How to Smoke on a Gas Grill — Your Grill Is Capable of So Much More!

Jeremy Bivens
Jeremy Bivens
Research Writer
Jeremy Bivens is a passionate writer and grilling enthusiast. He's been working as a freelance journalist for over 15 years now and has a particular interest in food writing read more
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Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams
Expert Consultant
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous read more
Last updated: August 08, 2023
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Have you ever tasted a smoked meal before? If you haven’t then we will have you know that you are missing out on a lot. It’s not only delicious; it’s tasty and adds a unique flavor, aroma, and taste to your food. However, the problem is that most people own a gas grill but are not aware that this grill can be converted to a smoker.

In this article, we will discover how to smoke on a gas grill. So, if you are wondering how to use a gas grill to smoke ribs, turkey, chicken, or anything else that comes to your mind, then look no further as this is explained in this article. There’s a lot to learn, so let’s get started already, shall we?

How’s smoking different from grilling?

How to Smoke on a Gas Grill — Your Grill Is Capable of So Much More!

Many are often confused about the difference between smoking and grilling. For some, it makes no difference as one could mean the other. While they seem similar, they are different in that grills have been designed to apply heat directly to food being cooked on a grate. This is why the time taken for food to be grilled is usually shorter.

Smoking, on the other hand, applies heat indirectly to the food being cooked. Heat could be applied using charcoal or a wood smoker. For smokers, the food usually gets to the cooking chamber via the fire chamber. Wondering how to smoke brisket on a gas grill or how to smoke on a Weber gas grill? Keep reading further to discover this and more.

How to turn your gas grill into a smoker

Rather than go through the stress of setting up a smoker, you can simply convert your gas grill into a smoker. Yes, it’s possible! To do this, follow the guidelines outlined below:

To begin, identify the heat source and thereafter set up your grill for indirect cooking. While cooking, it’s important to cook at a low and slow heat (between 225ºF to 250ºF). It’s important to avoid exposing your meat to the heat source as this would mean you are grilling and not smoking.

When the cooker is set up in such a way that the meat is not in direct contact with the heat, it allows the heat to circulate around the meat thereby resulting in the convention (this means heat is transferred to the food through air) while conduction then carries the surface heat through to the middle of the cut.

Play with the burners

Before you start grilling, it’s necessary to set up the cold and hot zones by turning on the burners or leaving them off. For instance, if your propane grill has four burners, you can turn on the first and second burners or the third and fourth burners. By doing this, you will create a single source of heat which allows you to position your meat in the cooler part of the grill.

However, if your propane grill features only three burners, turn on the burner closest to the left or to the right to high heat while also setting the middle burner to medium or low heat depending on the temperature you require. After this, leave the remaining burner off. As earlier stated, this will create a cool zone for the meat to be placed once it’s removed from the burner.

Make a water pan

Having identified the heat source, the set-up is to be continued. For this next stage, you will need an aluminum pan already filled with water, this makes it moist rather than dry while the wood chip gives it a smoky flavor. With a humid environment, the exterior of the meat is tacky and able to absorb smoke better.

Begin by removing the grill grates, then get an aluminum pan, fill it up with water halfway and then set it on a protective heat deflector in the hot part of the burner you have earlier left on.

Use wood chips to add smoke flavor

How to Smoke on a Gas Grill — Your Grill Is Capable of So Much More!

Wondering how to smoke on a gas grill with chips? Place some wood chips adjacent to the water pan and as close to the heat source as possible. However, to avoid the wood from flaring up, wrap your chunks or the wood chips in an aluminum foil while ensuring that some holes are poked at the top to enable the smoke to escape easily. There are different flavors of wood chips ranging from pecan, hickory to spicy apple.

Hence, ensure you select a flavor that complements the meal you are cooking. For instance, if you making a Smoked Honey Peppercorn Salmon, then the best wood chips to go for would be the hickory chips. Wood chips generally have a pungent and strong aroma. By soaking the chips; you will increase the amount of smoke.

So, if you are wondering how to get a smoke flavor on a gas grill, we hope this tip has been helpful. Place the wood chips between the heat deflectors that are around the hot zone. However, this will depend on the size of the wood chips.

How to smoke food on a gas grill

To smoke your food on a gas grill, take the following steps:

Load the food

Place your food (salmon, brisket, meat, ribs, turkey and other types of meat) on the opposite end of the grill (away from the hot burner). After this, close the lid.

Control the temperature

It’s important that the temperature is controlled. This can be done using a thermocouple probe thermometer; this monitors the temperature at the grill grate. It can also be placed anywhere on the grill surface and is designed to withstand temperature up to 660ºF.

Take your time

With the food placed on the grill, covered and temperature-controlled, it’s time to take a step back and give it time. The smoking usually takes about one to six hours: hence you will need to be patient.


How to Smoke on a Gas Grill — Your Grill Is Capable of So Much More!

Smoking on a gas grill has never been easier. All you need do is follow the steps outlined in this article and before long you will have a rich aroma wafting through the air while the taste of the meal will leave you longing for more.

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