Exchange Bar and Grill is reader-supported. When you buy through a link on this page, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

How to Smoke on a Gas Grill

You have bought a very convenient and efficient gas grill, but there’s something lacking in there. It lacks the ability to give food the traditional smoky flavor.

A gas grill is perfect for direct and indirect grilling. Unfortunately, it doesn’t perform well when it comes to smoking.

I have great news for you.

There are several easy and quick ways that allow to add smoke to a gas grill and turn it into a decent smoker.

To do that, you’ll need the right tools depending on the method.

If you wish to smoke meat on a gas grill much more often, I suggest the smoker box method.

Ohh, I forgot about one important thing, if you don't have right now a gas grill or want upgrade your outdated grill to a new model you can check out my gas grills reviews list.

How to Smoke on a Gas Grill - 2 Ways

Smoker Box for Gas Grill

For that, you need to have the following:

smoker box & wood chips

Plenty of better gas grills are equipped with a smoker box. If your grill doesn’t have it, I really recommend getting one. It makes smoking with a gas grill easier and more convenient.

How to use a smoker box on a gas grill

So let’s get to the point – place the smoker box as close to the source of heat as possible, preferably directly above the burner in your grill. Then put dry wood chips in it. People often keep wood chips in water for half an hour before cooking, they do it to prevent the wood chips from catching on fire.

However, the thing about a smoker box is that it doesn’t have holes in the bottom, which means that wood chips should be safe and shouldn’t catch on fire. I’d like to stress out that you can still use wet wood chips, but they will require more time to start creating smoke, which is why dry ones will be the best.

Close the grill’s lid, then wait for the smoker box to warm up enough and start making smoke. If you want to make this process faster, set the burners to the max. Once the smoker box starts producing smoke, you can lower the burner’s heat to your preferred temperature.

Now’s the time for you to put your food on the grates. Remember! The meat smoking process requires time and a fixed low temperature. That’s why your meat can’t be directly above the burner, place the food above the burners that are off.

smoker box works

Smoker Box Generate Smoke

Use the knobs to control the temperature, you will probably need one burner located under the smoker box in order to maintain low temperature inside the grill.

How does a smoker box work?

The metal box conducts heat to the wood chips, which produce smoke. The bottom of the box has no holes, it prevents the wood chips from catching on fire. The upper part of the box, on the other hand, has holes that the smoke comes through that is meant to improve the flavor of your food.

The box can be opened, which means that after the wood chips burn out, you can add new ones any moment if need arises.

The tinfoil Method ( Smoke Bomb / Pouch )

If for some reason you cannot buy a special smoker box, make your own.

Of course in a longer run it will be a better solution to buy a new smoker box, which only costs about 20$. But let me repeat, if you cannot quickly buy a smoker box then you can use the tinfoil method.

Your task is to make something out of tinfoil that looks like a bag to keep the dry wood chips in.

foil smoke pouch

But first things first.

Prepare a big sheet of thick and durable tinfoil. Fold the foil in a way so that it looks like a bag, then pour dry wood chips inside. Fold the foil so that it’s sealed tight on every side, it will prevent the wood chips from falling out and the smoke from escaping uncontrollably.

All that is left for you to do is to make a small hole on the upper part of the foil. The hole should be tiny. Put this prepared foil bag filled with the chips directly above the burner. Remember!  Put it in a way so that the upper part ( with the hole ) is on the top.

Start the grill on high settings and wait for smoke to appear coming out of the tiny hole made in the tinfoil bag. In this moment lower the heat inside the grill down to the temperature you see fit.

smoke bomb pouch

It’s a very simple method and it doesn’t require a lot of time, you can prepare more of those bags depending on your needs. Such prepared bag should last for about 25-35 minutes.

I recommend watching a short video that I found on Youtube. You will see a step-by-step guide there on how to make a smoke bomb for gas grill.

Final Words

Foil bags are a great and simple idea, but this method requires some tinfoil and time to prepare it. If you don’t grill a lot then at first such solution should be enough for you.

For those who cook a lot using a grill, preparing foil bags may be time-consuming. Especially that one such bag lasts for about 25-35 minutes. In such case, the best solution will be to buy a special smoker box. It is not expensive, but it’s very useful when cooking.

Of course you have to be aware that regardless of the method – a gas grill will never achieve the same flavor of food as the characteristic flavor of meat straight from a offset or charcoal smoker.

Still, I recommend using the above methods. They will enrich your food with a partial smoke scent.