posted on July 31, 2015 11:59
That great smoky flavor is something all grill aficionados love. But it's hard to replicate on a gas grill. While they are great for convenience, gas grills don't deliver the same experience as charcoal grills do. You can capture the taste of food smoked over charcoal or wood on your gas grill, and we’ll tell you how.
Getting That Smoky Flavor
In a gas grill, you can obtain that smoky flavor by using wood chips. Hickory and fruit woods like apple or cherry are very popular and work well on gas grills. Mesquite chips deliver flavors reminiscent of the Southwest. You can even find specialty chips with their own unique flavor. Our Whiskey Barrel Oak Chips are great at adding that bold smoke flavor meats, cheeses, and even veggies.
If you're going to cook with wood chips you'll need to do a little advance planning. First, decide the best pairing of wood to the food you are smoking, then set the chips to soak. They need to soak in water, beer, or juice for at least 30 minutes prior to use. Soaking helps the chips smolder rather then burn up quickly. This slow smolder is what imparts the smoky flavor into food. Once soaked and the grill preheated, place the chips into a Napoleon Smoker Tube, or a foil packet, and over the lit burner.
Fully cooking meat using smoke takes patience and time. A properly smoked brisket or pulled pork takes upwards of 12 hours or more. This is due to the low temperature. Low and slow is where it’s at for smoking. You don’t have to take your time however. You can impart that smoky flavor on food that you’re not taking your time to smoke too. It doesn’t have the same effect, but it is still tasty. Use soaked wood chips in the Napoleon Smoker Tube and grill anything that requires you to leave the lid down.
Tools You'll Need
Obviously, you can't just toss wet wood chips into the bottom of your gas grill. You need to contain them in something like Napoleon's Smoker Tube. A container will hold the wet chips in place, collect the ash that inevitably falls from them, and give you a means to move the chips around and out of the grill easily. Smoker tubes or pipes, as they are sometimes called, also restrict airflow so your chips don't burn out too fast.
That's all there is to it! It's not very difficult to recreate the smoky flavor of charcoal or wood cooking on a gas grill once you understand the basics. Now you're ready for the fun part - experimenting with different wood and food combinations! Leave a comment below if you've found an awesome combo to share with us!