 minutes prior to smoking. If the chips are dry, they may flash. And not smolder like they are supposed to. So when you soak them, it helps the chips to smolder slowly for the slow cooking.

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We have reached the end of this article. And we hope that your doubts regarding how to smoke on a gas grill are cleared. If it has, go on and get to smoking meat on the grill. And enjoy the rich smoky delicious results.

For more information on gas grills, check our articles on the best gas grills under $1000.

We also have a few grilling recipes you can enjoy on ribs, steaks, chicken and burgers

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