How To Use Wood Chips on a Gas Grill

If you are interested in creating a smoky, flavorful, grilled meal at home, you need to use the right equipment. Even though you might think you need to spring for a charcoal grill, this is not necessarily the case. Many health-conscious people are looking to ditch the charcoal grill due to the chemicals in charcoal and lighter fluid that get into their food. Many folks hesitate in purchasing a gas grill because they say it does not provide the favor you get with charcoal. Since Gas is essentially tasteless, how you season your food is super important. You do get flavor from the drippings on your heat disbursement part as well but this does good and bad in a grill. First, you would have to have used the grill several times to get the build-up of the drippings. Though, the drippings provide a smoky infusion in your food, the collection of the grease and sauce wreaks havoc on the part itself. The continual heating from the fire below and cooling will cause this part to deteriorate quickly. So, if you want to be repeatedly replacing your briquette tray, flavor grid or heat plate, you can use this as a method of favoring your food. We say do not do this. Clean the part and use seasoning (including sauces) to add flavor. Another method is using wood chips and chunks (even herbs).

You are able to achieve some amazing flavors when you use a gas grill. You do this with grill seasoning or you can even use wood chips on the gas grill, providing your meat and veggies with the smoky taste you love. How exactly do you do this? What do you need to be aware of? There are several important points you should keep in mind.

Wood Chips Come in a Variety of Flavors

First, understand that woodchips come in a wide variety of flavors. Therefore, you have to think about the flavor of wood chips you want to use if you want to get the right flavor in your meat. For example, some of the most popular wood chip flavors include MesquiteAppleHickory, and even Jack Daniels!

Think about the type of flavor you want to use. For example, apple wood chips are going to provide a subtle sweet flavor. These are best used to smoke your fish, chicken and veggies. Mesquite and Hickory have a more robust, smokier flavor. Therefore, they are great for your pork and beef. If you do not know what type of wood chips you would like to use on your gas grill, you may want to go with Hickory, as this is a classic, safe choice with which you will probably be familiar. Try mixing a bunch for a flavorful combination.

Always Soak the Wood Chips in the Water First

Once you have picked the type of wood chips you want to use, you should soak them in water for at least 30 minutes  before adding them to your grill. Ideally, you should soak them in water for at least 45 minutes to an hour. The purpose of soaking them is that when the wood chips get heated they smoke versus catching on fire. You cannot place them on your gas grill without soaking them in water first. If you do not soak them in water, they will simply catch fire when you put them on the gas grill, leading to the potential for a fire emergency.

After you have soaked your wood chips in water, take out a disposable aluminum tray or a smoker box (more on this later). Then, add your soaked wood chips to it. If you do not own an aluminum tray, you can always create one using multiple layers of aluminum foil. If you plan to smoke your meat for more than an hour, you may want to poke a few holes in the aluminum foil pouch. That way, the smoke will gradually release from the aluminum foil pouch as you grill the meat.

Smoke the Wood Chips Before the Meat

If you look at your gas grill, there may be multiple grill grates on the grill. You should remove one of the grates first. If your grill just has one grill grate, lift it up and place your smoker box on your heat diffuser. Then, use a smoker tray or use aluminum foil to create a pouch to place your soaked wood chips. After this, you should preheat the gas grill and turn the burners up too high. After the burner has been turned on, close the hood and leave it closed for about 5 to 10 minutes. After a few minutes, you should begin to see smoke coming from the gas grill. Smoke is a sign that your wood chips are ready.. when the smoking starts, turn the heat down to avoid a wood flare-up.

Once the wood chips are ready, place the meat and vegetables on the grill and grill them to your personal preferences. Then, smoke your meat and vegetables for as long as you would like. If you are interested in searing them, you can turn the heat up too high for a few minutes. This will create a contrast and texture between the exterior of your meat and the interior.

You can continue to smoke your food when the grill is on low with the hood closed. 

Some grills (like Alfresco) include a smoker tray with a dedicated smoker burner that slowly heat the wood and herbs placed in the smoker box. There are even some grills that may not have a smoker burner but, they do include smoker boxes. These include Lynx and Twin Eagles. There is even a dedicated multi-fuel grill from American Made Grills that give you an array of options.

Get More Out of Your Wood Chips with a Smoker Box

If you would like to get more out of your wood chips, you can place them in a smoker box. Even though this is not required, it has been specifically designed to release smoke, infusing your meat and vegetables. You can also take a look inside the smoker box when it is finished, looking at the results of your work. If you are planning on using your girl regularly, this may be something you want to purchase.

Get the Best Grilling Equipment from BBQ Depot

If you want to produce exceptional meat and vegetables on your gas grill, you have to have the right equipment. Take a look at the grills, gas, and cooking utensils available from BBQ Depot. You can elevate your grilling skills to new heights. Check out the selection today!

by Tracy Hollander on 15th Jul 2021
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