Grilling guide: How to use wood chips

Using a smoker isn’t the only way to get great smoky flavor into your favorite foods- you can easily transform any grill into a smoker by simply using wood chips.  Here’s everything you need to know about how to grill with wood chips.

1. Choose your wood flavor.  


The multiple varieties of wood flavors each produce their own unique flavor of smoke.  Pick wood flavors that will compliment the food you are grilling.  The wood smoking chart above shows that poultry pairs well with fruity woods, while pork and beef are better suited for woods of stronger flavor.  Check out our article on smoking wood flavors for more information on choosing the right wood.

2. Choose size of smoking wood.

Pictured left to right: hickory chunks, alder chips, apple wood chunks

Smoking woods come in different sizes, such as chunks, logs, and simple smokes, but we recommend using chips for grilling because they are quick to smoke and easy to manage.  Chunks are better suited for when smoking for a long period of time and pellets burn out after just a little while of cooking.

3. Select grill method.


Your method of grilling with wood chips will differ based on the type of grill you are using.  Find the best method for you below.

  • Charcoal grill: Heat coals with half-time charcoal starter. Pour coals into grill and place smoke packet on top for a quick smoked suited for chicken or fish. For long smokes, try setting up a fuse burn with charcoal and wood chips/chunks. (pic)
  • Gas/Electric Grills: Place wood chips in packet or smoker box and place over direct heat.  Once the chips are smoking, move to cooler side of grill and add food.  
  • Tru-Infrared Grill: Place chips directly onto grate.


  • Amount of chips– For long smokes, add a packet of chips every 30 minutes to keep the smoky flavor going.  About 2-3 handfuls of chips placed on direct heat will smoke for about an hour.  
  • Soaking chipsIt might be tempting to soak your wood chips to prevent them from burning up faster.  This will only add time to the process and take away some of the smoke intensity because wet chips steam before smoking. If you are worried about the chips catching fire, place them in a foil packet.
  • Don’t lift the grill lid– Keep as much smoke as possible sealed in the grill to help flavor your food.

Char-Broil makes smoking easy with our 3-Pack Wood Chip Smoker Boxes. Check out these other great  Char-Broil® recipes for grilling with wood chips, like our Smoked Beef Brisket or Smoky Chicken Sliders.

Learn How to Grill Fish in Foil

Cooking fish on the grill is a great way to serve up some serious flavor in no time, not to mention that there are many health benefits of eating fish.  Even with taking precautions to keep the meat from sticking, though, grilling delicate pieces of fish can be a risky business.  Use foil instead to avoid a fish fiasco.  Just simply make a foil packet for fish to rest in and throw on the grill.  You’ll have a healthy, foolproof fish dinner in minutes.

Why use foil?

There are many benefits for using foil to grill up your favorite fish fillets.  

  • Easy- Have no fear of your prized perch sticking to hot grill grates.  Take the gamble out of grilling fish by making a foil basket instead.
  • Quick- The foil conducts heat and helps to steam fish in just minutes.
  • Holds up- Delicate, flaky fillets can’t stand up against many forms of cooking.  Keep things together in a cozy foil nest.
  • Find the flavor– Add herbs and aromatics to infuse the meat of the fish with delicious flavor while cooking. 

How to grill fish in foil:

  1. Choose your fish. One great thing about cooking fish is that there are endless varieties, each with their own unique flavor.  Because you’re not cooking directly on the grill grates, there’s no need to worry about selecting a sturdier fish that will survive high heat.  Hearty fillets such as salmon or tuna both have a distinct flavor, whereas light fish like tilapia and cod have mild flavors and work well with a variety of spices.  Try to use fresh over frozen fillets whenever possible.
  2. Grease foil. Tear about a 10” x 10” sheet of foil for each fillet.  Use cooking spray or butter to lightly grease one side of foil.
  3. Add herbs and aromatics. Throw in your favorite flavors to cook with the fish.  Lemon slices, rosemary, and paprika are great options.  You can even add in fresh vegetables like carrots, peas, and onions.
  4. Grill over indirect heat. Light one side of the grill and leave the other side off.  Use tongs to place the foil on the unlit side and allow the fish to steam in about 5-7 minutes.
    Grilled Tilapia in Foil Recipe with Lemons and Capers

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Grill up this light and fresh fish recipe by using a foil basket. It's dinner made easy!


