Using Wood Chips to Add Smoke Flavor in a Gas Grill


 

LMichaels

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
So what I am seeing is pellets HAVE to actually be ignited and burn. Chips (at least how I use them) no. I simply put them into a container (foil or that little water tub from the Weber smoker) put some holes in the foil top and drop it on the left front corner of my flavo bars and I get smoke. No drama and so on. So what would make me want to use pellets? Seems like more trouble IMO
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Olympian
So what I am seeing is pellets HAVE to actually be ignited and burn. Chips (at least how I use them) no. I simply put them into a container (foil or that little water tub from the Weber smoker) put some holes in the foil top and drop it on the left front corner of my flavo bars and I get smoke. No drama and so on. So what would make me want to use pellets? Seems like more trouble IMO
I tend to agree, but I suppose there are merits to either method. In a pellet grill I think the smoker tube is clearly the way to go since low and slow is not likely to get wood chips smoking adequately. In a gas grill the burner tube being close to the wood does it for you. Using a smoker tube with pellets will obviously work. You just have to be careful that you don't allow too much direct heat to set off more pellets than you want or to light up too many and/or leave them burning too much when you put the tube in your grill.
 

LMichaels

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Yep, got it, except one thing...................Why would you use a smoker tube filled with pellets is a pellet grill?
 

RichPB (richlife)

TVWBB All-Star
Having read all this and tried all the methods, I agree with everything. But I have some experience/thoughts. 😁

I gave up on smoker boxes -- just too much trouble. The last three I had (they do deteriorate with the heat) I removed the lid hinge pin and just laid the top or the bottom across my flavorizor bars. Much easier to add chunks for longer cooks.

Foil with holes works too, but I feared melt so close to high heat.

I stopped using chips in favor of small chunks -- 1"-2". As a woodworker who lives in the woods, I always have tools and wood in some form to make my own. Kiln dried lumber may be too dry. Air dried is best (about a year minimum). Don't use fresh cut wood. (When we made a trip through TX, I stopped and bought a cheap bundle of mesquite firewood. Got lots of smoke wood from that. 😋)

Smoker tubes with pellets work well. I put a 50% - 80% full tube, depending on how long I want smoke, on the side burner to start as shown in the first page, then placed on the main grate while cooking on my custom upper grate.

All these can produce smoke flavor on the meat surface. I have never successfully gotten a true smoke with smoke ring on a gas grill. For that, a smoker is needed. It's about more than just smoke.

As for above or below grates, above may work with light "meat" like fish, fowl or pork, but for beef I always go for smoke below the grates -- so I just do below for all.

And for "smoked meat", I use my WSM. I've employed many techniques on my Genesis to get a real smoke ring in a low and slow cooked pork butt, ribs or a brisket, but never got the real thing. The right answer was with the new-to-me 14.5" WSM. AH-H-H! smoked meat!
 

Teddy J.

TVWBB Pro
For the folks trying to smoke on gassers, what about the additional propane cost? That was another big driver that pushed me to charcoal when trying to 'smoke'.
 

Teddy J.

TVWBB Pro
I think LP is much more economical for smoking/grilling than coal....No?
Ah - I keep forgetting about LP. Not much of that here where I'm at in Florida unless you bury your own tank.

EDIT - Sorry, not LP, I thought you mean Natural Gas. Disregard this post, I'm a goof.
 
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Brett-EDH

TVWBB Guru
I think LP is much more economical for smoking/grilling than coal....No?
let's do the math. a LP tank runs 20 hours max? a LP tank is $30? (idk so fill it in here).

if you're smoking only, LAS cook method, you can use a half a bag of KPro and add some wood chunks. cost of coal would be around $5 for 13-15 hours cook time (225-245 temp range). So to get to 20 hours run time, maybe coal will cost $7-8 total, plus wood chunks (free or call it $2).

so maybe a LAS coal cook will run $10 total (being generous). for 20 hours cook time.

feel free to change this math. i am recalling from my most recent brisket on my E6. and idk jack about LP pricing as i haven't bought LP in 21+ years (my home is NG and my gassers have been NG since 2002).
 

RichPB (richlife)

TVWBB All-Star
Yes, LP costs me $15-19 fo a 20 lb tank (standard unless you do the exchange where they only give you 15 lb). Compared to Royal Oak lump at $20 for 15 Lb bag, I get many more hours from the propane -- especially at low temps.
 

