You miss the smoke flavor of food straight from a charcoal grill ? Everyone keeps saying how food from a gas grill has a weak flavor because gas doesn’t make any smoke.
It’s true that gas doesn’t make any smoke, but that doesn’t mean that food from a gas grill is weak. It is definitely different from that from a charcoal grill, but it all boils down to individual taste preferences.
Not everyone knows, though, that there are methods that make it possible to create smoke on a gas grill. That way you can enrich the flavor of your food so that it is almost like that from a charcoal grill.
How is this possible?
Yeah, you read that right. A gas grill can create smoke, and the most valuable kind too, enriching the flavor of your food enough for it to not be much different from food from a traditional charcoal grill in terms of taste.
Hold on, hold on… How does it work?
In order to create smoke, you need wood chips and something to put wood chips in. The point of this method is for a burner to warm up the container with wood chips, which will start creating smoke. Wood chips cannot be in direct contact with the burner or else they will burn up very fast, which is why a special container is used that transmits the heat directly to the wood chips without burning them.
That’s why it is important for you to have a special dedicated smoker box. If you don’t have a smoker box, though, you can quickly prepare an alternative wood chips container ( smoke bomb pouch ).
Relax, you can learn in detail how to use both methods below.
A smoker box is great for those who plan to use it often in order to create smoke, whereas a smoke bomb pouch is a one-time method if you don’t have a special smoker box, being easy to make out of basic materials that I think everyone has at home
1. Smoker Box
Smoker Box is a wood chips container that can be found as a basic option in expensive high-end gas grills or purchased separately at stores. If you don’t have it in your grill equipment, I suggest you buy it as soon as possible, it is an inexpensive accessory but certainly a useful one.
This container has holes on one side for smoke to come out of ( usually on the top or on the side ). All the other walls are closed, without holes, why? It protects the wood chips from direct contact with fire and prevents the wood chips from burning up. Plenty of people soak the wood chips in water for half an hour first to prevent them from catching fire.
If you have the right smoker box with holes on only one wall, it is not necessary. One downside of wet wood chips is that they need much more time to create smoke.
How to use it?
Prepare wood chips ( they can be dry ), then put them in the smoker box and close the container. Place the smoker Box as close to the source of heat as possible, preferably over the burner. Make sure that the side with the holes faces up so that the smoke can freely leave the container.
Now close the grill’s lid and wait for the smoker box to warm up and start creating smoke. It is important for the smoker box to get hot enough, so if you want to make the process faster, just set the burner to full power. Once you see smoke coming out of the container, you can lower the burner’s power.
Once you see a large amount of smoke, you can already start cooking your food. Remember that wood chips will eventually burn down which is why you should refill the smoker box with more wood chips once in a while or just put on another smoker box if you have one.
It is a very good method to get a large amount of smoke when cooking on a gas grill. Smoker Box is a cheap gadget that every owner of a gas grill should have. The way it works and is operated is very simple and fast, which is why we believe that you should get yourself such gadget.
2. Smoke Bomb Pouch
Let’s move on to the second method, which allows to generate a large amount of smoke on a propane grill using a bag made of basic materials that most of us always have at home. It is a method for those who don’t have a smoker box, but still want to create something that resembles a bag and works like a smoker box at home.
Sadly, those are single-use bags ( one can last for about 30 minutes ) which is why it’s better to make several such bags.
So let’s get to the point. What are you going to need?
- Wood Chips
- Aluminum foil
Prepare a large sheet of durable foil that should be then folded into a bag. Leave a hole on one side to pour the wood chips through, then fold the foil so that it is air-tight on every side. That way you’ll create an air-tight bag that the wood chips won’t fall out of and the smoke won’t come out of the gaps on the sides.
Now there’s one more important thing to do. The bag is air-tight, right? Now you have to make a tiny hole in the center of the upper side of the bag. That’s where the smoke will come out.
Place the resulting foil bag with wood chips inside directly over a burner. Make sure that the side with the hole faces up.
Next, just like with a smoker box, start the grill and crank up the burner all the way so that the foil bag warms up fast. When you see smoke coming out of the tiny hole in the foil, you can lower the burner’s power and start cooking food. Remember that a single foil pack can only last for about 30 minutes. It means that when cooking for a longer time, it will be a good idea to prepare several such bags.
If you don’t cook too often or just want to see the smoke effect on a gas grill, then this method might work for you at the beginning. If you want to regularly cook on a gas grill with added smoke then we suggest buying a smoker box, which can be used multiple times.
Having smoke on a gas grill is definitely an interesting experience that allows to enrich the flavor of food so that it resembles the flavor of food from a charcoal grill at least a little. Remember that you will never get the full traditional smoke flavor like on the above mentioned charcoal grill, but it’s a good idea to try and see for yourself if it is worth it.
Aluminum foil is a good method for beginners who wish to generate smoke in a cheap, easy and fast way in order to see if there’s a point in the first place. If you actually like it, however, I suggest buying a decent smoker box, which is not expensive but still allows to get a large amount of smoke quickly and easily.
Smoker Box was made to be used multiple times, which will allow you to save a lot of time by taking preparing foil bags out of your chores before the next time you smoke meat on a gas grill.