    • 1 fresh tilapia fillet
    • Butter, Margarine, or Non-stick cooking spray
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • 1 teaspoon capers
    • 1 slice of lemon
    • 1 small sprig of dill


    1. Grease a 10" 10" sheet of foil with butter or non-sick cooking spray.
    2. Fold and crumple the edges of the foil to make a basket that is open at the top.
    3. Place on fish fillet in the foil basket.
    4. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil.
    5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add capers.
    6. Place a slice of lemon and a sprig of drill over the top of the fish.
    7. Fold foil to completely enclose the fish.
    8. Grill over indirect heat for 5-7 minutes per side.

Complete this healthy, fish feast with delicious grilled brussel sprouts or a cool couscous salad. Using your favorite Char-Broil grill, cooking up fish in foil has never been so easy.  Find your next great catch at Char-Broil® today!

Food & Wine: 

How to Grill the Perfect Turkey

Cooking your Thanksgiving bird on the grill or smoker can make the best holiday turkey ever. You also get the side benefit of freeing up your oven for cooking those favorite side dishes. If you’re cooking your turkey on the grill for the first time, here are a few turkey blunders and how to avoid them.

Undercooked or Unevenly Cooked Turkey

The guests are gathered, ready for the holiday meal, and you slice the pretty browned bird only to find that the turkey is done in some parts but woefully under cooked in places. This is NOT the way to start off your meal but it doesn’t have to happen.

  • An evenly cooked turkey starts with proper thawing. Otherwise, the still frozen parts will be raw or rare when the rest of the turkey is finished. Allow plenty of time to thaw your turkey in the fridge – the FDA recommends about 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds.
  • Cook by internal temperature, not times or appearance. Looks can be deceiving and time/temp recommendations are rough guidelines. Use an instant read digital thermometer to verify that your turkey has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees in the breast meat and at least 175 degrees in the thigh meat.
  • In my opinion, the absolute best way to evenly cook a turkey is to “spatchcock” it, meaning to cut out the back bone and flatten it out. Take a sharp pair of kitchen shears or a sharp knife and cut along each side of the spine. Remove it, flip the turkey over, and then press down firmly on the breast bone, flattening it out.
turkey, Thanksgiving, turkey prep
Spatchcocking a turkey isn’t hard and is absolutely worth the effort.

Dry Turkey

Ever bite into a piece of turkey that was dry and just turned to sawdust in your mouth? Cooking to internal temperatures as mentioned above will help prevent that but here are a few additional ways to keep your turkey flavorful and juicy. Be careful with these treatments if you have an “enhanced,” “pre-brined” or “always juicy” turkey as they have already been brined or injected at the processing plant.

  • Soak the already thawed turkey in a flavorful brine.
  • Injecting your turkey with a butter based injection is an instant flavor boost and doesn’t take extra soaking time like a brine does. A simple injection for turkey is ½ cup each of butter, white wine and honey. Heat that up with a few sprigs of fresh herbs and allow to cool. Remove the herbs and inject into several places across the breast, thighs, legs and wings.
Brine turkey in this mixture for about 1 hour per pound, keeping it at 40f or below.
Brine turkey in this mixture for about one hour per pound, keeping it at 40 degrees or below.

Over Smoked Turkey

A hint of wood smoke is an excellent supporting flavor for turkey but it should not be the dominating flavor. It shouldn’t taste like your turkey died in a forest fire. Poultry accepts smoke flavor very easily so you want to use a light hand in using smoke as a seasoning.

