how to use wood pellets on a gas grill

Do you want to know how to use wood pellets on a gas grill to invite the aroma of your favorite wood pellets to your barbeque without a pellet grill? You might feel “missing” the rustic taste on your barbeques when you taste some smoked ribs at a dining table. The result is, you look for “how to smoke BBQ in a gas grill.” You might even try some ways but in vain.

Here is what you ultimately need. We’ll let you know the surest way to use wood pallets on a gas grill in our detailed guide.

Not only this, but we’ll also answer many confusions on this subject to help you do your BBQ for your dear one with much more confidence. Let’s get started with our article.

Let’s Learn Basics of How to Use Wood Pellets on a Gas Grill! 

how to use wood pellets on a gas grill

We’ve got started with our step-by-step procedure of “how to use wood pellets on a gas grill. The reason is, prior knowledge can guarantee you a successful smoked BBQ. So, before getting to our primary method, here are the points that you should keep in mind.

What if you skip this section? You might have to search for this blog post again when you notice some unwelcome issues while trying to smoke a gas grill with wood pellets.

  • Using wood pellets comes with many benefits.

Yes, smoking your chops or steak isn’t simply about the addition of smoky flavor. It’s far more beneficial. So here are some advantages.

You need not soak wood pellets.

A common practice about smoking your gas grill is using soaked wood pellets. The idea has got a mixed opinion as one group tells you that soaking pellets don’t dip immediately and use more fuel to reach the smoking beside the time. While some others think dry woods don’t last long. 

Whatever be the view, the wood pellets, being dense, don’t care for water. Hence, they save time and let you get a nice smoke in no time.

You get a variety of flavors.

“Meh no….! I’m afraid I have to disagree that wood pellets have more flavors when they heat up; I get them with wood chips toooo.” If you’re likely to believe so, the time is to correct yourself. The reason is, being out of saw wood dust, the wood pellets get a mix of more strong flavors and add more variety of flavors by combining wood dust from multiple trees.

Ease in smoke and cost-effectivity

Since the wood pellets comprise the hardwood sawdust compressed under higher pressure, they’re denser. So, they can last much longer in your smoker tube. To your surprise, they might last up to 5 hours and allow you to cook your entire BBQ cuisine. In contrast, the wood chips end so quickly, and you might need a larger quantity of wood chips. Hence, by using wood chips, you end up using more quantity as well. 

  • It’s better to use a smoker tube than a smoker box.

Have you ever learned that you should use a smoker box? Again, placing your foot in the right shoes will make smoking easier. So, use the smoker tube instead of a smoker box. 

Still wondering, what’s the reason? We explain it here by making comparisons.

Using a smoker box

It can be a primary choice to use a smoker box for using wood pellets to smoke a gas grill. You can go for it if you’ve already got a smoker box. But, remember, the smoker box isn’t meant for the wood pellets. Rather, small wood chips can be better to put inside the smoker box. 

The reason is, they need less air being less dense. Therefore, the few holes in the smoker box are sufficient. Even if you hope to use small wood chunks in the future, you can purchase some of the best smoker boxes from this amazon affiliate article that uses affiliate links.

Don’t worry; if you’ve already got a smoker box, we’ll let you know how you can use hardwood pellets inside the smoker box to get smoke for your food in our article.

Using a smoker tube

It’s the best choice that you’ll make to use the wood pellet to smoke a gas grill. The reason is, the smoking tubes have been engineered only to let you add smoke to your grills using the wood pellet. The wood pellets are compact, so they need more oxygen to produce smoke.

For this purpose, the smoking tube has many holes. Similarly, unlike the smoker box, the smoker tube will not heat all your pellets simultaneously, but it’ll burn them at one end and release the smoke. Thus, the pellets will last longer. So, look forward to adding a smoker tube; if you don’t know what can be the best smoker tube, check this Amazon affiliate article with product links.

Using an aluminum foil pouch 

It’s a money-saver and a quick option when you haven’t brainstormed yourself before learning how to use wood pellets to smoke a gas grill properly. The option works best with small wood chunks in the gas grill.

But does it work with the pellets? Yes, it does. But, if you love woody smoke-infused barbecue irresistibly, then don’t wait to get your best smoker tube because you’ll soon miss such an amazing tool. 

We advise you to use comparatively low temperatures to get smoke from foiled pellets. If you want to use aluminum foil for the process, use heavy-duty aluminum foil. You can also use a pan and cover it with aluminum foil.

  • Begin with the smaller amount of pellets first.

