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Smoked meats and veggies

Tips for Smoking Meat on a Gas Grill

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Meat is a delicacy that has various ways of cooking. One of such ways may include smoking it on a gas grill just so that you may add flavor to it and improve its appearance during a serving. Also, before cooking, always ensure you have seasoned your grill, especially if it is new. Apart from the serving, you may also use this method of preparing your meat if you need to preserve as it increases your shelf-life. Today, it has become more efficient to smoke meat as one may use a gas grill and wood chips to make the work easier (learn more about charcoal vs gas grills). How do you do it? Here are some tips for how to smoke meat on your gas grill:

Meat in bowl and marinadePrepare the Meat

The first thing you need to do is prep your meat by marinating it. You may use a marinade that fits the meat type you want to smoke but ensure you do not do it in excess as you still need the taste of the smoke in your meat. Marinating should always be done before smoking so that the juices may get into your meat and enhance the flavor of each bite. After marinating, ensure that you drain your meat entirely and let it settle in room temperature before you smoke it.

Soak the Wood Chips

You certainly want to get the best out of the wood chips, and hence you need to soak them in water so that they do not burn but rather smoke. The smoke is what you are after therefore, choose your wooden chips wisely so that as you wet and smoke them, they may last longer on your grill. The oak, apple, hickory, citrus, cherry and pecan are some of the best chips to use. Chips from their trees not only smoke your meat but also give it a taste of that fruit or flavor. Depending on your preference, choose the wood that serves your meat right, get wooden chips and soak them. Soaking should be done for not less than 30 minutes so that they may be thoroughly moist. If you do not do this for the recommended time, you may have a flame that will roast instead of smoking on your gas grill, which certainly is not what you had planned for.

Wood chips

Preheat the Gas Grill

You may preheat your gas grill as you let the wooden chips to soak. Preheating should, however, take 10-20 minutes so that you may start right away getting your meat cooked after you place the meat on it. If this is your first time to use your grill, take a look at our article explaining how to use a propane gas grill for the first time. While you preheat, always have a brush close by so that you may clean the cooking grates. Be gentle while brushing and use some clean water sprinkles to make it easier. If you’re interested take a look at our comparison of some of the best gas grills you can find for under $500.

Add the Soaked Wood Chips in the Smoker Box

After at least 30 minutes are done and you have preheated your gas grill and cleaned your grates, you may now add the soaked chips to the smoker box. Always check first for ash inside before placing your wooding chips. If the smoker box has some, remove it all before placing your soaked wood chips inside. Use a tong to put all your wet wood chips now inside. Shake off the extra water to drain using your tongs and as you insert them to ensure that they are well placed, exposing them to the burner. Spread them out evenly so that as you smoke your meat, all smoke will get to it. After your done placing all your chips, you may now proceed to close its lid and lower the burner below from medium to low so that you do not rush your smoking process.

No Smoker Box? No Problem!

Many models of gas grills do not come with a smoker box included (i.e. Weber Spirit II E-310) , although they are becoming more popular. Having a smoker box definitely makes things easier, but if you don’t have one, you can make your own makeshift box. Using a foil pan and aluminum foil you can make a miniature smoker box. Perforate the aluminum foil with enough holes to allow the smoke to escape. Place the drained wood chips in the foil pan and place the aluminum foil lid over the pan. Place the makeshift smoker box where you prefer on the grill and turn the burner(s) up to high until the wood begins to smoke. Place your meat on the grill and start cooking the meat. Ensure you adjust the burner temperatures as needed until your meat has been cooked properly. While it doesn’t work as well as a dedicated smoker box, it will work in a pinch.

Place the Meat on the Grill

Smoked ham being cutAfter all is set up, you may now place your marinated meat on the gas grill for smoking. Place each cut, strip or piece of meat in an orderly manner that will ensure that all your meat will get cooked and at the same time get smoked. As the gas grills grates are preheated, your meat will start cooking immediately. As it cooks, use your bi-metal thermometer if you have one, to keep checking on the temperature so that you do not over grill. You may turn your knobs from medium to high, medium to low, low to high or high to low as a way of controlling the temps. Also, as you check on the temperature of the grill, check on the smokebox to see to it that you still have enough chips smoking your meat. Do not keep opening your grill’s lid as you will let your smoke out. Only open if necessary but at least let it be minimized. Let the smoke accumulate and smoke your meat so that it absorbs it and the flavor gets in the meat.

What to Avoid

1. Over-smoking

You are smoking your meat to add flavor, and it should be done to the right amount. Do not overstuff your smokebox with wooden chips as this may over smoke your meat and spoil the flavor of the meat.

2. Woods from conifers

While you choose the wood chips, it’s wise if you avoided the conifers such as cypress, spruce, fir, pine and redwood as they may tend not to have the best taste. They have high levels of sap which may end up making your meat have a funny taste.