Smoking Woods: Strike While the Grill is Hot

Smoking Woods: Strike While the Grill is Hot

I'm a pretty adventurous guy, especially when it comes to grilling. I spice up rubs and whip up marinades that work with any type of food. But there's another way to add great barbecued flavor to food – use wood chips to smoke your food. Just like spices, you can combine different types of wood chips to enhance your grilled fare.

It's easy to do. Soak the wood chips for about two hours. Then put the moist wood chips in a smoker box attachment on gas grills or directly on the coals for charcoal barbecues. It's that easy!

If you don't have a smoker box attachment, there are a few external accessories—such as the Weber Stainless Steel Smoker Box or the Weber Firespice® Trial Tins—that will make smoking on a gas grill easy. Again, remember to soak the wood chips before smoking and place these external smoker boxes on top of the cooking grates for smoking. If you don't have one of these handy items, you can also place a drip pan filled with damp wood chips, covered with foil (with holes punched in the top), on top of your cooking grates. Close the lid and allow the chips to begin to smoke. Wait until smoke begins to billow out of your grill. This may take up to 20 minutes for certain woods and grills.

Be sure to experiment with the woods to see how they react to the food you're grilling, but remember not to overuse the more pungent woods like hickory or mesquite or you'll end up with a bitter, campfire taste. Instead combine woods that complement the flavors of hickory and mesquite – woods like alder, cherry, apple, or even pecan. You'll get a nice sweet flavor that won't overpower your meal.

Of course the longer the wood chips have to smoke, the more taste and coloring your food gets. A steak that takes 10 minutes to cook won't have the smoky taste of a pork shoulder cooked for four hours.

Use the Wood Flavor Chart* to figure out what will work for you, and enjoy the taste of a smoky treat.

*Wood Chart from Weber’s Smoke™ by Jamie Purviance

 

What are your thoughts? (5)

04.29.13

Chris G

Kevin


Thank so much! I am sorry to say that I am not using a kettle grill, but a larger rectangular charcoal grill with an attached lid that has an access door on the front. So, if I position my coal bin/pile right, hopefully it wont affect the rack with debris when I have to sneak some in. Water pan for sure! Thanks for clarifying, I thought the wood chunks had to be soaked as well so they 'smoke' and not 'burn'.

04.29.13

Kevin Kolman

Hi BBQMOM,

Actually, you get very little water penetration to the wood when you soak chunks. When smoking with chips, it is critical to soak them because they are so small. By soaking them, it helps them to smolder and not burn. No worries, hopefully the next grill you buy is a Weber!

Happy Grilling!
-Kevin

04.29.13

Chris G

I am new to using my charcoal grill as a smoker. Some say to put the soaked wet wood chunks in a grill box over the charcoals and some say to add the soaked wood to the charcoals together in the grill box. Both with a pan of water next to the coals. Does it matter if the wood is over or with the charcoals?

12.31.12

Rob H

I recieved a Weber stainless steel smoker box for Christmas
this year. Not being one to wait we fired up the grill last
night. I soaked the hickory woodchips for over an hour and let
them preheat in the smoker on the grill for 20 minutes. The
problem I ran into was the smoker box burst into pieces after
about 30 minutes on the grill. Lots of smoke! I had the heat
turned down after the initial 20 minutes. Did I miss something
in the prcocess?

12.31.12

Kevin Kolman

Hello JeepinRob,

Please call our Customer Service line at 1-800-446-1071 for further assistance. Thank you and happy grilling!

-Kevin

10.24.12

Tom S

What would the best way (if any) to smoke on a weber Q120 gas BBQ?
I tried the foil box with pierced foil over the top and it just didn't seem to want to take.


Any suggestions would be awesome,
Thanks,
Tom

10.24.12

Kevin Kolman

Hello Tom_Syl,


The best way to smoke on a Q is to buy the Weber Firespice Smoking Tins. These are great and very convenient for smoking on your Weber Q. Your best bet is to make sure you soak them for at least 30 minutes, and then place them on the grill before you preheat. This will bring the tin up to temperature and also get the smoking process started. Next, be patient and wait for the smoke to begin. Once you see that, it is time to start grilling your food. One common mistake people make is they place the tin on the grill too late. This can be problematic because the tin needs time to begin to smoke. Hope this helps and always Happy Grilling!


-Kevin

07.27.12

Hank B

Cherry is also great for fish if you cannot find alder.