Purchasing a gas grill brings hope that you’ll finally enjoy home-made grilled meals. However, you should know how to use a smoker box on a gas grill to give your meals that fine smoke taste!
On its own, the gas grill cannot provide your meat with the traditional smoky flavor. Too boring right? Roasted beef is only scrumptious with a smoky flavor.
But the question is:
Is it possible to smoke meat using a gas grill? The simple answer is yes. But you must have a smoker box. Gas grills are designed with lids that permit smoke and heat to easily escape leading to the production of poor quality food compared to food cooked on a smoker.
And if all you have in your kitchen is a gas grill, never think that you will miss those delicious barbecues that spices up your summer outings with family and friends.
Follow the step-by-step guide on the article and get to know how to use a smoker box on a gas grill, whether you are a first-timer or a seasoned barbecue aficionado.
How to Use a Smoker Box on a Gas Grill
Whether you have a plain gas grill or the hybrid gas and charcoal grill combo, these steps will help you get that irresistible smoky taste on your BBQ.
Preheat the Gas Grill
Before you start smoking the meat, ensure you begin by preheating the grill. To get your grill up to the right temperature faster, be sure to light all the burners then set them high during the first 10-15 minutes.
This makes the grill get hot quicker. Also, it guarantees a quick ignition of the wood chips when you finally place the smoker box on the gas grill. When preheating, the grill will heat to the normal grill temperatures. However, don’t be worried as you can simply shut the other burners.
Alternatively, you set the other burners to low or medium heat. But this might make the wood chips take more time to ignite.
No big deal; the main goal here is to even the heat inside the grill to save your time when you start cooking your meat.
Prepare the Smoker Box
Again, you’ll have to use a smoker box. You can construct one for your own or rather buy. Both ways work, although commercial smoker boxes are made of durable materials that can be recycled.
If you prefer constructing a smoker box on your own, ensure you use an aluminum foil to build a ball with wood chips inside. After that, load wood chips on the tray then poke some holes on top to allow smoke escape.
Load the Wood Chips on the Smoker Box
Once the smoker box is ready, just load the wood chips (your preferred choice) then close it. The type of wood chips you use depends on the food cooked and your preferred taste.
Also, you can decide to soak the chips before loading them to your gas drill. Soaking helps to increase the density of the smoke. However, it’s not mandatory and you may skip it!
If you choose to soak, you can place the chips in water for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can use flavored liquid such as fruit juice or win to further add a unique taste to your BBQ.
Setting Up the Grill for Smoking
Having preheated the grill and loaded the smoker box with wood chips, you’ll now be ready to set up the grill for cooking.
At this point, make sure you turn off all the burners that are beneath the food to allow the food to cook at ambient temperature on the grill instead of direct heat or flame. How you set the grill for an indirect cooking ability will depend on the grill.
Now that you’ve set your grill burners correctly place the smoker box on top of the other remaining lit burner (one located on the right side). Close the lid when the box is in place then allow the grill to settle.
Set the Right Temperature
Note that before you add food on the grill, ensure you adjust the remaining burner to achieve the best grill temperature (usually between 225℉-250℉). Sometimes heat changes aren’t instantaneous, but you can allow more time for each adjustment to stabilize the temperature.
By the time the grill gets into the desired heat range, the smoker box will have started producing smoke. But if not, you’ll have to wait for a few minutes until it does that, then you can add your meat.
Immediately the grill temperature ranges between 225℉-250℉. It’s time to make things happen. Place the red meat on top of the unlit part of the burners then close the lid. At this time, you’ll be through with the hard work. You can now sit back then relax.
Add More Wood
Since your cooking time will run for many hours, make sure you occasionally check the smoker box to ensure that it’s still smoking. If not, keep topping up wood chips to keep the smoke going.
Although you’ll not have to do this during the entire cookout, continue adding and checking until the food temperature hits 160℉ internally. The cooked meat doesn’t absorb more smoke immediately it hits this temperature.
Sometimes when the food is cooking, resist the desire to remove the cover to check it as smoke will escape easily frequently. Furthermore, you’ll extend the cooking time each time you remove the cover.
How to Use a Smoker Box on a Gas Grill – What to Do When the Meat Is Done
When your BBQ is ready, and its internal temperature is past the required proper cooking temperature for each type of meat you are preparing, mostly, this doesn’t deliver the best results.
When cooking red meats such as pork and beef, ensure you continue cooking until the internal temperature of your food hits between 190℉-200℉. This high temperature makes all collagen and fats to render and completely break down to result in a juicy and tender hunk of meat.
When cooking poultry, be sure to cook it to 175℉ on the thigh and 160℉ on the breast before removing the food from the grill. Never listen or trust methods of checking for doneness that doesn’t involve inspecting the internal temperature.
How to Use a Smoker Box on a Gas Grill – Bottom Line
Who doesn’t like a little char on their BBQ? To many folks, owning a grill is not about the food; it’s only a matter of tradition. And that’s why smoker boxes were introduced.
These gadgets work great on gas grills to result in tasty and delicious meals with some amount of char and smokiness.
How to use a smoker box on a gas grill?Read this comprehensive guide for all the tips. You’ll achieve the best smoke level that you want. However, if you don’t have a smoker box, buy one! This will boost your grilling game to the next level.
Chef Boniface is a graduate in Culinary Arts from the Institute of Culinary Education, New York. He has worked in several restaurants and is currently the Head Chef at Cavali Restaurant.
He has excelled in developing unique recipes and influencing the menu at the restaurant. He prides himself in sharing his knowledge at thekitchenpot.com where he writes about the best cookware for various recipes.