How to Smoke on an Amplifire Grill

How to Smoke on an Amplifire Grill

If you love smoky flavor and don’t have a smoker, you can still cook delicious smoked foods at home on the Char-Broil® Amplifire™ gas grill. Especially well-suited for smoking food, the Amplifire cooking system heats wood chips or chunks to give your old favorites a new twist with a variety of wood-smoke flavors.

Can you smoke meat on a gas grill?

You can smoke everything from a salmon filet to a brisket on your gas grill. Great candidates for shorter smokes are fish, chicken breasts and thin-cut pork chops. When you have more time, baby back ribs, whole chickens and meatloaf are great options. If you're up for more of a challenge and a longer smoke, try your hand at beef brisket.

What else can you smoke on a propane grill?

Many foods are enhanced by smoke flavor. You can seriously level up your dessert game with smoked desserts like brownies, peach cobbler and apple pie. The more moisture in a food, the more smokiness they will absorb. Juicy vegetables like tomatoes and onions are excellent for smoking. Fruits like peaches and pineapples are even tastier with a hint of fruity wood smoke. Whole and large fruit and veggie chunks can be cooked directly on the grates or on skewers as kabobs. If you’re smoking smaller pieces, place them on a tray to retain those delicious juices.

How do you smoke on a gas grill?

Traditional smokers are designed to cook low and slow over indirect heat, using wood smoke to flavor the food. So, when smoking food on your Amplifire gas grill, start by creating a two-zone cooking surface. To preheat the grill, turn one side of your grill to high and leave the other side off. Place the wood chips on the hot side. When they begin to smoke, turn the burners down to low. The temperature range for smoking is 225°F to 250°F. Keep track of the temperature on the lid-mounted thermometer, adjusting as needed. Then set the food on the unlit side of the grill. Meats should be at room temperature before loading them onto the grate.

How do you use wood chips on a gas grill?

With the Amplifire grill, all you need to do is lay a couple handfuls of wood chips directly on the grates. This unique cooking system employs an emitter plate between the grates and the open flame. With the flame blocked, your wood chips will be heated to generate smoke without burning up too quickly.

Another option is to make wood packets from a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Add two or three handfuls of wood chips to the foil and fold it up into a packet. Use a fork to poke several small holes into the top of the packet to allow the smoke to escape. When the grill reaches cooking temperature, place the packets on the grate over the lit burner(s). Replace them with fresh wood packets about every hour or so.

Do smoker boxes work on gas grills?

If you plan to smoke often, you may want to consider getting a smoker box. Smoker boxes are usually made from stainless steel or cast iron and have lids with holes or slats for the smoke to escape. All you do is loosely fill it with wood chips, replace the lid and set it on the grill grate that’s over the lit burner.

Do you soak wood chips for smoking on a gas grill?

The answer to this question varies depending on who you ask. Some say yes because wet wood takes longer to smoke while others say no because it creates steam, resulting in damp, musty smoke. With the Amplifire cooking system, it’s not necessary to soak your wood chips because the emitter plate blocks the flames, preventing them from burning up too quickly.

Wood chips are available in a variety of flavors like apple, hickory and whiskey. Choose a wood flavor that complements the food you’re smoking. Light woods like fruitwoods and pecan infuse a mild smoky sweetness to foods. They’re best paired with veggies and delicate meats like fish and chicken. Medium woods like oak and hickory impart a stronger flavor and work well with cuts like pork butt and ribs. The strongest smoking wood is mesquite, which can overpower most foods, but it’s ideal for smoking a beef brisket.

Try different varieties of wood to find the flavors you like best. If you want a flavor that’s not available, you can soak them in your favorite beer, wine or other liquid. Use them wet or let them dry before smoking to avoid mustiness. You can combine two flavors together to make your own combination – hickory and apple, for example. Aromatics like herbs, fruit peels and cinnamon sticks can be added for more flavor options. Rosemary and other aromatics with high oil content will produce a stronger flavor.

Can you use wood chunks on a gas grill?

Wood chunks are a slow, steady source of smoke and in many ways are the most desirable for smoking. When you use chunks, you can add one or two at the start of the cook and not worry about adding more wood later. Since wood chunks burn more slowly than chips, often a chunk or two is all you need. For longer smokes, you’ll need to add more wood chunks.

Where do you put wood chunks on a gas grill?

Place wood chunks directly on the grates over the heat source to smolder and generate smoke. Wood chunks are generally too big to fit in most smoker boxes.

How often do you need to add wood?

One wood chunk or two to three handfuls of wood chips will smoke for about an hour. About the size of coins, wood chips burn more quickly than wood chunks. Whether you smoke with chips in a foil packet, a smoker box or directly on the grill grates, you will likely need to add more chips during medium to long cooks. For example, if you’re smoking a pork shoulder or rack of ribs for several hours, you’ll probably refill the smoker box a time or two, add a new smoker pack or a handful of wood chips every hour or so.  Generally, chips are better for short cooks and wood chunks are better for long cooks.

Do you keep the lid open or closed?

While your food is smoking, resist the urge to lift the lid to check on it because smoke will escape every time you do. Lifting the lid will also extend the cooking time.

HOT TIP: Always use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature before serving smoked meats.

Comments & Questions