"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Outdoor Cooking Forum > Gear: Grills, Smokers & Pits
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-07-2008, 09:19 AM   #1
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pacanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW PA
Posts: 18,751
From a grill to a smoker

Here's the inside of my Ducane propane grill. It's a four burner (front to back) and great for indirect grilling. At least I think so. I've cooked some pretty good ribs and chicken on it this way by only running the outside burners. As most of you know... I love this grill Should have bought it years ago, but even on the lowest setting it can still get pretty hot for cooking some foods. Nothing a higher rack wouldn't cure. So that's the gist of my grill.

So how would I smoke food on it?
My thoughts (to dispute because I know nothing about smoking) is that the wood chips need to sit over a flame (with water?) to get them "going". I'll assume directly on a couple of heat deflectors that you can see. So where does the food go? Would that go directly over the pan the chips are in on the grate above? So in effect the meat is also directly above the flame? Or off to the side? Or on a higher rack I could set inside the grill?

Looking for the ABCs of smoking without having to buy a smoker.
Man, was it really that clean?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	grill4.JPG
Views:	465
Size:	156.1 KB
ID:	3404  
__________________
Give us this day our daily bacon.
pacanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2008, 09:29 AM   #2
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 4,630
I can use one of my propane grills as a smoker too. Not really a smoker per se. Mine has 3 main burners. For indirect, I leave the center burner off and use the 2 outside burners on med-low depending on what I'm cooking. The last time I used this method was on 3 7# beer can chickens, all in one shot. For those, I kept a temp of 350-375 deg and used about 2 handfulls of Hickory chips.

My grill has a smoker tray with it's own burner. I place small lump or chips that have been soaked in water for 30 minutes or so. You can also use your favorite ale to soak the chips in. Keep in mind, the chips are only used as flavoring....kind of like a spice. Too much can be a bad thing. You'll have to play around to see what kind of flavors you like.

For anyone without a smoker tray, soak 1-2 handfulls of wood chips and place them in an aluminum foil pouch. Use heavy duty foil or 2 ply regular foil. Poke a few holes in the top of the pouch and place on top of your burners. In 4 minutes you'll have smoke.
Jeekinz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2008, 10:05 AM   #3
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 4,630
Looking at a previous thread, you have the Ducane Affinity 4100? The best pic I could find of the "smoker attachment" is a long tray that looks like it's mounted to the rear of the grill. All you need to do is use the indirect method like you have been doing and put some soaked chips, not lump in that tray. The rear burner will get the smoke going.
Jeekinz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2008, 10:23 AM   #4
Senior Cook
 
Ask-A-Butcher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Ft. Myers, Fl
Posts: 345
You have some good advice from Jeekinz, so I really can't add much.

Smoking is indirect cooking away from the heat. So putting your food on the top grate is a good idea. If you can get it to the right (in that pic), it would even work better.

As far as your grill getting too hot, I'd suggest purchasing some firebricks or use a pizza stone, put them over the fire and they will act as a heat sink to keep the temp down.

Smoke? Depending on what you are smoking, use the foil paks as Jeekinz suggested, when one runs out, replace it with another. You shouldn't need any more smoke anyway. Meat will take on smoke until it reaches approximately 140° internal temp and after that it's just a waste of time and wood chips.
__________________
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Ask-A-Butcher

"Culture is what your butcher would have if he were a surgeon."
Mary Pettibone Poole
Ask-A-Butcher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2008, 10:27 AM   #5
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 4,630
BTW - Those angle grates below the cooking grates are the flavorizer bars or heat deflectors. Do not cook on top of those, but that would be where the foil pouch would go.

My grill tends to be on the hot side as well. I just use one burner then. Just worry about the internal temp of the grill. Your basically turning it into an oven.
Jeekinz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2008, 10:43 AM   #6
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pacanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW PA
Posts: 18,751
It's a Ducane Affinity, but I don't remember which model... no back burner.
Foil pouch... great idea. I thought I had to buy one of those Emeril things he uses on the stove top, like a rectangular pan with a lid that slides. I didn't think about soaking the chips first.

So you suggest putting the pouch on one side, over one or two heat deflectors/flavorizing bars, then putting the meat on the other side. Good. For some reason I thought it had to be over the heat. Probably from watching Alton Brown make a smoker out of a flower pot and a hot plate

Is the lid thermometer good enough or do I need to measure the temp right where the food is setting? Something like 225F, if I remember reading that somewhere right?

I'm looking forward to smoking something! Food that is
__________________
Give us this day our daily bacon.
pacanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2008, 10:50 AM   #7
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 4,630
First off, does your grill have the "Smoker Attachment" the Ducane site states?

If not, use the foil pouch method. The pouch will need to be placed above a lit burner.

BRB..............
Jeekinz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2008, 11:05 AM   #8
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 4,630
Jeekinz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2008, 12:59 PM   #9
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pacanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW PA
Posts: 18,751
Pretty nifty dwg.

Here's what I read from Ducane's site: "Some models include side burners, and the top-of-the-line has it all featuring our patented Rotis-A-Grate® rear rotisserie burner with rotisserie and smoker attachment."

Mine mustn't be a top of the line Affinity because it does not have it all (side burners, rear rotisserie, smoker attachment). If it had had it all, I probably would not have boughten it at the time because I would have felt it was overkill. I've had grills in the past with side burners and the only time I think I ever used one was to light a cigarette when I smoked

I'm going to go back over some recipes I've seen here and give it a whirl when the temps even out. We've had some real up and down stuff here lately and I'm sure it would affect the burner settings for a steady smoking temp.

