8 Steps to Smoke on a Gas Grill – Complete Guide

If I ask you what’s best, smoked brisket or grilled salmon? You must say smoked brisket. The reason to say so is the bark, tenderness, and flavor of the slow and low cooked meat. But you might be mistaken here that you cannot smoke food on a gas grill.

The gas grill with some tips and techniques can save you from buying expensive smokers. Here we will show you all the ins and outs of perfect smoking on gas grills. Let’s see how to smoke on the gas grill, but you must know what you would need for smoking before.


What Do You Need To Smoke On Gas Grill?

If you plan to smoke on the gas grill, you must cater to the required equipment. You cannot just randomly throw the wood chips into your gas grill and put food on top. If so, it is going to be a disaster. This way, the wood chunks will burn instantly and cause the meat to roast.

Smoker Box or Pellet tubes

Firstly, you need is something to hold wood chips/ wood slabs/ wood pellet. There are three different options for holding wood chips or pellets. That are:

  • Smoker box: To smoke on a gas grill with wood chips, you need Smoker boxes. They can safely keep the wood chunks and wood slabs without triggering any flames to the wood chips. If your gas grill already has one, then you are good to go. If not, you can purchase it online too as they don’t cost much.
  • Foil wrap: If you are more of a DIY guy or don’t want to spend money on fireboxes, you create one using heavy-duty foil paper. Just wrap your wood in foil paper and make perforations using a knife, and you are good to go.
  • Pellet tube: If you are thinking about using wood pellets on a gas grill, that is the answer. With the foil wraps and smoker boxes, they might need to replace wood chips after some time. But pellet tubes are long tubes that can hold enough wood chips to last more than 4 hours.

Wood type

Next, off you have to pick the wood type for smoking meat. There are plenty of options available, like wood chips, wood chunks, wood slabs, and pellets.

Wood chips are smaller pieces of wood that will burn quickly, while the wood chunks are the bigger bit, perfect for low and slow cooking. Wood pellets can also be best for smoking, but you must use the pellet tube because, without that, the pellets will burn instantly.

While choosing the wood, bear in mind its flavors, as the smoke intrudes the meat with its smoky flavor. Consider buying your favorite flavor of the wood chips.

Meat type

And last but not least, is the meat selection for smoking. Different meat types require different cook times to smoke on a gas grill. If your meat has fat on then, it will stay tender and juicy, but if the meat has leaner cuts, then you must baste them during the process. Better be mindful of your meat type.

8 Steps To Smoke On A Gas Grill with a smoker box?

I’m breaking down the process into steps for your better understanding.

Step1: Choose your meat type

Once you selected your favorite cuts of meat, you should also select the rub or seasoning of your choice. If you are up for the turkey, then you should have brined the turkey first.

Step 2: Prepare your meat

Now cut the excessive fats and membranes off the meat. But do not peel off all the fat as it will leave the meat dry and stiff in the end. Rinse meat with water and pat dry with paper towels. After that, sprinkle the seasonings or rubs that you selected.

Step 3: Prepare a wood box

If you have a wood box, then you are good to go; if not, go with a DIY aluminum pouch for the wood box. Once you put the wood chips in the box, spray a little bit of water, as it will resist flaming up the chunks.

Step 4: Start smoking

If you have a two-burner gas grill, turn on one burner to high flame and place the wood box on the other burner. Once the wood begins to smoke, turn the burner to medium heat and close the lid to pre-heat for 15 minutes or so.

Step 5: Place the meat

The minute the grill is pre-heated, nicely put the meat on the off-burner side and close the lid. A point to ponder here is that do not turn on both burners at all as it will kill the purpose of smoking. The wood chips’ smoke will do the thing to give that rich Smokey flavor from indirect heating.

Step 6: Check the meat

After an hour, check the meat. Keeping the meat’s size and nature (be it poultry, fish, or beef) in mind, you should check whether it is cooked or not. If you are smoking a brisket, do not open the lid for 3 hours. For other leaner cuts, one hour will work for cooking. Although depending on the size of the meat, you should leave it further for smoking. But remember, do not open the lid now and then, as it will slow down the cooking process.

Step 7: Add more wood

After four hours of smoking, you can add more wood chips (water sprayed) to the wood box. But be mindful that adding more wood will intensify the woody flavor of the meat. So it is on you whether you add more wood or not.

Step 8: Wrapping the meat

When the meat is done cooking, you can add some sauces to enhance flavor. Wraps the meat in foil paper with some seasonings and keeps it at rest for half an hour before serving.

Related: Best 2 Burner Gas Grills – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

How to smoke different types of meat on a gas grill?

Every meat type has its own nature and cuts that can alter its cook time. Below are some of the common meat types and its way of smoking on gas grill.

How To Smoke A Turkey Breast On A Gas Grill?

The most desired meat to smoke is a turkey breast. But the downfall with turkey breast is that it dries out during the course. So for that, you can soak it in brine for one hour-24 hours and then toss for smoking. Besides that, you must also baste butter during the smoking process. This will retain moisture till the end.

How To Smoke Brisket On A Gas Grill?

If you are not a seasoned chef, I recommend avoiding smoking brisket on a gas grill. It is a difficult meat type to smoke even in smokers. Brisket might take more than 10 hours to cook properly, depending on the size.

Still, if you want to show some skills, you can go for it. The brisket has marbled fat, which after some trimming can result in juicy and tender meat. You can pour some rubs and throw them in this gas grill with wood pellets. But remember, as the brisket takes more than 10 hours to smoke, you must add a new batch of wood chips after4 hours.

How To Smoke Fish On A Gas Grill?

If you love seafood, I suggest you to try smoking some on gas grills. It does not take long to smoke and results in perfect taste. You can sprinkle some garlic, black pepper, and salt and let the cherry wood chips do the magic. You can smoke salmon on the gas grill, too, to surprise your guests.

How To Smoke Ribs On A Gas Grill?

What better than smoked meat falling off the bone? Yes, you can smoke Ribs perfectly on a gas grill. First, you must peel off the membrane from the rib. Then rub your favorite BBQ seasoning generously. After smoking for 3 hours at 225F, wrap them up in foil paper and pour some liquid on it for perfect juicy flavor.

Further smoke for 1-2 hours depending on the ribs size and cuts. Now open the foil and put your favorite BBQ sauce on it and smoke further for one hour. After that, remove the foil paper carefully, rest the ribs for a while, and then see the meat falling off the bone.

How To Smoke Chicken On A Gas Grill?

You can easily smoke chicken on a gas grill. Just be sure that you have a meat probe to acknowledge you with its perfect cook temperature. Once the chicken is thawed and clean properly, rub your favorite seasoning generously all around. After that, heat your gas grill, put some wood chips, and put marinated chicken in it. Insert the meat probe into the fatty chest part of the chicken and wait to read 165F. It all takes around 2-3 hours for perfect cooking.

Related: Best 3 Burner Gas Grills – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide


Smoking on a gas grill is so easy. You need a wood box and wood chips, and you can turn your ordinary gas grill into a great smoker. But the gas grill’s downfall is that it has side gaps, which make smoke leave the grill. But still, with the right accessories and gear, you can smoke perfectly.

Above, we mentioned all the nuts and bolts of how to smoke on a gas grill. If you are not a seasoned chef, I will recommend that you not go for brisket smoking on a gas grill. Still, practice makes a man perfect; you can get your hands on some other food to get the hang of smoking on a gas grill. Happy smoking!

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