Avoid heavy white smoke, you want a light grey/blue or even invisible smoke. Wait until the fire is burning cleanly and the thick white smoke has cleared up before putting your turkey on the grill or in the smoker.

Be careful with your wood choices. Hardwoods like hickory and oak can be quite strong so use them sparingly. Fruit woods such as apple or cherry are a little more accommodating. Choose your woods to complement your flavor profile. I like a combination of hickory with orange and bourbon.

The Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker makes smoking your turkey extremely easy and does a great job imparting a light smoke flavor.


Pictured left to right: hickory chunks, alder chips, apple wood chunks
Pictured left to right: hickory chunks, alder chips and apple wood chunks.

Burned Turkey

If you cook at too hot a temperature or too close to the heat source by the time your internal temperatures hit 160 degrees your turkey will resemble a meteorite on the outside.

  • For me, the optimum cooking temperature for turkey on a grill is medium, about 325 degrees.
  • Using a raised cooking grid or using an indirect grilling set up will help gently cook your turkey all the way through.
Spatchcocked turkey on raised grate
Example of a raised grate set up for turkey. With the lid closed and the burners on low, this will slowly and evenly cook the bird without requiring flipping.

Rubbery Skin
You want your turkey’s skin to not only look golden but also to be slightly crisp so you can bite through it instead of stretching a piece of skin like a rubber band as you try to eat.

  • A dry brine is a great way to flavor your turkey and still get crisp skin.
  • After prepping your turkey, set it uncovered on a tray in your refrigerator for an hour to 90 minutes. This will air dry the skin which helps get a crispy crust when finished cooking.
Grilled Orange Bourbon Turkey
Not only does spatchcocking help evenly cook your turkey, I think it makes a nice presentation.

Grilling or smoking your turkey is a sure bet to making your Thanksgiving special. Now that you know the possible pitfalls and how to avoid them, you should definitely give it a try.

How To Smoke A Pork Shoulder On A Charcoal Grill

A pulled pork sandwich is what made me fall in love with BBQ when I was 7 years old. We were visiting my family’s farm in North Carolina and we got BBQ from the local fire department fundraiser. It was love at first bite as I stood there barefoot on the gray Carolina clay eating chopped smoked pork shoulder on plain white bread.

Many folks these days put a pork roast in a crock pot, pour a bottle of commercial BBQ sauce over it and call it barbecue. That’s a shame because it isn’t barbecue and it’s super easy to make real pulled pork on your charcoal grill. Here’s how I like to smoke pork on my Char-Broil® Kettleman™ charcoal grill.

What Should I Buy?

For pulled pork you could use whole hog but that probably won’t fit on your grill. The options in most supermarkets are:

  • Whole pork shoulder: cheaper per pound but less final product per pound and it might not fit on some backyard grills
  • Picnic shoulder: lower half of the shoulder, costs less than butt, has leaner meat and has more waste
  • Boston butt roast: also known as a pork butt – the top half of the shoulder, great blend of fat to lean and highest yield

Any of these three will work, but I usually go with the Boston butt roast. Even though it costs more per pound, it has less waste and I think it gives the best final product.

How Much Should I Buy?

These roasts look huge but remember that you’ll lose up to half to trimming, bones and shrinkage. I always estimate a low yield of 50 percent of the raw weight. So for an 8 pound roast, you’ll get about 4 pounds of BBQ. Typical portions are ¼ pound for a “regular” sandwich or 1/3 pound for a “large” sandwich. So from 4 pounds you’ll get about 16 regular or 12 large sandwiches. So plan for ½ pound raw weight per guest for regular sandwiches or 2/3 pound raw weight per guest for large.

How Long Will It Take?
Plan on six hours of marinade time, cook time of about 1 ½ hours per pound, and a rest time of 2-4 hours. So for an 8-pound butt, allow for 20-22 hours before you plan to serve.