Thanks for all your help.
__________________
Give us this day our daily bacon.
pacanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2008, 01:09 PM   #10
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 4,630
Pacanis, you can't compare your gas grill to a smoker in terms of cooking. All you need to do is set it up like the picture shows, the smoke only flavors the meat, not cooks it.

It doesnt matter if the pouch is in there or not. The heat source is the burners.

I've done ribs the past 3 Saturdays on my Chargriller and had no problem keeping 225-250 degrees using only applewood. Wind can be a problem. Doing it on a gas grill is a walk in the park. "Set it and forget it."

If you have enough room, leave off the grate like your picture while your cooking so you can easily swap out the packets.

If you need to buy chips, Lowes and Home Depot sell bags of them. I would recommend a smoker box. It's a steel box that replaces the pouch method. You'll see them near to the grill accessories. I think they cost $7.
Jeekinz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2008, 01:35 PM   #11
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pacanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW PA
Posts: 18,751
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeekinz View Post
Pacanis, you can't compare your gas grill to a smoker in terms of cooking. All you need to do is set it up like the picture shows, the smoke only flavors the meat, not cooks it.
You kind of lost me there....
I thought the item you are smoking cooked from the heat of the burner(s) rising up through the wood chips and distributing throughout the enclosed area. I see now you have the other burner lit that doesn't have any chips above it, but obviously adds indirect heat.
So you're saying that smoking meat, fish, whatever... doesn't really cook the food?

When I do ribs I set them over the two UNLIT burners in the center, have the two outside burners lit and cook them indirectly.
If I was to add smoke packets over the two outside burners I'll assume that be considered smoking them.... Would that not also be cooking them?
Is it only a terminology thing I'm missing here?
__________________
Give us this day our daily bacon.
pacanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2008, 02:14 PM   #12
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 4,630
Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
You kind of lost me there....
I thought the item you are smoking cooked from the heat of the burner(s) rising up through the wood chips and distributing throughout the enclosed area. I see now you have the other burner lit that doesn't have any chips above it, but obviously adds indirect heat.
So you're saying that smoking meat, fish, whatever... doesn't really cook the food?
Using both outside burners allows even temps. If you were to use a kettle, you would make a pile of coals on opposite ends of the base of the grill. The chips need to be placed directly above a heat source.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
When I do ribs I set them over the two UNLIT burners in the center, have the two outside burners lit and cook them indirectly.
If I was to add smoke packets over the two outside burners I'll assume that be considered smoking them.... Would that not also be cooking them?
Is it only a terminology thing I'm missing here?
That is the correct method. But the smoke is only flavoring, it doesn't add or take away from the cooking temperatures.
Jeekinz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2008, 02:18 PM   #13
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pacanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW PA
Posts: 18,751
Gotcha. I didn't mean to imply that it was the smoke that did the cooking. I knew it was only there for the flavor.
Now... what to do for my first smoke.......
__________________
Give us this day our daily bacon.
pacanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2008, 06:13 AM   #14
Senior Cook
 
Ask-A-Butcher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Ft. Myers, Fl
Posts: 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
Gotcha. I didn't mean to imply that it was the smoke that did the cooking. I knew it was only there for the flavor.
Now... what to do for my first smoke.......
Baby Backs? Salmon? Chicken Thighs?
__________________
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Ask-A-Butcher

"Culture is what your butcher would have if he were a surgeon."
Mary Pettibone Poole
Ask-A-Butcher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2008, 07:18 AM   #15
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pacanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW PA
Posts: 18,751
Can you smoke shortribs? I have a bunch of those from a front quarter I got in the fall. I've been holding off doing anything with them...
__________________
Give us this day our daily bacon.
pacanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2008, 07:45 AM   #16
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Uncle Bob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Small Town Mississippi
Posts: 17,536
Pacanis...Why don't you think about quartering a chicken, 2 breast quarters, 2 leg quarters, or maybe to make it even easier...just 4 leg quarters. It's delicious, it's easy, and it's very forgiving. Also it's cheap. If things don't go just right the first time you aren't out a lot of $$$. Take your first few times out to get aquainted with your cooker. Learn what it will do, and what it want do. After each cook make notes about what you did exactly!! Also, What went right, what went wrong? What you liked, what you didn't like etc?

Mostly, Have Fun!!!
__________________
There is only one Quality worse than Hardness of Heart, and that is Softness of Head.

Kool-Aid...Think Before You Drink
Uncle Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2008, 08:02 AM   #17
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pacanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW PA
Posts: 18,751
Leg quarters did come to mind. Aside from wings (just had some last night) I haven't done chicken on the grill in a while.
I'm going to see what I can rustle up at the hardware store today as far as wood chips go. That's where I got my grill and they have a lot of stuff I never paid attention to before, but I know I saw wood chips.

I have to wonder why they make dedicated smokers if you can smoke foods on a regular grill....
__________________
Give us this day our daily bacon.
pacanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2008, 09:10 AM   #18
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 4,630
Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
I have to wonder why they make dedicated smokers if you can smoke foods on a regular grill....
Because your doing what's called "Grilling" and adding smoke flavor.

This is smoking......you cannot get these results on a gas grill.
The firebox is off to the side next to the cooking area. 100% wood. True BBQ.

Jeekinz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2008, 09:16 AM   #19
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pacanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW PA
Posts: 18,751
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeekinz View Post
Because your doing what's called "Grilling" and adding smoke flavor.
Well, shhh. Don't tell anybody....
I can hardly see what you're cooking through all that smoke!
__________________
Give us this day our daily bacon.
pacanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2008, 09:24 AM   #20
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 4,630
I started out like you with the chips and a gas grill.....hanging my head with despair.

I bit the bullet and bought a smoker. Never looked back.

Here's a closer look at it

Jeekinz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:00 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.