How to Use a Gas Smoker — Ultimate Guide
Sometimes, when we need to have an outdoor event, we find it difficult to gather all our cooking appliances at once, so we decide to opt-in for an easier and more traditional method. One of these options is the gas smoking method.
It is quite easy to use and often used by barbeque chefs for either grilling or roasting. It is quite effective at its tasks but to an inexperienced person, it might seem like a dead-end task.
The gas smoking method can be compared to the charcoal smoking technique but there’s just a slight difference. Here in this article we will talk about how to use a gas smoker.
What is a Gas Smoker?
A gas smoker (otherwise known as a vertical propane smoker) is an outdoor cooking device that smokes, grills, or roasts food using propane as its source of heat. Compared to its cooking counterpart, the charcoal smoker, the gas smoker uses neutral gas (propane) as its source of heat.
This type of smoker is relatively easier to operate, neater, and more efficient at its task compared to the charcoal smoker.
Although they both are quite easy to use, the major difference between them is the source of heat energy. (The charcoal smoker generates energy from the traditional charcoal briquettes.)
To be able to use the gas smoker, it is advisable to know and understand its components. So let us dive into these next.
Parts of a Gas Smoker
In a gas smoker, the cooking space is placed at the top while the heat source is at the bottom, just like every other cooker.
The components are:
1. The Grill Racks
This grill rack holds the food that you place in the vertical propane smoker. Most gas smokers are also partitioned into various sections.
If you want to grill food, you can either place it directly on the rack or place it on a cast iron skillet on the racks.
2. Water Pan
Coldwater is put into this pan, to regulate the internal temperature of the smoker.
It is placed above the chip tray.
3. Chip Tray
The chip tray surrounds the gas burner, and it holds the wood chips that burn to produce smoke, which aids in the convection process. It is also called a wood chip tray.
This is placed at the bottom of the vertical smoker. It is made of stainless steel and is filled with propane as its source of heat.
5. Vents and Dampers
At the top of the smoker are the vents and dampers. They are opened to allow heat escape from the smoker.
How Does it Work?
The gas smoker works in a very simple manner, just like any other smoker.
The propane heats wood chips (on the wood chip tray) which releases the heat that cooks the food.
How to Use a Gas Smoker
- Season the food that you want to smoke.
- Soak the wood chips in water for about half an hour to increase the smoke and release the wood flavor.
- Bonus: visit a store to get the wood chips. They come in different flavors.
- Secure the connections of the smoker. The propane cylinder must be tightly secured to the vertical smoker.
- Line the water tray with aluminum foil and fill it up with some water. Place it back in the smoker after a while.
- Fill the wood chip tray with the already-soaked wood chips. Place it on the racks.
- Open the vents and dampers.
- Turn on the propane tank. Leave the burner off and the door opens.
- Turn on the burner and close the door.
- Preheat the wood chips for several minutes.
- Once smoke is generated, place your food on the bottom grill rack.
- Smoke the food for about an hour or more.
- However, the time is dependent on the type of food you are smoking.
- If you notice the wood chips are not smoking anymore, add some more. You can do this by lifting the wood chip tray cover with some tongs and adding more chips using a long spoon.
The steps above are a great place to start and will make the procedure much easier.
Pros and Cons of a Gas Smoker
- It is easy to operate. Once you understand the procedure, you will find it less difficult to use.
- It is cheaper to purchase than an electric smoker.
- It does not consume much space.
- It comes in different sizes.
- It is not overly heavy, hence it’s mobile.
- It is easy to clean and maintain.
- It is more dependable and malleable.
- Cooking with a gas smoker gives the food a unique flavor and spice.
- It will last a long time.
- They are not well insulated.
- Natural gas (propane) can be expensive to purchase.
- The gas tanks must not be left in very hot areas so they do not explode (they are combustible).
Tips on How to Care of Your Gas Smoker
- Ensure that you clean before and after use.
- Clean the grease off immediately to prevent the growth of molds and rust.
- Repaint the smoker when it begins to rust.
- Remove the ashes of the wood chips after use.
- Line the water pan with foil to aid in cleaning.
The gas smoker is a good type of outdoor smoking device to use. It is quite easier to use than its electric counterpart.
Using this, your food will develop a unique taste and it will boost your cooking skills.
Nonetheless, I hope this post has been able to teach you in a detailed way how to efficiently use the gas smoker for your outdoor parties.
If you don’t have one, it is recommended that you get one and place it on your patio. It’s worth it!