Some people might think that using wood chips on a gas grill is strange, but it’s actually a great way to give your food some extra flavor. Wood chips can be used to add smokey flavor to meat, fish, and vegetables. Here are a few tips for using wood chips on a gas grill.
What are wood chips?
Wood chips are small pieces of wood that are the byproduct of sawing lumber or tree branches. They can be used as a biomass solid fuel and are raw material for producing wood pulp.
What are the benefits of using wood chips?
There are several benefits to using wood chips as a fuel source. Wood chips are a renewable resource, they are inexpensive, and they produce a relatively small amount of emissions.
How to Use Wood Chips on a Gas Grill?
Two ways to use wood chips on your gas grill right now.
If given the time, we’d probably all choose to grill over charcoal. If given the extra time, most of us would probably choose to grill over wood. But, alas, given our time-constrained workaday lives, most of us are stuck grilling over a gas flame, at least during weekdays. So how do we impart that sweet, smokey flavor into our meat and still have time to put the kids to bed?
The answer is simple: Use wood chips on a gas grill. We’re going to show you three ways to do this. Two of them will help you do it right now.
The problem is that if you just sprinkle some wood chips on your grill they are going to burn and add a burnt wood flavor to the meat. Additionally they are going to gunk up your grill and well, nobody wants to spend their time cleaning charred wood chips out of their Weber Genesis.
Tip: Mesquite wood is awesome for imparting flavor when grilling.
Using Wood Chips on a Gas Grill (Option One)
Foil packet full of wood chips for a gas grill
The Solution, we’ve found, is to use a foil packet. Sure this takes a little time, but you get a much better smoke flavor. It’s pretty easy to to as well. We simply place the amount of wood chips called for (usually about a handful) in the center of an 18 inch square of aluminum foil. Then we fold in all four sides of the foil to encase the chips.
After we’re done encasing the wood chips in this little foil pack, we tear about six large holes through the top of the foil packet with fork to allow the smoke to escape. We then place the packet, with holes facing up, directly on the grate of our gas grill. Usually we put it off to the side. The heat causes the wood chips to create smoke without getting ashes all over the grill.
Using Wood Chips on a Gas Grill (Option Two)
Wood Chip Smoker Box – For use on Gas or Charcoal Grill
If you find that you are going through a lot of aluminum foil, or you’re simply getting tired of doing origami before your grilling sessions, it might be time to invest in a wood chip smoker box. There are a lot of them out there. They all pretty much do the same thing. Here is one from Frontgate.
It’s made from cast iron, so it’s heavy and it won’t move. It also won’t discolor like some stainless steel smoker boxes will. That’s a nice bonus if you like to keep a tidy grill. Note that the smoker box will need to be emptied from time to time while a foil packet can simply be thrown away.
Using Wood Chips on a Gas Grill (Option Three)
Your inner hobo would be proud.
If you’re into DIY, or homesteading, or you’re just a hipster who refuses to shell out $12.95 plus shipping for a metal box, you can make your own smoking box out of a tin can. It’s very easy to do. This might be our favorite way just because of the rugged individualism and can-do spirit it embodies. (No pun intended…)
- Get a tin can and cut off the top.
2. Wash the can and the top thoroughly
3. Use a can opener (or a hammer and nail) to poke hold in the top of the can
4. Put the wood chips in the can and smoke it.
FAQ’s Wood Chips on a Gas Grill
Do you soak wood chips for gas grill?
No, you don’t have to soak wood chips for a gas grill. Soaking them will help produce more smoke, but it’s not necessary. If you do soak them, make sure to drain the water before adding them to the grill.
Can I use any type of wood on a gas grill?
Yes, you can use any type of wood on a gas grill. However, some woods are better than others. Hardwoods like hickory, oak, and maple will give your food a more intense flavor. Softer woods like pine or cedar will give your food a lighter flavor.
What is the best way to smoke meat on a gas grill?
There are a few different ways to smoke meat on a gas grill. One method is to use a smoker box. Another method is to wrap the wood chips in aluminum foil and poke holes in the foil. Place the foil directly on the burner and turn it on high. Once the wood chips start smoking, turn the heat down to low and place the meat on the grill. Close the lid and cook until the meat is done.
Is grilling with wood chips healthy?
Yes, grilling with wood chips is healthy. Wood chips add flavor to your food without adding any fat or calories. They also help to lock in moisture, which keeps your food from drying out.
What are the challenges of using wood chips?
The main challenge of using wood chips is that they can be difficult to handle and store. Wood chips can be dusty and require special storage facilities.
How can I find out more about wood chips?
If you are interested in learning more about wood chips, there are a few resources that you can consult. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has a fact sheet on wood chips that provides more information on their use as a fuel source. The Biomass Energy Resource Center also has a wealth of information on wood chips and other biomass fuels.
So the bottom line is that there are at least three ways to use wood chips on a gas grill. Two of them are probably accessible to you…probably tonight. We’re sure there are more. What methods do you have for using wood chips on a gas grill? Happy grilling! See more recipes