Brett-EDH

TVWBB Guru
Yes, LP costs me $15-19 fo a 20 lb tank (standard unless you do the exchange where they only give you 15 lb). Compared to Royal Oak lump at $20 for 15 Lb bag, I get many more hours from the propane -- especially at low temps.
hmmm, i use JD and for 35# it runs around $50 a sack. but i only grill with my JD (or any lump) as grilling sessions last maybe 70-80 minutes (chickens on the half or cut into pieces). for any extended cook where i just need heat, and i'm flavoring with wood chunks, i'll use briqs. B&B or KPro. they're both pretty cheap and i just won't waste the flavor of lump on a LAS brisket or butts.

on my JD cooks, i recycle the unused coals 100% of the time, so each cook, maybe i'm adding 5-6 new JD junks to the old used ones. i'll weigh out an "average jd chunk" so i can extrapolate a per chunk cost vs total sac cost. that'll be interesting for cost per cook. TBHT, the jd cost isn't an issue. the cost of meats is. and i'm not going to grill some good meat over direct heat with anything but jd at this stage.

from your pricing above, there's not a huge difference between jd and royal per #. JD 35# = $50 = $1.43#. Royal 15# = $20 = $1.33#
 

EmoryG

TVWBB Fan
I just switched from propane to natural gas. I prefer to own the tank and take it to the station for a refill. The final time I filled that tank (around mid-April), the cost was just under $15. My guess is that it has gone up since then.

The local stations have two separate prices for propane.
-> The per gallon price is much higher if you buy less than 20 gallons. The stations "price gouge" the small, one-tank buyers like I used to be. It was one motivation to switch to natural gas.
 

LMichaels

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
On the odd times I need LP it's $12.50 for me to fill 20#. Though the only thing I use it on is my Q320. Otherwise, it's NG in either the Genesis or the Wolf. It's not really a matter of economy though. I just don't have space for a smoker plus the last thing I want to do is burn wood or coals on a wood deck. Easy way to lose your house. Another reason though I use something that actually packages the smoke chips is I don't want my grill full of wood ash. It's a royal mess in a gasser, corrosive when damp, and a total PIA to clean up.
I don't "smoke" stuff very often, and yeah it might be just a touch more finessing to do it with gas as the main fuel.. But, I get 'er done anyway. Especially on the Wolf it's really pretty easy. Once I have it "dialed in" I can let it go for many many hours. I've done brisket on it and chuck roast for 6+ hours at a time. I just keep making packets and switching out. Heck even on a stick burner you gotta tend to a fire. All I gotta do is switch out smoke packets :D
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I just did a 12# butt in about eight hours, roughly 12# of K Pro, $8.25 per 18# bag, not that awful. It was a good one.
Last brisket was 18# 21 hours, 18# K Pro, again, I’m not complaining about cost. I’m fairly sure one cannot get 21 hours out of a gasser, can one?
 

LMichaels

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I just did a 12# butt in about eight hours, roughly 12# of K Pro, $8.25 per 18# bag, not that awful. It was a good one.
Last brisket was 18# 21 hours, 18# K Pro, again, I’m not complaining about cost. I’m fairly sure one cannot get 21 hours out of a gasser, can one?
I can. But I would not want to go to sleep with one going. I can dial in the Wolf and go until the dinosaur gas runs dry :D
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
It took me a while to grow a pair and run overnight smokes but, I’m still (kind of) young, dumb and full of scotch!

Isn't your Wolf NG?
 

EmoryG

TVWBB Fan
I continue to follow along with great interest. Thank you to everyone for their comments and contributions. It is good to learn from y'all.

When people talked about V-shape smoker boxes, I found two versions. One kind comes to a point at the bottom (triangle shape) and seems designed to fit between two flavorizer bars. The other kind that has a V-shaped indentation on the bottom, designed to sit on top of a flavorizer bar. If you search on Amazon for "V smoker box" you will see both types.
-> Which would be better for a 2022 Genesis?

Weber's assembly and instruction manuals refer to a smoker box that is included with some models, but not mine. The Weber smoker box that comes with some 2022 Genesis models is L-shaped. It has a covered L-shaped compartment for wood, and a thin straight pocket along the long side for water to make steam. I was curious about it, but cannot find it anywhere. I attached the page from the instruction manual that refers to it, so you can see for yourself.
-> Can anyone share where to find it? Part number? Price? Is it good?

Weber 2022 Genesis Smoker Box extracted instruction page.jpg
 

 

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