No matter how many guides and tutorials you’ve gone through to learn how to use wood pellets to smoke a gas grill, your first attempt at smoky flavoring can be less pleasing. When you don’t know how much stronger flavor you need or how long you should let your food smoke, you can be disappointed. So, we’ll advise you to check how many pellets will give what intensity of smoky flavor in how much time. The practice can be more helpful when you do it before throwing a big dinner.

How to Use Wood Pellets on a Gas Grill 4 Easy Methods

how to use wood pellets on a gas grill

By now, you’ve got a clear head about using wood pellets to fuel smoke. So, let’s begin with our four easy methods about how to use wood pellets on a gas grill, with one primary and another basic method. Here we begin.

  • Using a smoker tube to smoke a gas grill

When you don’t have a pellet smoker, our most preferred way is to smoke a gas grill by using a smoker tube. Do this step by step.

Choose the wood pellets.

Select your pellet type based on the flavor you want. You need not soak the wood pellets for the smoker tube itself will burn them solely and get you the strong smoke even since the beginnings,

Fill the smoker tube with wood pellets.

Fill the pellet into the smoker tube and, with a butane torch, ignite the smoker tube’s defined end for 1 minute and then let it burn for 8-9 minutes. Now below the smoker tube flame, you see smoke coming out of it.

Set the smoker tube inside the gas grill.

Now place this smoker tube on the grill on the other side of your food in a horizontal position. Make sure the burner underneath is off, and your smoker tube is away from the main burner that is cooking your food, lest your pellets catch fire and end in no time without providing enough smoke. You can also place it on an extra grilling rack inside your gas grill.

Cook your food.

Place your food to cook, observe the temperature and adjust it further if you see any fluctuation. Remember, don’t light the flame under or near the smoker tube. To put it simply, you’ll have to decide nearly 40% of your grilling area for your smoker tube to let it remain cool under the smoking tool.

You’ll hardly need to check this smoker tube to refill until you’ve done it. 

You can also do cold smoking by placing the lighted smoking tube on a cold grill and infuse smoke on your already done food. It’ll add a slightly smoky flavor, unlike a stronger flavor to your hot food. 

To see the details on “how to use a pellet tube smoker the right way”, check out the last section of this article.

  • Using a smoker box method to smoke a gas grill

The smoker box method is a little different from the smoke tube method. Your smoker box is food-grade cast iron or stainless steel box. It has less ventilation, which comes through the top or side holes only to make it more suitable for solid wood chunks. But you can also use it for wood pellets by following this method.

Set your gas grill for preheating.

Before using the smoker box, preheat your gas grill for 15 minutes, providing enough heat for heating the smoker box.

Fill the smoker box with pellets.

Put pellets inside the smoker box. Again, you need not soak them, but don’t overfill them like hardwood chunks because it will affect ventilation.

Place the smoker box on the grill.

Now position the pellet box directly on the burner after removing the grill; it will help it catch fire and start smoking. Make sure that the grill temperature is at 250 degrees to allow the magic to happen. When you see the smoke coming out of the box’s holes, your grill is ready to cook.

Cook your food.

Following your regular grilling method, you can cook food. Remember, you don’t keep the food directly in the smoker box dedicated area. Instead, use the rest of the room and close the lid.

Cook your food through indirect heating with a smoker box.

You can cook your food now. It’ll be a good idea to cook your food indirectly. To do this, in your preheated grill, turn off the 60% burners in a queue and place food on the opposite shut-off burners’ place. 

For instance, if you have two burners on the grill:

  • Keep one on and the other off.

And, if you have three burners on the grill,

  • turn off two burners: middle and right or middle and left. 

For a 4 burner grill, you can turn on or off the burners like this.

  • Turn on the most right burner and turn off the rest of the three.
  • Turn on only two burners on either the left or right side in a line and keep the rest of the two off.
  • Turn on the only right and left side burner on both ends and keep both middle burners off.

Place your foods over the shut-off burners.

Still, we’ll advise you first to study your product manual to learn the exact method for indirect grilling.

Place the smoker box on the burner, turn on other burners, and close the grill lid to allow your gas grill to gain the desired temperature that suits your particular recipe. Check your grill for the temperature, and if it’s set between 200-250 degrees, you can cook foods. Or alter the temperature by igniting, slowing down, or shutting off the burners.

When the temperature is fine, start placing your food and allow cooking. If you don’t have a recipe-wise grilling temperature guide, follow these temperatures:

  • For cooking red meat at 225-250 degrees.
  • 250-200 degrees for poultry.

The time required for cooking can vary on the magnitude of your meat cut.

You can also combine the indirect heating method with the smoker tube.

