Tips for Smoking on a Gas Grill

The key to successfully smoking on a gas grill is indirect heat and temperature control. First and foremost, you need a grill with at least 2 burners and an accurate temperature gauge. While some grills come with an integrated smoker tray (like the Napoleon Prestige PRO 665 and Prestige PRO 825), there are still options if yours doesn't already contain this feature. We suggest purchasing a stainless steel smoker tube, like this one. Not only is it easy to use, but it's also dishwasher safe and easy to clean. Simply fill the smoker tube with soaked or unsoaked wood chips and place over a lit burner. When the pipe stops smoking, it is time to replace the contents. This is an easy and foolproof way to enhance your food with a genuine smoke flavor. Don't have a smoker tube? No worries, you can make your own. Grab some aluminum foil and create a packet. Place the chips inside and securely fold the foil around the chips. Poke a few holes in the top to allow the smoke to escape and you're good to go!

Chips, Chunks or Pellets

Wood chunks are typically preferred for a long smoke. They are denser and last longer. Chunks won't need to be checked on or replaced as frequently. Wood chips are smaller and less dense. They're ideal for short, quick bursts of smoke and typically can last up to one hour. Wood pellets are made from hardwood sawdust and organic matter. They're typically used in electronic smokers as they need to be replaced frequently.

Wood Chips

Wood Chunks

Wood Pellets

The Great Debate: Soaking Wood Chips

While it was once thought best to soak wood chips before using them, many people now disagree. It was once recommended to soak the wood chips up to an hour before smoking to keep them from igniting too quickly. However, many BBQ experts now say it isn't necessary. Wet wood chips must first burn off the liquid before they start to smoke. This process creates steam, not smoke and leads to longer cooking times. While it does make the wood chips "last longer", it doesn't necessarily have much benefit in terms of enhancing the flavor. Our suggestion: experiment with both options to see what works best for your taste preferences.

Basic Smoking Tips

  • When it comes to perfectly smoked food, patience is a virtue. Think low and slow! It can take up to 12 hours for a perfectly smoked brisket!
  • The ideal temperature for smoking is between 225° and 250° F. It may take some experimentation with your grill to figure out the right burner set up in order to achieve this constant temperature.
  • Always start with room temperature meat- this will prevent the grill temperature from dropping.
  • Don't overdo the smoke! Start with a small amount of chips or chunks and build the flavor from there.
  • We know you're curious, but try to keep the grill closed as much as possible. Every time you open the grill, you'll lose heat and smoke.
  • Stick with hard or semi-hard wood options. Take a look at some of our favorites below.

Our Favorite Flavors

  • Apple Wood - Semi-hardwood with a mild, sweet and fruity smoke. Ideal for poultry, fish, pork, veal and vegetables.
  • Cherry Wood - Semi-hardwood with a sweet, tart and fruity smoke. Ideal for poultry, fish, pork, veal, game, vegetables and fruit.
  • Hickory Wood - Hardwood with a bold smoke flavor. Ideal for pork, bacon, turkey, steak, game and mushrooms.
  • Maple Wood - Hardwood with a sweet, subtle and balanced smoke. Ideal for poultry, pork, trout, salmon and pizza.
  • Mesquite Wood - Hardwood with a sweet and strong flavor, typical of Southwestern BBQ flavor. Ideal for beef, pork and poultry.