Extra Equipment to Have On Hand
In addition to your normal grilling gear, you’ll need a meat injector (if injecting), a half-sized steam pan, a cooler, a couple of towels, a food-safe spray bottle and about 4 cups of hickory wood chips.

How To Smoke A Pork Shoulder On A Charcoal Grill


  • 8 pound Boston butt roast
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce of your choice
  • Buns
  • For The Injection (optional)
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • For The Rub
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • ½ tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne or chipotle pepper
  • ½ teaspoon MSG (optional)


  1. At least 6 hours before cooking time, inject the pork butt. Whisk together the apple juice, water, salt, sugar, and cayenne until the salt and sugar is absorbed. Draw some of the solution into your meat injector and inject it into the pork butt. Keep doing this in locations evenly all over the pork butt until you have used all of the solution.
  2. Season the butt. Mix together the paprika, sugar, black pepper, garlic salt, kosher salt, chili powder, cayenne or chipotle pepper, and the MSG (if using). Reserve a half tablespoon and then season the pork butt all over with the rest of the rub. Place the pork butt back on refrigeration for at least 6 hours or up to 12 hours.
  3. Preheat your charcoal grill. Position 80 charcoal briquettes, side by side, in almost a complete circle around the edges of your Kettleman grill. Sprinkle about 2 cups of hickory chips on top of those briquettes and then top those with another 20 briquettes in a single circle. Heat about 15 briquettes in a chimney starter and then pour onto one end of the coal circle. Put the half-sized steam pan in the center of the circle and fill it half full with water (or apple juice or other liquid of your choice). Place the grate on the grill, close the lid with the vents barely open, and allow to come to 275 degrees.
  4. Remove pork butt from refrigeration and place on the center of the grate, above the steam pan. Close the lid and let smoke.
  5. About once an hour, check to see if the butt surface is drying out and if it is, spritz it with apple juice.
  6. After about 4 hours, replenish your coals and wood. Lift the grate, with the butt still on it, and place it on the bottom rack of the Kettleman (don't do this with dogs around...). Knock down the spent coals. Starting at the end of remaining unlit coals, put more briquettes and wood as in the beginning. Repeat as needed during the cooking process.
  7. Once the pork butt gets a nice dark bark (about when it hits an internal temp of about 160 degrees), you can double wrap it in aluminum foil to speed up the cook.
  8. When the pork butt reaches an internal temperature of 195-200 degrees (about 10-12 hours), give it the FTC (foil-towel-cooler) treatment. Wrap it in foil, if you didn't already. Place a towel in your empty cooler, place the wrapped pork butt on that, top with another towel and close the cooler lid to let it rest for 2-4 hours.
  9. Take the pork butt from the cooler and remove it from the foil, retaining any juices. Remove the bone, break the meat into pieces, and shred it with a pair of large forks. Remove any noticeable pieces of fat. Season with the reserved BBQ rub and chop the pork if you like.
  10. Serve on the buns. Use about 2-3 ounces for sliders, 4 ounces for regular sandwiches, or 5.3 ounces for large sandwiches. Drizzle with BBQ sauce and serve.

Kettleman indirect set up, fuse burn, wick burn,

This is known as a “fuse burn” because you only light one end and it burns in a pattern, giving long, low cooking temperatures. This set up consistently gives me four hours at 275-300 degrees in the Char-Broil Kettleman grill.


fuse burn charcoal grill
The fuse burn relies on contact so make sure that you arrange your coals so they are touching. If the burn hits a gap, it could cause you to lose heat.
Kettleman charcoal grill
These instructions are based on America’s most popular charcoal briquette. If you use a different coal, watch your temps and adjust. I substituted a different type and was surprised to see my temps jump over 100 degrees with the same settings.
Kettleman temperature control
Vent settings that I use with this coal set up to maintain cooking temps of 275-300 degrees.
smoked pork Kettle grill
This is about 3 ½ hours into the cook and is an example of when you should spritz with fruit juice.
fuse burn kettle grill
You should replenish the coals and wood when your fuse burn reaches this point. You need to keep a good base of burning coals so leave the coals between the red and yellow arrows.
Pulled pork on kettle grill
Chopped (left) versus pulled (right) is just a matter of preference. Chopped gives a little more control over portion size and mixes the lean and fatty meat together better. Pulled shows off your expertise and the various parts of the pork (money muscle, horn meat and lean roast).

