Smokin’ on your grill or should we say dancing!!!
All of us enjoy the taste of Good Hickory Smoke on our BBQ. Few realize that when we learn to dance with our grill if it’s gas or charcoal, we can make it dance to our tune as a smoker. The picture above is not out of focus. That is GOOD Hickory Smoke. The beauty of this is that you can use any good smokin’ woods you like. I will include a list that covers the most common smokin’ woods at the end of this article.
With a smoker you cook with indirect low heat 200-250. You can get the same effect from any grill. On both gas and charcoal grills heat the grill up to clean it to burn off anything left from your last use.
If your gas grill has a “heat shield or tent” over the burners you can remove the cooking grate on the hot side and add your wet smokin’ wood. If not, put your chips right on the cooking grate.
I always keep a bucket of wood soaking, but you really only need to soak it about 30 minutes before using it. Turn the heat off for your cool side.
Adjust the flame to very low by turning it ALMOST OFF, you will need to see the flame. This is not the same as setting the control to low. On my grill there is about 100 degree difference from low and ALMOST OFF.
I have a big grill so sometimes I use 2 burners. You want your temperature around 200-250 for smoking and this is what BBQ is really about. LOW and SLOW. Keeping in mind that grilling is HOT and FAST, two different styles of cooking depending on your desired results.
On a charcoal grill you just bank your coals to one side. You will need to add more charcoal as time goes by.
All you need is a grill with a lid you can close. I like a mix of wet & dry wood chips. I like two handfuls of wet chips or chunks and one dry works best for me. And a spray bottle of water to put on the chips as they dry out and to keep them soaked down so they don’t burn.
Here I have removed the cooking grate and added large chunks of wet wood. I keep feeding it to keep a good smoke cloud. This is my Fatty De Anza that I smoked for 3 hours.
Smoked Rock Cornish Game Hens, Garlic, and Sweet Onions. See the wood under the left side?
Mexican Pork Chops
You need to be careful if you put anything over the wood chips because that becomes a HOT SPOT and only half your dinner will be done. So, when you load your grill with this much you need to watch it and move things around so they don’t burn. I only load it like this when a lot of people come over for dinner.
Again, the wood chips under the left side. It makes no difference what side you use and I don’t know why I always use the left…
Prime Rib Over Red Shank Knots
Our Prime Rib. You can see that the cooking grates have been removed and all that smoke around that roast. I made omelets with some of the leftover prime rib, garlic and onions. They are flavor packed from the grill…AWESOME!
Note: I use a spray bottle when cooking on the grill filled with a Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke mix that keeps things moist and adds tons of flavors. (Mix is 3 parts Worcestershire with 1 part liquid smoke)
The most common woods for smoking are Hickory, Oak, and Mesquite in Southern California. You can buy it in most grocery stores.
HICKORY – the most common wood, sweet to strong, good with everything
OAK - strong smoke flavor, good with everything
MESQUITE - strong earthy flavor, good with everything
RED SHANK- strong earthy flavor, good with everything a new one for me, but plentiful in the High Desert.
Apple- mild, sweet: good for poultry and pork.
CHERRY - mild and fruity: good with poultry, pork and beef.
CRABAPPLE - like apple wood
GRAPEVINES - fruity: good with poultry, red meat, game and lamb
MAPLE - good with pork, poultry
ORANGE, LEMON- mild smoky flavor and good with everything
PEAR - subtle smoke flavor: good with chicken and pork
PECAN - sweet and mild, similar to hickory: good with everything
SWEET FRUIT WOODS - good on light meats, chicken, turkey, pork and fish
WALNUT - good with red meat and game
Never use any Evergreens or any Cedar, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Fir, Pine, Spruce, Redwood or Oleander
Never use lumber scraps, or wood that has been painted, stained or old pallets. Most have been treated with something and will not be good for you and your family.
Smokin’ Prime Rib, Garlic and Sweet Onions
You can see all of these recipes on our web site and/or blog,
“Date Night Doins BBQ For 2”
Remember that a recipe is simply an outline; it is not written in stone. Don’t be afraid to make changes to suit your taste.
Take it and run with it….
Ken & Patti