Mastering The Use Of Your Grill As A Smoker

Turning Your Grill into a Smoker

Are you a barbecue enthusiast looking to take your grilling game to new heights? Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to use your standard grill as a smoker? The answer is a hearty ‘yes’, with some minor modifications and understanding of the basics. Plus, it saves you the cost of investing in a whole new piece of equipment. This article will show you how to morph your grill into a functional smoker in a few straightforward steps. You’ll be smoking meats unbelievably well, rivalling even the best built in bbqs Australia has to offer.

Understanding the Basics

Smoking creates a profound depth of flavour that grilling alone can’t achieve. It’s a slow cooking process where food is infused with the flavours of the burning hardwood. The basic idea behind using your grill as a smoker is to cook your food at low heat while generating a lot of smoke.

Gas Grill vs Charcoal: Can Both Be Used as Smokers?

A point to note is that both gas and charcoal grills can be used as smokers, though each has its pros and cons. Gas grills are easier to control in terms of heat. On the downside, the smokiness might not be as intense due to diminished contact with actual burning wood. Charcoal grills, on the other hand, give a robust smoky flavour as the food there has direct contact with the smoke from wood chunks and not just the vapours.

How to Use the Grill as a Smoker

Step 1: Choose Your Wood Wisely

Wood is the essence of smoking, as it imparts distinct flavours to your food. Hardwoods like hickory, oak or mesquite are commonly used. Applewood or cherrywood provide a sweet and fruity flavour, suitable for poultry or pork. Always avoid softwoods like pine, as they produce a lot of soot and don’t deliver the desired taste.

Step 2: Set Up a Two-Zone Heat

This step is all about the arrangement of your coals. The two-zone heat grill setup involves placing all the lit coals on one side of the grill, leaving the other side void. This arrangement allows for indirect cooking, crucial for the slow and low smoking process.

Step 3: Regulating Your Heat

The key temperature for smoking food usually lies between 225-275ºF. If you’re using a gas grill, achieve this temperature by adjusting the burners. For a charcoal grill, regulate the heat by adjusting the grill vents. Open them widely for more oxygen, which will increase the heat, and narrow them down to decrease the temperature.

Step 4: Generate Smoke

Another pro tip is soaking your wood chips in water for about 1 hour before adding them to the hot coals. The soaked wood chips generate more and longer-lasting smoke.

Step 5: Let the Grill Do Its Magic

Finally, place your food on the cool side of the grill and close the lid. Low and slow is the mantra here. Patience and low heat will result in a deeply smoked, tender final product.

With the proper techniques, turning your regular grill into a smoker is possible. Remember that practice makes perfect. Start experimenting with different woods and foods, and in no time, you’ll be smoking like a professional, matching up with the best built in bbqs Australia can provide.