Using a smoker box on your grill is a great way to experiment with smoking meat without an ultra expensive smoker. With the right technique and tools, you can smoke just about anything in a few hours. Here are the most common mistakes to avoid:
Mistake #1: Not cleaning your grill
Aside from being a fire hazard, any food particles left on your grill will also start smoking - and not the good kind of smoke that you’d want to eat. Start clean and don’t let any previous meals create unsavory flavors.
Mistake #2: Soaking your wood chips
Though there are other grillers who swear otherwise, keep your wood chips dry and don’t soak them in liquids. Soaking the chips leads to water vapors which prolongs the preheating time, when ultimately the goal is smoke, not steam.
Mistake #3: Not waiting long enough
Getting wood chips to start smoking takes very high heat and a lot of patience. The biggest mistake is to start grilling the moment you see smoke rising from the back of the grill. Give the wood chips a full 20-30 minutes to catch, even if you see smoke earlier.
Mistake #4: Forgetting to grill in two zones
Unlike traditional grilling, wood smoked barbecue is cooked at far lower temperatures over indirect heat, often described as "low and slow." Be sure to divide your grill into two zones, so you can use direct high heat to keep your wood chips smoking and indirect low heat to slowly cook your food as it absorbs smoky flavor.
Mistake #5: Opening the lid
The most difficult part of smoking meat might be resisting the urge to lift the lid. Every time you peek, valuable heat and smoke escape. Open the lid only when you really need to replenish wood chips or check the meat temperature. Ideally, take care of both at the same time - and quickly!
Have you come across other issues while trying to smoke on your grill? Let us know below in the comments and we're happy to help solve the problem.