Almost all of the gas grills come with a metal smoker box that sits on a dedicated burner. It is pretty easy to smoke on a gas grill and we can control how quickly we can smoke on the grill with simple burner controls. If the gas grill doesn’t come with a smoker box, then we can purchase a heavy-gauge stainless steel smoker box to sit on top of the cooking grate and smoke our food.
How to Smoke on a Gas Grill?
Setting up the Grill to Start Smoking Food
Setting up the gas grill for smoking food is pretty easy if the grill is equipped with a smoker box. Here are the steps to be followed in setting up the grill to smoke food.
1. Soak the wood chips in water: Soak the wood chips in water for more than 30 minutes so that it emits smoke and not flames of fire.
2. Preheat the grill: Preheat the grill for about 10-15 minutes on high flame, and brush the cooking grates with a stainless steel grill brush.
3. Add wooden chips to the smoker box: Open the lid of the smoker box and place some soaked wood chips with the help of tongs. Make sure that the water is drained off completely from the wood chips. Spread the wood evenly so that they cover the bottom of the box and expose themselves completely to the burner below.
4. Close the lid: Continue to add as many wooden pieces as suggested and close the lid for the smoke to pour. Lower the heat of the burner under the smoker box, to help the wood to smolder.
Soaked wood chips are great for a charcoal grilling unit, as it generates steam and can turn into smoke, to give the wood chips more longevity. For gas grills, it is beneficial to use dry chips, as they will be placed directly over the burners in the gas grill.
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Step by Step Instructions to Smoke on a Gas Grill
It is indeed not much complicated to set up the gas grill for smoking food. Amateurs should assemble all the pre-requisites before they start smoking food in their grill. Keep the food, rubs, and sausages ready along with the smoking wood pellets. Also, make sure that you have a good source of propane as getting the fuel exhausted halfway will only end up spoiling the food. Here is the step by step instructions on smoking food on a gas grill.
Step 1: Light the burner to medium heat:
Turn on the burner that is located on the left side of the gas grill, and set it to medium heat. Monitor the temperature with the help of a digital thermometer and wait till it reaches a temperature of about 225 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the grill to pre-heat and adjust the temperature by turning the dial-up and down. If the grill is not attaining its desired temperature, then the best way is to add additional burners.
Step 2: Adding the Wood:
After the grill is pre-heated then the next step is to add the wood. Make use of high heat gloves or heavy tongs to remove the grill grates and to place the wood. Place a thin foil pouch, a tray of wood pellets, or a chunk of hardwood over the burner directly. If you are making use of a pellet tube, fill it with pellets, and use a lighter to light it after placing it on the grill grate. Wait for the smoke to emit from the grill grate and place the food on the grill, away from the heat.
Step 3: Smoking the food:
Place the food on the opposite side of the grill from the smoking pouch. Lit the burner and close the lid. Turn on additional burners as required to attain the desired smoking temperature of 225 degrees. It is important to keep an eye on the grill and the smoke packet. It will generally take about 45 minutes to burn through all the wood pellets in the pouch. Continue cooking until it reaches your desired temperature.
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Precautions to be Taken While Smoking Food on a Gas Grill
1. It is important to make use of a quality digital thermometer to monitor temperature easily. If your thermometer has a probe clip, clip the probe on the grill gate, close to the food to learn the actual temperature of the food you are cooking with.
2. Pellets and chips should not be placed on top of the burner, as they need to be deprived of oxygen to smoke. This can be achieved with the help of a pellet tube, that are great at creating smoke. These tubes come in different sizes and size 12” is ideal for most uses.
3. It is important not to over smoke the food and use too much wood. Nothing is worse than over smoked meat and just half a cup of wood chips and pellets are enough to cook smoked meat.
4. It is important to use the griller for smoking outside and away from structures. Both charcoal and gas grills are intended for outdoor use only.
5. Make sure that the grill is stable and is placed conveniently on a surface that cannot be tipped over. Use a grill pad or a splatter mat under the grill to protect the patio and the deck.
6. Remove grease and fat buildup from the grill and the tray below the grill. Also, check for propane leaks on the gas grill.
It is important to have baking soda handy to control a grease fire and a bucket of sand next to the grill. Never attempt to control the grease fire with water. People should keep in mind that most of the smoke tends to accumulate around the smoker box and it is optimal to keep the food close to the smoker box to help it absorb more smoke flavor. Make use of cedar plank wood chips for optimal cooking and best results in terms of taste of food.