Just because you can’t cook over an open fire (or even with charcoal) doesn’t mean your food’s destined to be bland. Use these tips to enhance your propane grilling.
- Use a smoke tube with pellets. This method takes a little more work to get started, but once it's going you can set it and forget it. Light the pellets using a torch or your grills burner. Once they ignite, give them about 15 minutes to make sure they stay lit during your cook and then blow them out. They'll instantly put out lots of smoke, and depending on the size of your smoker, will last for hours. Experiment to see how full your smoke tube needs to be to last for the duration of your cook.
- Use a smoker box with wood chips. Before smoke tubes came around, smoker boxes were the tried and true method of putting out smoke on a gas grill. They're easy to use and produce great results. Simply load up the box about half full and throw it on the grill. There's much debate if wood chips must be soaked or not. Some feel it isn't necessary while some say it keeps your chips from igniting (you don't want them to catch or ignite, just to smolder and smoke). See what works best for you by trying first with dry chips. If they don't ignite then you're good to go. If they do ignite try soaking them next time for about 30 minutes prior to putting them on.
- Improvise, adapt, overcome. Didn't bring any of the above mentioned items to camp? Make your own wood chips with a hatchet, much the same way you'd make kindling. Make the pieces larger than kindling so they won't ignite too easily. Then make your own smoker box using a foil pouch. Load your chips onto the foil and loosely wrap them up. Shake the pouch and make sure there's room for airflow. Punch holes in the top of the pouch to allow the smoke to escape and you're all set!
- *Bonus tip: Remember that grilling with propane can create more mess from grease drippings and marinades than over a fire or with charcoal. Line your grill with foil for a quick clean up.