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-   -   Opinions on gas grill smoker boxes (https://www.discusscooking.com/forums/f35/opinions-on-gas-grill-smoker-boxes-97529.html)

CraigC 02-15-2017 04:53 AM

Please don't soak your wood chips.:sad: That is almost as bad as using "green" wood. All those smokers you see on Steven Raichlen's shows, spewing that white smoke, is exactly what you want to avoid. White smoke equals bitter, acrid taste. Of course, if you like that flavor, go for it. You could kick it up a notch and use pine chips!:rofl:

caseydog 02-15-2017 05:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CraigC (Post 1499127)
Please don't soak your wood chips.:sad: That is almost as bad as using "green" wood. All those smokers you see on Steven Raichlen's shows, spewing that white smoke, is exactly what you want to avoid. White smoke equals bitter, acrid taste. Of course, if you like that flavor, go for it. You could kick it up a notch and use pine chips!:rofl:

I'm with you all the way, assuming your were kidding about the pine chips.

I love watching Julia Child, and a number of other food celebrities. I'd like to punch Steven Raichlen in the face. I am not a violent person, but we all have our limits. :wink:

CD

roadfix 02-15-2017 12:27 PM

I also agree about not soaking wood chips or chunks.

And as far as achieving that thin blue smoke, it's a lot easier to get that on a dedicated smoker where you're actually using wood as fuel or charcoal and some dry wood chunks thrown in.

tenspeed 02-15-2017 01:47 PM

Thanks to those who have used these for sharing their opinions. Sounds like both the cast iron boxes and the V-shaped boxes will do the trick. The local big box home improvement store carries both, so I think I'll pick up one of the V-shaped boxes next time I drive by.

I have no delusions about trying Q a 10 lb. brisket on a gas grill with a smoker box, just want to add a little flavor to some items. I use the gas grill for quick items like boneless chicken, burgers, steaks and fish. I use charcoal occasionally, but gas is so much more convenient.

Quote:

Originally Posted by CraigC (Post 1499127)
You could kick it up a notch and use pine chips!

The recommended wine pairing is retsina. :smile:

caseydog 02-15-2017 05:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tenspeed (Post 1499159)
Thanks to those who have used these for sharing their opinions. Sounds like both the cast iron boxes and the V-shaped boxes will do the trick. The local big box home improvement store carries both, so I think I'll pick up one of the V-shaped boxes next time I drive by.

I have no delusions about trying Q a 10 lb. brisket on a gas grill with a smoker box, just want to add a little flavor to some items. I use the gas grill for quick items like boneless chicken, burgers, steaks and fish. I use charcoal occasionally, but gas is so much more convenient.

The vessel you use is really not the thing to focus on. It is the efficiency of burning your fuel -- the wood chips. You can buy a smoker box, use a foil pack, or even recycle a tin can.

It is really a lot like an old car. If the exhaust pipe is spewing thick white smoke, the fuel is not burning efficiently. If you can't see much, if any, smoke coming from the exhaust pipe, your engine is burning fuel efficiently.

Like others have said, get your wood chips down close to your fire, and don't soak them in water. And, as I have said over and over, SMELL your smoke, don't look at it. If the smoke smells good, your food will taste good. It doesn't matter how you create that smoke, if it smells good, your food will taste good. I can't repeat that enough times.

You don't need to be a BBQ pitmaster to enjoy some smokey goodness. I hope you didn't take any of my earlier comments to mean that. But, understanding how wood burns and how the smoke interacts with proteins is important, whether you have a high-dollar dedicated smoker, or a gas grill with some wood chips in a tin-foil pouch.

CD

CraigC 02-15-2017 05:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by caseydog (Post 1499129)
I'm with you all the way, assuming your were kidding about the pine chips.

I love watching Julia Child, and a number of other food celebrities. I'd like to punch Steven Raichlen in the face. I am not a violent person, but we all have our limits. :wink:

CD

Yes I was kidding, but I have seen a show where some Canadians are using pine needles for smoking fish. That would be, IMO, like using mesquite for a long cook.:sad: Way too much over kill. Use post oak as the main wood and mesquite to finish.:yum:

caseydog 02-15-2017 05:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CraigC (Post 1499185)
Yes I was kidding, but I have seen a show where some Canadians are using pine needles for smoking fish. That would be, IMO, like using mesquite for a long cook.:sad: Way too much over kill. Use post oak as the main wood and mesquite to finish.:yum:

Where I live, mesquite is abundant. Great for steaks, but not so much for long cooks.

I am somewhat intrigued by the pine needle smoked fish. It sounds like one of those things that could be awesome, or could really suck.

Oh, we use live oak and red oak where I live. Post oak is a South-East Texas thing.

CD

CraigC 02-15-2017 05:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by caseydog (Post 1499187)
Where I live, mesquite is abundant. Great for steaks, but not so much for long cooks.

I am somewhat intrigued by the pine needle smoked fish. It sounds like one of those things that could be awesome, or could really suck.

Oh, we use live oak and red oak where I live. Post oak is a South-East Texas thing.