Use Your Grill To Season Your Food

Every ingredient has a flavor. My favorite part of cooking is learning to understand which flavors are complementary and how different combinations affect the final taste of a dish. With so many combinations, I’m a total advocate of only using recipes for inspiration and making each one your own. Each meal can be a completely new experience.

With most cooking techniques, all you need to worry about is the flavor of the ingredients. The spices, the meats, the vegetables and fruits — everything can be cooked together in pots or on a baking sheet and the flavor remains the same. A grill, however, is completely different. The grill should not only be treated like a heat source, but as an actual ingredient with its own flavor profile. And even within the grilling world, the flavor of each type of grill varies wildly.


Gas grills are stable and dependable, but don’t impart much of a unique flavor. The high heat and direct metal contact with the grates create char and caramelization, which can cause residual smokiness, but any naturally occurring smoke will be mild. If you’d like to get more smoke out of your gas grilling, try creating your own smoke box with a cooling rack and foil tray.


Charcoal grills require significantly more attention than a gas grill, but the flavor of a charcoal grill makes it worthwhile for many. The heat is more intense than with most gas grills and the smokiness is more concentrated. Using lump charcoal, as opposed to briquettes, is even better and releases smoke that smells of the wood it was made from.

Wood Fired

Wood-fired grills are primal, both in function and flavor. Each type of wood you burn releases smoke unique to itself. Hickory is deep and rich. Apple is lighter and sweet. Choose your wood the same way you’d choose any other ingredient. Keep in mind that if a fruit would pair well with a meat (apples and pork come to mind), smoke from its wood mostly likely will, too.

Once you understand the impact your specific grill has on the food you cook on it, you’ll find it easier to produce consistently great grilled food. If using a gas grill or even charcoal, try adding different types of wood chips to see what impact it has. You may be surprised at the culinary doors that open up to you.

Apple-Smoked Brats with Apple Butter and Sauerkraut



    For the brats
  • 6 bratwurst sausages, uncooked
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 2 large handfuls applewood chips
  • Fixings
  • 6 brat buns
  • Apple butter
  • Spicy brown mustard
  • Sauerkraut


    Soak the bratwurst
  1. Put bratwurst in a ziplock bag, add the apple juice, remove as much excess air as possible and seal the bag. Let sit for 3-5 hours.
  2. Smoke the bratwurst
  3. Preheat grill on medium-high heat.
  4. Fill the bottom of a foil tray with a single layer of applewood chips and cover the tray with a metal cooking rack.
  5. Place the foil tray on the grill and add the bratwurst to the cooling rack so as the wood chips release their smoke it will envelope the brats.
  6. Close the grill lid and allow the brats to cook for 25 minutes. DO NOT OPEN THE LID!
  7. Assemble the brats
  8. Dress each bun with apple butter and mustard. Add a brat to each and top with sauerkraut.


Tips for Simple Grilled Fish with Herb Butter

Grilling fish can be intimidating. We’re always worried about it sticking to the grates, breaking apart and falling into the fire. But I have some tricks to help you cook the best fish you’ve ever eaten.

