Fri 9 Dec 2016
People are always in search of that great flavor to food that only comes from hardwood. In fact, it is common for discussions around outdoor cooking to use the terms grilling and barbecuing interchangeably as if they mean exactly the same thing. Let’s be clear – cooking with just LP/Gas is grilling. Barbecue is outdoor cooking over hot coals or wood, whether in lump charcoal form or straight hardwood pieces.
In an effort for grilling equipment manufacturers to compete with charcoal grills and smokers, many began integrating a wood chip drawer in their units to imply that “barbecue” was possible on a gas grill. If you ever tried these, you likely were disappointed in finding that the intensity of flavor just didn’t compare to charcoal equipment. Then the smoker box was developed with a wide variety of design options from rectangular in shape, v-shaped at the base to fit between grill grates, and venting hole configurations that made claim to more intense smoke penetration. Here’s the thing – no one ever discussed what should go in the smoker box. The assumption was to always use wood chips but I am going to take you on a flavor journey using that box that will open your eyes to understanding cooking with hardwood.
One of the key complaints I hear is that when using wood chips in a smoking box or drawer, the chips don’t seem to give off enough smoke and have a very short burn life. In fact, refilling the box or drawer is often needed to finish a simple food item like chicken pieces or ½ slabs of pork ribs. Wood chunks or uniformed sized pieces of hardwood lend to a much longer burn/smolder rate and give off great flavor infusion.
So how can you still work with your smoker box? Simply remove the lid or, if hinged in place, open the lid and place 3-4 SmokinLicious® Double Filet Wood Chunks in the box. Be sure the box is placed on the hot area of the grill and let it go.
The increased volume of the wood allows for things to smolder longer which means the combustion stages are extended, thus, the flavor infusion is extended.
No cover is needed on the box. What I like the best about this application is the box acts as an ash collection tray so removal for cleaning is quick and easy. Keep in mind, LP/Gas units have heat diffusers – although they may go by other names like heat distributors, flame tamers, heat plates, burner shields, and flavorizer bars to name a few – so you already have a built-in method of using wood chunks for maximum flavor infusion to the foods on the grate (see our previous postings on this).
So are wood chips obsolete for the LP/Gas unit? Absolutely not! It is just another option for you especially those of you who pine for more smoke flavor to your cooking.
Go on the hunt and locate what you did with the smoker box. Then visit SmokinLicious® .com in the USA or SmokinLicious® .ca in Canada and order up some Double Filet Wood Chunks and test out this easy method for yourself.
This is part our cooking series. See our Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook for recipe videos. #smokinliciousmenu