How to Smoke on a Gas Grill

Many people do not know they can smoke food on their gas grill. You can do it, and the process is straightforward. You need to learn the steps on how to smoke on a gas grill, a few wood chips, and a foil pouch.

You can change the gas grill into a smoker by using a smoker tray with wood dust, but you can do it, and so here we are with a simple guide on how to smoke on a gas grill.

A little effort will be required to convert the gas grill into a smoker. It is imperative to become familiar with your gas grill because you can know whether it can bear swear weather conditions. Also, you must learn about water pans and how to burn wood. In this article, I have discussed all this.

How To Smoke On A Gas Grill

Smoking Using a 2-Zone Setup

Among all the expert grills, the 2-zone setup is the best method to create a special temperature zone inside the grill. With this technique, you can cook your meat in two different processes. In the first process, meat is cooked more than heat, while in the second process, the meat cooks under low heat. 

To create a direct zone in the gas grill, you must set the burners on one side at high mode while turning off the burners on the other. The water and wood pan should be on the direct heat side. Many restaurant owners have discussed calibration and dry runs a lot, so it is necessary to get the required temperature.

Smoking Tools

Your main goal is to take the smoke closer to your food. Always keep an eye on the air vents and the tools that are explained below: 

A Smoker Box

A smoker box is a metal container filled with wood. There are holes in this container, and its main objective is to produce smoke. The size of the holes should be decent so that the wood will not catch fire but only smolder. The smoke boxes come in two different types. 

The first type is the built-in smoke boxes fixed to the side of the grill. The second type of smoke box is a freestanding smoke box that can be placed anywhere on the smoker(on ceramic briquettes, between heat diffuser bars, under the grates, or over).


 A V-shaped smoker is available in the market that can be easily placed between the bars. If your grill contains rotisserie holes, you should look for a 110-volt cord smoker. Such a type of smoker has small pipes in which the one goes into the holes. The smoker will fill with blue smoke in a few minutes. 

You will have to buy a smoker having the following features: 

  • A proper way of keeping the ashes away from the food and escaping from the smoker. 
  • A lid that easily allows the addition of wood. 
  • Metal construction

Disposable Smoking Tray

If you want to get rid of filling the wood tray again, use an aluminum serving tray. 

  • Put the wood chips into the tray
  • Cover it with the foil securely
  • Punch some holes in the foil
  • In a corner, keep the pan on the burners directly
  • Insert grates into the grill
  • Turn burners to high
  • Adjust the temperature when the woods produce smoke
aluminium serving tray

Foil Pouches

An easy way to produce more smoke around the food is to cover the food with foil. These foil pouches will burn rapidly, so make more than one pouch. 

  • Arrange a few sheets of foil
  • Place pellets or wood chips in the center
  • Enclose the wood chips all around completely
  • Poke pores in foil
  • Place it on the direct-heat 
  • Replace them after each hour
foil pouches for smoking

Stainless-steel mesh envelope-style pouches are also suitable for smoking. You should consider the mesh size because the thinner the mesh, the more, the better the smoke. 

How To Monitor The Grill Temperature?


Use a high-quality digital thermometer to make monitoring the temperature easy for you. A dual probe device permits you to check the temperature of the grill and food at the same time. If your thermometer contains a probe clip, thus click the probe on the grate near the food to check the exact temperature.

In many cases, the thermometers that come with the propane girls will not help you as they can check the temperature at only about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. So you cannot control the grill temperature with these thermometers.

Can You Smoke Things On A Propane Grill?

To get a good smoke flavor, you would have to burn the wood inside the grill using wood pellets, wood chips, or wood chunks. There are many high-end grills with built-smoker boxes, but you can convert your grill into a smoker by using some equipment and can make the BBQ on a gas grill easy. 

In many cases, you need some equipment, but I will tell you a method that will not need any accessories. Place the wood chunks on the flavors over the burner. You cannot place chips or pellets over the burner as they need oxygen during smoking.

You can follow the following guideline to know how to smoke meat on a gas grill:

Create Smoke With A Pellet Tube

I like to produce smoke using a pellet tube. Pack it with the pellets, light one end with the blowtorch or lighter and leave it on the grill for about 4 hours. It is easier than replacing the wood chips after every 30 minutes. 