 Tricks to Beautifully Grilled Fish

  • Scrub the grates to remove any residual food. Char-Broil’s Cool Cleaning Nylon Brush is the perfect way to keep your grates clean. Make sure the grill is cold when using this brush.
  • Preheat the grill on medium — fish is delicate and should be cooked at a lower heat so it cooks gently and remains moist.
  • Keep the heat below 400 degrees (the smoke point of most oils) so the oil will bond with the grates, creating a more non-stick surface. If it gets too hot, it will actually make your foods stick more.
  • For extra insurance, you can use a grill topper to hold the fish. It makes clean up very easy, gives you a more supportive surface to cook on and is the perfect solution for delicate foods such as seafood and vegetables. I recommend Char-Broil’s Chef’s Delite Grill Topper. It is particularly valuable when cooking fish filets.
  • Oil the fish well on both sides before placing it on the preheated grill or grill topper.
  • Do not move or try to flip the fish until it releases easily. If you try to slip a spatula under it and it sticks at all, give it another minute or two and try again. It will tell you when it’s ready to flip.
  • Using a Char-Broil® TRU-Infrared™ gas grill or Kettleman™ charcoal grill will guarantee that even if the fish breaks, it won’t fall into the fire.

Fresh lemon makes everything taste better

To add a ton of flavor to any grilled foods, try making an herb butter. It’s simply a mixture of softened butter and your favorite seasonings. You can add herbs like I did with the halibut, minced shallots for a lovely delicate onion flavor or add chile powders or sriracha for a kick of heat.

I like to make several butter flavors at a time, firm them up slightly in the refrigerator and then form into logs and wrap tightly in plastic. They are a snap to make and you can have three or four different ones done in no time. I always have some on hand to add a ton of flavor to my grilled foods. They store perfectly in the refrigerator or freezer.

Fresh halibut filet searing on the hot grill

There is one ultimate truth about cooking fish … you can do everything right, oil everything perfectly and cook it at the right temperature, and sometimes it is still going to stick. Just go with the flow and relax. The fish will still be delicious even if it isn’t all in one piece.

Grilled Fish with Herb Butter

Simple Grilled Halibut with Herb Butter


Serving Size:

Calories per serving:


    Herb butter - optional
  • 1/2 stick butter at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh or dried herbs of your choice such as dill, oregano and/or thyme
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder (not flavored salt)
  • A pinch each of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Halibut
  • 4 thick-cut halibut filets, about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 lemons, quartered
  • Lemon herb butter, optional


    Make the Herb Butter (if using):
  1. Mix the butter with the seasonings using a fork or a whisk until it is evenly blended. Place in the refrigerator for a few minutes to firm up. Form into a small cylinder and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. You can refrigerate it for a week or freeze for up to three months. Seasoned butters are good on all grilled meats, change the herbs as desired to complement your seasonings.
  2. Prepare the fish:
  3. Pat the fish pieces dry with paper towels and brush both sides of each piece with the oil and sprinkle the top with salt and pepper. Set two of the lemon pieces next to the fish.
  4. Preheat the grill on medium-low to medium for 8-10 minutes with the cover closed. You want to keep the temperature below 400 degrees if possible. Char-Broil's TRU-Infrared grills are so efficient that it will come to full temperature in no time.
  5. Use a grill brush to thoroughly clean the grates. Brush lightly with a paper towel dipped in a little of the oil on the baking sheet. This helps as long as you keep the grill below the smoke point of the oil, which is about 400 degrees. Any hotter and oil on the grates will not help the fish release more easily.
  6. Reduce the heat to medium low. Set the fish pieces on the hot grill or grill topper, salted side down, sprinkle the tops with more salt and pepper, close the cover and cook about 4 to 5 minutes (depending on thickness of the fish) until the fish releases easily when you slip a thin spatula underneath. Flip it in one quick movement. Repeat with the remaining pieces.
  7. Cook until an instant read thermometer registers 132-135 degrees when inserted in the thickest part, about three minutes. Remove the fish when it is still slightly undercooked. It will finish as it rests off the heat. You can also use a knife or fork to peek inside and check for doneness.
  8. Transfer to a clean baking sheet. Set the baking sheet on the counter, cover loosely with foil while you assemble the plates.
  9. Place a filet on each serving plate. Add a few pieces of lemon and, if desired, add a thin pat of lemon-herb compound butter to melt over the top. Serve while hot.

