How to Smoke on a Gas Grill for Fantastic Meals
Is smoking on a gas grill ideal? This is one of the many questions most gas grill owners (or prospective owners) have asked over the years and this is because gas grills have not been specifically designed to smoke meat. The lids are designed in such a way that smoke escapes easily, meaning that your food will not absorb as much of the smoke flavor as you might want it to.
Does this mean that you can’t smoke on a grass grill at all though? Certainly not. While it is not entirely out of reach to smoke meats or vegetables on your gas grill, if you have a large amount of food to smoke, you might want to consider getting one of the dedicated smokers instead. But if you’re only looking to smoke a small amount of food, this guide is for you!
First, you have to follow certain predetermined steps if you are to achieve success. To help you out, this piece will discuss how you can smoke food on a gas grill as well as some extra tips you should take to heart.
What to Know Before Using a Gas Grill to Smoke Barbecue
Although most of the gas grills currently available on the market are far easier to control and manage, there’s a whole lot of underlying factors that all gas grill owners should pay close attention to. These underlying factors go way beyond turning your burner dials up and down, which could either make or mar your entire barbecue smoke on a whim.
Getting these underlying factors right have proven to be effective as they have been used time and again by most gas grill owners. In fact, some experts believe these factors are key to a successful barbecue on a gas grill. They are:
1. Double Zone Setup
According to most experts and cook books, one of the key factors capable of ruining your chances of a successful meat smoke is the rare act of mastering the temperature control settings of your burner. So, what does this mean?
Without the ability to control the temperature of your burner as you set out to smoke your food, you will either expose your food to direct flames, or worse, heat it at a temperature that is above 300 degrees Fahrenheit. You definitely don’t want that for smoking purposes.
To keep this from happening, you need to turn on the two distinct zones of your burner (if you make use of two burners). How does this work? When those burners are turned on, one of them will produce extra heat (to be contained by your grill cover) while the other is solely responsible for cooking your food. The burner without food creates the conditions for smoking.
2. Monitor the Temperature of Your Grill
Unfortunately, many thermometers that come with standard gas grills are not as accurate as they need to be for this purpose. Depending on the brand, some of these thermometers are off by at least 10 degrees Fahrenheit. That is an awful lot if you’re to precisely maintain the temperature of your barbecue.
While there are tons of alternatives to use, a working digital thermometer will suffice. Since most quality thermometers come with two probes, you will know when your meat is ready.
3. Configuring Your Burners
Configuring your burners can prove to be a difficult task for many people, especially those that own four or more burners — but there’s still a way they can go about it. If you own a two-burner gas grill, you simply need to follow the steps above.
However, to configure your four-burner gas grill, it’s slightly more complicated. The first set of burners should be left on for the food, while the second set is turned on without any food directly above it. The tricky part only comes from monitoring the temperature. You may have to experiment a few times to really get the method down.
Other Tips for Smoking Food on a Gas Grill
While smoking on a gas grill is not as complicated as most people think it is, I’d advise that you get everything you need ready and in reach first. This will help you focus primarily on your grill setup once you start.
Some of the things you need to have already include:
- Smoking wood or pellets
- A good supply of propane
- Any sauce or rubs you’re planning on using
Once all essential items are available, you simply have to follow these steps:
Step 1: Your Burner Should be Left at (About) Medium Heat
Before you can smoke your meat on a gas grill, you simply need to turn the burner to medium heat. The burner to be turned on should be the one at the far end of the gas grill. As mentioned earlier, you need to get a quality digital thermometer. If you already have one, this is the best time to turn it on and close the lid. Carefully monitor the temperature until it gets to your desired temperature range which is about 225 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
You now have to give the burner enough time to preheat, ideally, it is advised that you let your burner preheat for at least 15 to 20 minutes. If you are having a hard time getting your burner to reach the desired temperature, you may consider one of the additional burners to help out.
Step 2: You Need to Add Wood Pellets
If you’ve allowed your burner or gas grill to preheat, the next thing you have to do is add wood pellets to the grill. Since your burner has been preheated already, you will need to make use of a heavy glove to remove the grates so you can add the wood chips (don’t add them before you turn on the burners).
After adding wood, light one (if necessary) of the wood pellets and place them close to the grates.
Step 3; You Can Smoke Meat Now!
After adding enough wood pellets, you simply need to place your food down and begin heating it. Have your meat placed at the opposite side of the burner, then close the lid.
From here , you only have to monitor your food as you normally would.
Smoking on a gas grill is quite easy once you get the hang of it, regardless of the type of grill you own. Happy smoking!