These tubes can create additional smoke that is why most people use pellet tubes to produce extra smoke. The best size of the pellet tube is 12 inches, but you can choose a different size according to your needs.

Remember that the pellet tubes must be used along with the wood pellets. If you are using wood chips, then use smoker boxes to produce more smoke. It is a stainless steel box that needs to be filled with wood chips and placed directly over the burners. 

Make An Aluminum Foil Pouch

Suppose you think it will be a waste of money to purchase smoker boxes or pellet tubes or do not want to buy them for any reason. Then do not worry because many more straightforward options are already available in your kitchen. 

Before grilling, soak your wood chips for almost 30 minutes and then keep them in the open air for 15 minutes. First, make a pouch of heavy-duty aluminum foil, fill it with wood chips or pellets and poke holes so oxygen can go inside. Besides, you can use a disposable aluminum pan for this purpose. 

Directly Place The Hard Wood Chunks On The Burner

This method is simple; you just have to place hardwood directly on the burner. After a while, it will start producing smoke. Many people do not want to get the chips so close to the fire, but it is necessary. Otherwise, the wood chips will not burn. 

There is another option in which you can place the wood chips over the burner in a foil pouch. You have to ensure that the wood chips are not so close to the fire because they can change the taste of food. 

How To Smoke On A Gas Grill With Chips?

To add more smoke to the gas grill, you can make a pouch of wood. Here is the complete process:

Grab Some Aluminum Foil

Take a couple of heavy-duty aluminum foil and place them flat on your work surface.

Make The Pouch

Put some amount of wood chips in the center of your foil. Fold up every long side to make it secure. Now, roll the ends of the foil to seal the wood chips.

Poke Holes In The Pouch

You will need to make some holes at the top of the foil so that the heat will enter inside the spot, and then delicious smoke will be released from this hole and add flavor to your meat. 

Add The Pouch To Your Grill

The pouch should be positioned over one of your burners after you lift one of the grates from your gas grill. Now you are ready after replacing the grates.

Fire Up The Grill

Turn on the burners, but if you want to get the temperature up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, then turn on only a single burner. The pouch will heat, the smoke will circulate through the grill, and your grill should reach the perfect smoking temperature.

Cook Your Food

The meat should be placed on the opposite side of the pouch, close the lid, and check the grill’s temperature using a dome thermometer. Now, you can turn on the additional burners if you want to get more than 225 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Keep An Eye On Smoke Packet And Grill

The pouch will take about 45 minutes to burn completely, so it is necessary to keep other things in hand when it burns. Continue the process till it reaches your desired temperature.

What Is Cold Smoking?

Cold smoking is a method in which you will smoke any food when you do not want to. You can smoke many kinds of foods by smoking, such as smoked salt, cold smoked salmon, smoked cheese, and many other things. If it is difficult for you to do cold smoking, use pellet tube smokers, usually less than 15 dollars. 

In the cold smoking process, it should be necessary to ensure that the steam is constantly wandering around the food, and the temperature should be less than 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

As it is recommended to keep the temperature of the smoker low, so I advise you that the best seasons for cold smoking are winter and autumn.

cold smoking

Frequently Asked Questions

The pan method will be the best for this process. Take the baking pan and add your favorite bbq wood to it. Cover the top with poked foil. Now, place the pan on the grill’s heat source and close the lid so that the pellets produce smoke instead of flame.

If a dedicated smoker box is not in your grill, buy an additional heavy-gauge stainless steel box to place on the top of the grate. The heat will transfer to the soaked wood inside the grill with the help of metal. The holes in the lid will take the tasty smoke upto your food. 

You can use the wood chips for grilling either with the smoker box or a foil pouch. Many gas grills already contain a smoker box. If your grill has no smoker box, the easiest method is to wrap your chips in aluminum foil. 

Final Words

Using a gas grill to smoke food is not a difficult task to do. Just because you have never used your gas grill for smoking does not mean that it can not be done. All you need are the proper guidelines and a little effort, and you are on your way to making delicious smoked food using your gas grill instead of an outdoor smoker.

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