How to Reverse Sear a Steak

Reverse searing a steak is just what the name implies. Instead of searing a raw steak on a hot grill and then continuing to cook it to the perfect internal temperature, you cook the steak at a very low temperature until the center is about 20 degrees cooler than you want the end product to be. Then, you put the steak on a screaming hot part of the grill and sear both sides for just a minute or two.

You’ll get a steak that’s evenly pink throughout instead of having the gray ring that forms when you grill a steak the conventional way.

There are a few tricks to making this work perfectly every time, but at the end of the day, it’s a beautiful thing to slice into that steak and get a rosy interior from one edge to the other.

Make sure your steaks are at room temperature
Depending on the thickness of the steak, take them out of the refrigerator 30 minutes to one hour ahead of the time you plan to grill.

Control the fire
Whether it’s gas or charcoal, you’ll need the temperature on the grill to be about 275 degrees. With a gas grill, a four-burner is preferable so you can get enough heat variance from the lit side to the other three unlit sides. For a charcoal grill, bank the coals far to one side of the grill and use the area of the grill without charcoal underneath it.

Use a digital probe thermometer
This is one of those techniques that requires a precise knowledge of the internal temperature of the meat. It’s worth the investment because you’ll use it over and over again.

Aim correctly
When you start the reverse searing process, you want the probe of the digital thermometer to be exactly in the center of the steak. So insert it from the side of the steak rather than the top. Set the target temperature on the thermometer to 90 degrees for medium rare.

Trust the process
When your steak hits that target 90 degrees internal temperature it will look raw. You might panic. Don’t panic. The thermometer won’t lie and your steak will be cooked to 90 degrees in the center.

Sear your steak
Now all you have to do is crank up the gas grill to as hot as it will go and sear the steak on both sides for a minute or two. Or for a charcoal grill, move the steak directly over the coals. If you want a perfectly even crust on both sides of the steak, put it in a screaming hot cast iron pan on the grill. For our reverse-seared T-bones we used the TRU-Infrared Performance 4 burner.

tips for reverse searing steaks










How to Reverse Sear aSteak


  • 2 T-bone steaks, 1.5-1.75 inches thick
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat one burner of a four-burner gas grill on low with the lid down, leaving the other burners off, until an oven thermometer registers 275 degrees.
  2. Let your steaks come to room temperature.
  3. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set a rack over the cookie sheet.
  4. Liberally salt and pepper the steaks and put them on the rack, inserting a digital probe thermometer into the center of the side of one of the steaks.
  5. Put the baking pan on the far side of the unlit portion of the grill, close the lid and wait for the internal temperature to rise to 90-95 degrees for medium rare. Depending on the thickness of the steak this will take 20-40 minutes.
  6. Once the internal temperature reaches 90 degrees, remove the steak from the grill and increase the heat to high on the one burner. If you’re using a cast iron pan to sear the steak, put it on the grill over the heat, close the lid and let the pan heat up for 10 minutes. If not, still close the lid and let the grill come up to temperature, about 500 degrees.
  7. Add the steaks back to the grill and sear for 1-2 minutes on both sides (if you’re using a cast iron pan, add about a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pan and let it heat up for a minute before adding the steaks).

How to Spatchcock a Chicken or Turkey

You can cut a boneless piece of meat to make it open like a butterfly to cook it flat, stuff it or reshape it. Did you know that you can butterfly a whole chicken, bones and all?!

This process is called spatchcocking.

To spatchcock a chicken (quail, pigeon or even turkey), you’re cutting it so that it lays flat. A flattened chicken will cook evenly and faster than a whole chicken because it’s the same thickness throughout. A spatchcocked chicken is much easier to manage on the grill, and when flattened, the chicken has more surface area to absorb your marinade, seasoning and smoky flavors (if you’re using charcoal or wood chips).

