How to Get Smoky Flavor with a Gas Grill?

smoky flavor from a gas grill

Do you love smoky-flavored foods?

From aroma to presentation, smoking significantly improves food quality and makes eating an unforgettable indulgence regardless of the place.

However, the smoky flavor isn’t just limited to pellet and charcoal smokers, but it can easily be achievable on a gas-powered grill as well.

From vegetables to meat, nut, cheese, and what not! You can get the smoky flavor in any food using a gas grill.

But how?

In this article, we’ll describe three methods you can use to smoke food in your backyard without the need for a pellet smoker in easy-to-follow steps. Come along and you will soon be an expert in gas grill smoking.

1. Smoker Box

High-end gas grills come with an in-built smoker box above the burner. But you can also purchase a stand-alone smoker box if your grill lacks one.

A smoker box is a small metallic box that accommodates wood chips. It’s usually made of stainless steel, which allows you to add a wood smoked flavor to your meals without the use of a pellet smoker.

Typically, it is rectangular and houses wood chunks or chips, which smolder to release smoke. The smoker box has holes on the upper side through the smoke escapes and wafts across your food to impart the smoky flavor.

Our recommendation: Weber 7576 Universal Stainless Steel Smoker Box

weber smoker box

The universal 7576 is an essential grilling accessory by Weber, that will go with you in transforming your gas grill into a ‘barbeque smoker’.

As the name suggests, it is a fit-all smoker box and only requires you to add wood chunks or wood chips of your preferred flavor to get a mouth-watering meal.

With the Weber 7576, you do need to remove the smoker box from the grill to add more wood chunks. The hinged lid makes it possible to add chips seamlessly even while the box is in use.

This smoker box is constructed using high-grade stainless steel that gives it the ability to withstand the high grill temperatures and remain in good form after several episodes of use.

How it works

  • To create smoky flavor, Soak the wood chunks for about an hour before loading them into the smoker box. Whether you are using apple, oak, pecan, or any other fruitwood, soaking helps keep moisture in the grill and soften the food.
  • Place the smoker box on the cooking grate and then start the grill. Alternatively, you can put it on the angled metal plates that sit just below the grate if the box is V-shaped. This helps to prevent the flaming of the wood chips before the grill is thoroughly preheated.
  • Switch on the grill burners. Once smoke appears, turn off the side of the grill away from the box. The side of the grill with the smoker box is referred to as the hot side while the other is the cold side. Food is placed on the cold side and the grill lid is closed. This phenomenon is largely termed as cooking with indirect heat.

2. Smoker Tube

A smoker tube is a simple device with perforations all around it that allows you to turn cooking into an adventure. It is made of stainless steel, pellet smoker tubes come in different shapes and sizes although the cylindrical ones are the most common.

For the best results of smoking, consider: A-MAZE-N OET 002 Oval Expanding Pellet Tube Smoker

amazen smoking tube
Compact and durable, the A-MAZE-N tuber smoker fits virtually grill of any size. Despite its size, this highly portable item produces smoke of high quality that makes it suitable for both cold and hot smoking.

By pulling, you can extend the size of this pellet smoker tube from 12 inches to 18 inches to fit your grill snugly. At the 12-inch position, the tube will smolder for up to 4 hours and up to 6 hours in the 18-inch position during cold smoking. Meat, cheese, and nuts are some of the foods to cold smoke with this tube.

You can also use it to supplement smoking in your gas grill or electric grill at temperatures of over 225 degrees. At such low cooking temperatures, most smokers and pellet grills don’t produce adequate smoke, but this versatile product will ensure you get the smoky flavors infused in your meats or sausages perfectly.

Its unique oval shape prevents the tube from rolling around in the gas grill or smoker and also reduces the amount of space it consumes.

How it works

1. Fill out the smoker tube with either wood pellets.

2. Then use a butane torch to ignite one end of the tube and place it on the smoking area. Blowing the lit end of the smoker tube can help establish the ignition.

3. Depending on the length of the tube, it will smolder for about 2-5 hours. The type of wood pellets used also affects the duration this smoker will take.

Note: Unlike wood chips that requires soaking for at least one hour to prevent burning, wood-pellets doesn’t need to be soaked. With wood pellets, you can smoke your food using more than one flavor by alternating pellets containing the desired flavors. So, for better flavor and quicker smoke Wood pellets are preferable.

3. DIY Foil Pouch

smoking with foil pouch

Credit: The Gunny Sack

If you have neither a smoker box nor a smoker tube, you can still smoke your favorite food on a propane gas grill using the Foil pouch technique. This method uses an improvised smoker pan made from aluminum foil.

How it works

1. Place pre-soaked wood chips at the center of a rectangular piece of aluminum foil.

2. Fold the foil to cover the wood chips fully.

3. Now poke some holes on one side of the foil. These holes provide the route of escape for the smoke once the grill is turned and the wood chips begin to smolder.

4. Next, put the foil pouch over the burner and fix the grates back into position. Turn on the grill with the main burners set at ‘High’ for approximately 15 minutes. Once the wood chips begin smoldering, reset the burners to the values recommended for grilling that specific food.

While the foil pouch technique is an incredible substitute for a barbeque smoker, a pouch is only good for a single cook.

Limitations

Smoking with a gas grill is generally a tedious task, the results may not be appealing too especially with large pieces of meat. Wood chips does not produce an adequate amount of smoke and require frequent replenishing too. As a result, the flavor may not be as smoky as it would be in an ideal pellet smoker.

The Bottom Line

With a gas grill, you can now get smoky flavors by using either a smoker box, smoker tube, or improvising a foil pouch. You don’t need any prior experience to try this in your kitchen and there is no limit to what you can smoke.

So why not take the adventurous journey with your cooking?