CD

Being in SE Florida, I'm quite familiar with live oak. My wife brought back a couple of cords of pecan from a visit to Mississippi a few years ago. It was " cured" before I got it and is still dry at this point. Mixed with oak and hickory, it is a great combo for butts, shoulders/butts and sausage. Fruit woods also are used, but I'm not sure how they are combined.:sad:

Kayelle 02-15-2017 06:46 PM

Well, I learned not to soak my wood chips anymore for my little V smoker. Thanks.:smartass:

caseydog 02-15-2017 08:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kayelle (Post 1499195)
Well, I learned not to soak my wood chips anymore for my little V smoker. Thanks.:smartass:

Yep, that water adds nothing to the flavor of your food, and makes the wood burn less efficiently. To me, wet wood chips burning smell like my shoes after a long, very hot and sweaty day. As Alton Brown would say, that's not good eats.

CD

Kayelle 02-16-2017 01:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by caseydog (Post 1499201)
Yep, that water adds nothing to the flavor of your food, and makes the wood burn less efficiently. To me, wet wood chips burning smell like my shoes after a long, very hot and sweaty day. As Alton Brown would say, that's not good eats.

CD

:rolleyes: Hold on there good buddy, before you step over the line. We've been happy till now with my smoker food and I'm pleased to learn something new and useful. Stay tuned, I just may be able to teach you something useful down the line. :wink:

caseydog 02-16-2017 02:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kayelle (Post 1499225)
:rolleyes: Hold on there good buddy, before you step over the line. We've been happy till now with my smoker food and I'm pleased to learn something new and useful. Stay tuned, I just may be able to teach you something useful down the line. :wink:

I have no doubt that you can teach me something useful. I'm still alive, so I aint done learning yet. However... don't count on me pouring water on my wood before I set it on fire.

CD :mrgreen:

tenspeed 02-16-2017 06:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by caseydog (Post 1499230)
I have no doubt that you can teach me something useful. I'm still alive, so I aint done learning yet. However... don't count on me pouring water on my wood before I set it on fire.

CD :mrgreen:

Weber recommends using damp wood chips in a smoker box:

Grill Skills - Smoking on a Gas Grill | Weber.com

We're not trying to keep a fire going with wet wood, as propane is the fuel. I've used damp wood chips on a charcoal grill, and they don't smell like wet shoes at all - just mesquite.

You have stated that you use charcoal/wood grill guy. Have you actually used a smoker box on a gas grill?

Andy M. 02-16-2017 09:52 AM

Wet wood chips burn more slowly and generate smoke rather than burning up quickly.

roadfix 02-16-2017 12:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy M. (Post 1499265)
Wet wood chips burn more slowly and generate smoke rather than burning up quickly.

I think the trick to producing good smoke is to give it just enough air for a slow, constant burn.
The problem with most wood chip boxes is that they come with huge vent holes so it's impossible to produce a slow, regulated burn. And on top of that, gas grills, by design, allow too much air to enter the cooking chamber.
I think you get much better smoke from foil packs by poking just tiny vent holes and using dry chips.

RPCookin 02-16-2017 02:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy M. (Post 1498745)
You're talking about a container to put woodchips in that goes in a grill. Right?

If so, I'd recommend just going with a foil packet. Cheaper and it doesn't need to be cleaned afterwards.

Agree. I bought the cast iron box and It doesn't do any better than a foil packet with a few holes punched in it. The best thing about that is that I can prepare 2 or 3 of them and when one burns out, pull it and pop in another one. it's a royal pain to refill the cast iron one when it's hot.

CraigC 02-16-2017 02:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy M. (Post 1499265)
Wet wood chips burn more slowly and generate smoke rather than burning up quickly.

Yes, they produce smoke, just not the kind I want to flavor my food.:wink:

caseydog 02-16-2017 08:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy M. (Post 1499265)
Wet wood chips burn more slowly and generate smoke rather than burning up quickly.

I'm with Craig on this, 100-percent.

The key to getting good smoke is to have efficient combustion. Thick white smoke may look good, and make you feel like you are smoking your food well. But, talk to any good pit-master, and he/she will tell you that the best smoke for flavor is the smoke you can barely see. The coveted thin-blue-smoke.

In a gas grill wood-chip box or foil pouch, use dry wood chips, a little at a time. There is no rule that says you can't add more wood chips as you cook. RPCookin nailed it. If your wood burns up, add more. Wet wood will make a lot of smoke. If that is your thing, go for it. When it comes to smoking food, quality of smoke beats quantity of smoke every time.

CD

caseydog 02-16-2017 08:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tenspeed (Post 1499236)
You have stated that you use charcoal/wood grill guy. Have you actually used a smoker box on a gas grill?

Yes. My dad has a Weber Genesis. I bought him one of those smoke boxes. We used it on some pork tenderloin. I think it is the only time it ever got used. My dad isn't into cooking like I am.

I used dry wood chips -- IIRC it was apple wood. I like apple with pork. Pork tenderloin is a delicate meat, so it didn't need a lot of smoke. The smoker box worked fine. Once again, I used my nose, not my eyes, to judge the smoke. It smelled good, and tasted good.

CD

roadfix 02-18-2017 12:19 PM

But to be fair and honest, I don't remember ever getting even a wisp of blue smoke out of these smoke boxes or foil pouches.
I can produce them on my charcoal smoker or even with my charcoal Weber kettle with a few pieces of dry wood chunks thrown in.


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