The technique was initially designed for smaller and younger birds because they’re more tender, making cutting out the spine is a smoother process, but you can spatchcock any bird. All you need is a pair of poultry shears, a sharp knife, a hard cutting surface and a chicken.

Step One: Place the bird breast side down and grab the tail. Then cut up along the side of the backbone.

cut chicken

how to cut chicken

Step Two: Cut down the other side of the spine.

cutting chicken

Step Three: Remove the backbone.

remove backbone from chicken

Step Four: The bird still isn’t completely flat, so flip the bird over and find the triangle of cartilage where the breastbone starts.

trimming chicken breasts

Step Five: Take a sharp nice and go down about a quarter inch through the cartilage where you can see the breastbone.

How to Spatchcock Chicken

Step Six: Use your fingers to open it up and the breastbone will release. At this point you can remove the breastbone or leave it in. It’s up to you. Even with the breastbone in the bird, it will still lay flat.

How to Spatchcock Chicken

Step Seven: Flip the bird back over, and you have a spatchcocked chicken.

flatten the chicken

Step Eight: (optional) You can take it one step further and tuck the wings behind the bird, exposing the breast and creating a more flattened bird.


Injecting Meats for Grilling

If you’re looking to add a little extra moisture to your meats – then try a technique called injecting. You can inject your meat with flavors or brine to help make it more succulent. Injection is also a no-wait, no-waste method to add flavor, since you don’t have to soak the meat in a marinade for hours. Injecting meats can take some practice, but we have some basic tips.

What to Inject
The usual suspects are salt water, marinades, butter and stock. You can also add olive or pepper oils, spices, syrups, sauces, stocks, broths and butter. Amazing Ribs writers recommend not using dark liquids like Worcestershire or Teriyaki sauce in light colored meats like chicken or turkey.


Types of Injectors
There are all sorts of injectors out there, from pumps to hypodermic syringes. Find something simple that works for you. Make sure the needle has sharp tip and that’s it’s easy-to-clean and store. Look for injectors with at least a two-ounce capacity. Don’t use brass, copper or aluminum, which can be affected by salt.

How to Inject Meat
Pinch the skin, almost like you are giving a shot to someone and inject slowly into along the grain of the meat, into the muscle. Don’t inject too much, you don’t want your meat to be mushy and the muscle already has a lot of water content. Make sure you go between the muscle fibers and bundles, not within the fibers. Push the plunger in and slowly pull the injector out at the same time you are pushing the plunger in. Also make sure you inject uniformly, with as few punctures in the meat as possible. You can use the same hole to angle into other areas of the meat. The goal is to get flavor in as many places as possible. If the liquid comes out of the surface, just baste the skin with a little rub or marinade

Tip: Make sure you wash the injector needle after each use. You can use a toothpick or wire to pull out pieces of meat trapped in the needle.

*Source Amazing Ribs

When is Charcoal Ready to Grill On?

Just because the charcoal has turned white, your grill may not be ready to cook on.

If you put hamburgers and steak on the grill as soon as the charcoal turns white, the heat will sear the outside of the meat. But you will need to leave the meat on the grill longer to ensure the inside is cooked thoroughly.

If you want a jerky burger or jerky steak, this method of grilling is ideal. Otherwise, wait until the charcoal has burned down to an even temperature before you place any meat on the grill grates.

When the charcoal firsts turns white, it is hot on the outside but still cool in the middle. You want to wait until at least 2/3rds of the charcoal lump has turned white and the charcoal has stopped smoking.

You can use a charcoal grill tool to move the charcoal around so that it is evenly dispersed throughout the basin for even heating.

While grilling, use a grill thermometer to measure the temperature inside the grill firebox. Also, use a meat thermometer to measure the temperature in the middle of the meat so you know when it’s ready.

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