Turn your propane grill into a smoker

Turn your propane grill into a smoker

Converting a grill into a smoker is a popular technique for those who want to add a smoky flavor to their grilled dishes. While it won't be as efficient or versatile as a dedicated smoker, you can still achieve good results with the right approach. Here's a basic method to turn your grill into a smoker from Papa Ken at Maine Grilling Products.

Materials you'll need:

  1. Charcoal or wood chips (wood chips are better for smoking, but charcoal can work too)
  2. Aluminum foil
  3. A drip pan (a disposable aluminum pan works fine)
  4. Grill grates
  5. A probe thermometer


  1. Prepare your grill: Clean your grill grates and make sure your grill is in good working condition. You'll be using the grill as a source of indirect heat, so ensure the burners or charcoal area are functioning properly.

  2. Soak your wood chips: If you're using wood chips for smoking, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before using. Or you may want to experiment with presoaked wood chips like Brandy Apple or Spiced Rum Hickory. This helps them smolder and produce more smoke.

  3. Create a two-zone setup: On a gas grill, turn on one burner to create a heat source. On a charcoal grill, light the charcoal on one side. The area with the heat source will be the "hot zone," while the other side will be the "cool zone." You'll be placing your food on the cool side to smoke it indirectly.

  4. Use a drip pan: Place a disposable aluminum pan filled with water under the grill grates on the cool side. This pan serves a few purposes, including regulating temperature and adding moisture to the cooking environment, which is important for smoking.

  5. Add the wood chips: If you're using wood chips, drain them and wrap them in aluminum foil to create a pouch with holes punched in it to allow the smoke to escape. Place this pouch directly on the heat source (or on the charcoal if using a charcoal grill).

  6. Control the temperature: Use the grill's vents and burners to regulate the temperature in the smoking chamber. Your goal is to maintain a temperature of around 225-250°F (107-121°C). Monitor the temperature using a probe thermometer.

  7. Smoke your food: Place your food on the cool side of the grill grates, away from the direct heat source. Close the grill lid to keep the smoke and heat inside. You may need to rotate or flip your food occasionally for even smoking.

  8. Maintain the smoke: Check the wood chips or chunks regularly, adding more as needed to keep the smoke going. You can also add more soaked chips or chunks directly onto the heat source.

  9. Cook to the desired temperature: Smoke your food until it reaches the desired internal temperature. This can take several hours, depending on what you're smoking. Use a probe thermometer to monitor the food's progress.

By following these steps, you can effectively turn your grill into a smoker and enjoy the delicious flavors of smoked meats and other foods. It may take some practice to get the hang of temperature control and smoke management, but with time, you can become a skilled backyard smoker. Enjoy!  Papa Ken

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