  • Using an aluminum foil pouch, smoke a gas grill.

When you don’t have a wood pellet grill, gas grills, or smoker tubes, your gas grills can still overdo the job when you can use some popular DIY solution to get flavor smoke for your steaks depending on the availability. It’s a safe method.

For a few pennies, you can use aluminum foil by making a pouch like this.

So, here is a step-by-step method on how to use wood pellets to smoke a gas grill. 

Make an aluminum foil pouch.

Get an aluminum foil and fold it in half.  Again fold it in another half the way so that you ultimately get four leaves.

Start by folding each side two times in a way that it is sealed. Fold the other two sides as well so that it turns into a pouch. Now add a handful of plants inside the pouch and close the opened side by folding the edge two times.

Once done, poke a few holes in the middle of this wood pellets fiddle pouch.

Place the aluminum foil in the grill.

Here you have to do the same as you have done in the previous two methods. Place the foil pouch on the grill burner to heat it until a good smoke comes out of it. 

Cook your food.

Keep on cooking the food. But, unlike the last two methods, you might need to use over one aluminum foil pouch because it might end sooner. So, you can prepare over two and readily place them one after another to allow good smoke through your recipe.

Pan method to smoke a gas grill

This other popular method is not much different from the aluminum foil pouch. The only difference is, you can use a pan with aluminum foil at the top.

Fill the pan with the wood pellets.

Take a pan that can be bigger enough to accommodate the wood pellets a smoker box can have. Now fill it with the wood pellets by 335 only so that the smoke gets space.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil.

Cover the top of the pan with aluminum foil completely and poke a few holes with a knife in it. This hole will allow smoke to come out of the pan.

Start with your barbequing.

Prepare your grill readily to reach the temperature at which you’re going to cook your recipe. Ideally, it should be 225-250 degrees. After checking the temperature using a thermometer, turn off all the burners, keeping the burners’ guide as mentioned above in view, and only keep one burner on. Place the pan on that burner and close the lid to let the smoke build. After 10 minutes, begin your cooking with the partial heat procedure as we told you earlier.

FAQs about How to Use Wood Pellets on a Gas Grill

How can I smoke my BBQ on a gas grill if I don’t have a wood pellet grill?

You can use the smoker tube, smoker box, or aluminum pouch methods to add smoke to your food when you don’t have smokers.

Which pellet should I use for smoking the gas grill?

You can use any that you like. The wood pellets are available in different flavors. But, you can combine the following flavors with these:

  • Apple pellets for seafood, chicken, lamb, or pork are mild and sweet.
  • Though cherries are sweet, you can use them for any food.
  • Hickory is matchless for pork though they’re fine to use with chicken and beef.
  • Maple makes excellent choices for veggies and chicken.
  • Oak is incredible for veggies though it can pair with chicken as well.
  • Mesquite is unbeatable with beef meat.
  • Pecan might specialize only in chicken.

Which smoke box or smoke tubes should you use or wood pellets on a gas grill?

Smoker boxes or tubes are available in two options: food-grade cast iron or stainless steel with holes in the top to allow air. You can use any though the stainless steel will last longer.

Can you use wood pellets on a propane grill?

Yes, you can use wood pellets on a propane grill.

Can you use smoking pellets on a gas grill?

Yes, you can use smoking pellets on a gas grill when you don’t have a wood pellet grill.

Can you use smoking pellets on a charcoal grill?

Yes, you can use smoking pellets on a charcoal grill. But you might need not follow the methods as mentioned above; you can simply mix them with charcoal. You can also use small wood chips in the same way.

Can I grill with wood pellets?

Yes, you can use them but on which type of grill? If you want to use wood pellets for grilling directly, it’s better to use them with a mix in a charcoal grill. You can also use the premium-grade wood pellets in a charcoal grill without a mix.

What are the signs of good smoke in a grill?

The good smoke is not dense or white. But it’s clean, a little transparent with some blue color. The thin white smoke is also acceptable if doesn’t give a bitter taste. You can learn more about smoke quality here.

Final Thoughts on How to Use Wood Pellets on a Gas Grill.

You can use any method when it’s about how to use wood pellets on a gas grill. Yet, getting a smoker tube can save you much effort and offer better results to meet your expectations. By the way, let us know which method you will use to smoke your gas grill by commenting below.

 

By Saba Akbar

Saba Akbar is a freelance content writer with a deep interest in cooking and using kitchen gadgets. It's why she infuses her cooking expertise and research in the articles to satisfy her audiences' search intent. She also uses advanced SEO skills to help maximum audiences seeking the best advice across the internet.