smoking on gas grill

Do you want to know how to use a smoker tube on a gas grill? The time has come to know the best way of using a smoker tube on a gas grill.

Cooking on a gas grill is both easier and more recreational. If you’re using one from a renowned brand, you’ll likely get even heat. 

There are usually no flare-ups and no burnt food. You can adjust the amount of heat as well, with a lot of ease.

Grilling over gas is also scientifically better than grilling over wood or coal. However, with gas grills, you don’t get that classy, smokey, and rich taste with the characteristics of a charcoal grill. 

Some people don’t think of gas-grilled meats to be flavorsome at all. A charcoal grill yields a much better taste of the meat and makes it juicy than a charcoal grill. 

But what if you can achieve that traditional taste of smoke with your utterly unconventional gas grill? The answer lies in the use of a smoker tube on your gas grill.

But before we discuss how to use a smoker tube on a gas grill, we should have a look at some important things. 

Smoker tubes are not the only type of equipment used for smoking on a gas grill. A smoker box can also be used for this purpose. 

The primary difference is that the former holds wood chips, and the latter uses wood pellets for smoking. First of all, we need to look at:

What is a Smoker Tube for a Gas Grill?

A pellet smoking tube is a metal vessel that is drilled with holes to house smoking pellets for smoking on a gas grill. 

The smoke from the pellets will cook your food besides infusing it with its unique, fragrant taste.

If you don’t have a pellet grill or your gas grill didn’t come with a smoker box, pellet tube smokers can be a perfect option for you. 

Moreover, wood pellets are much more compact and compressed than wood chips used in a smoker box. As a result, wood pellets used in smoker tubes burn slowly and produce a lot more smoke than a smoker box with wood chips.

Advantages of Using a Smoker Tube

Pellet tube smokers can also be used for cold smoking foods such as turkey and cheese. The difficulty with cold smoking is being able to expose the food to the smoke without heating it.

This issue alone opens a pandora box of problems. Melted cheese can contaminate the grill, for example.

But you can place a pellet tube smoker away from cold food, and you can even keep a tray of ice or water between the food and the tube.

There is almost no need to buy an expensive smoker or pellet grill with a pellet tube smoker. 

You can make a variety of smoky foods, not only traditional BBQ but also prime rib, ham, bratwurst, and even thanksgiving turkey, indirectly heated on a gas grill.

Then there’s a matter of safety. Throwing wood chips directly onto the heat source of a gas grill is an extremely dangerous act. 

It can cause fires and all sorts of possible hazardous damage. Pellets are safely held inside the smoker tube, so it becomes highly unlikely that they will ignite and turn into flames.

Now that you’ve got familiar with what smoker tubes are and how they function, let’s jump headfirst into our main topic: how to use a smoker tube on a gas grill.

Two-Zone Indirect Heating Setup

For successful smoking, no matter what kind of grill you are using, it is important to master the art of controlling the temperature for extended periods. No one wants the temperature to go above 300°F or the meat to be exposed to direct heat.

A two-zone indirect heating setup is best to avoid this, i.e., having a “hot zone” and a “cool zone” on the grill. To do this, turn on at least one burner to provide heat and cook the food on the other side.

An aluminum pan filled with water should then be placed between the gas burner and the food. 

The water pan helps to absorb heat and stabilize the temperature inside the grill. 

Don’t worry; the meat will not steam. It is not hot enough to boil, so it is more of a temperature regulator.

Types of smoking

You can choose from two types of smoking commonly practiced: Both provide exquisite flavors and aroma in your food. 

Let’s talk about each type, understand smoked meat in a gas grill, and get the best possible results.

  • Cold smoking

In some cases, cold smoke is a great approach to readily smoking before cooking it. This method saves much time by preserving your food with added smokey flavor. 

Likewise, it also allows you to add the saga taste of smoke in your delicate foods like cheese and fish. 

To cold smoke, you should aim for a target temperature of below 80 degrees Celcius for your grill. 

Cold smoking helps you make smoked cheese, cold smoked salmon, smoked salt, and many other cold smoked items. There’s no better method for cold smoking than using a pellet smoker tube.

  • Hot smoking

You cook and smoke your food simultaneously,” is the best way to describe hot smoking. 

To do hot smoking, you place the smoker tube with ignited specialty wood pellets inside the smoking tube and place it by the side of the food, opposite the grill vent.

 

As it’s the smoking during cooking, the internal temperature of a gas grill is above 140°F ranging between 190°F to 300°F. It’s a suitable method for steaks and other meats.

Wood Pellets Vs. Wood Chips: Which are Better for a Smoking Tube?

Using a pellet tube smoker to smoke on a gas grill is very simple, and there are several ways to make it produce aromatic wood smoke. Yet, make sure to put wood pellets, not chips, in the pellet tube. The pellet tube allows more oxygen to get inside than the smoker box. Therefore, the wood chips will burn faster because of their lower density.

In contrast,  the pellets are much more compressed than traditional wood chips. So, they need a lot more oxygen to smolder as a smoking tube offers.

To your distress, the chips may also ignite and start an unnecessary fire in the gas grill. 

When the pellet tube is full, you can have four to five hours of smoke before you need to refill it. 

For larger meats, you may not need to fill up the pellet tube in one cooking session, as this is the time they can absorb the smoke.

How to Use a Smoker Tube on a Gas Grill

So, let’s begin with using the pellet tube smoker for hot smoking and cold smoking. Here is the ultimate guide.

How to prepare a smoking tube for smoking on a gas grill 

To use a smoke tube on a gas grill, you need to do the following:

  1. Have a smoke tube (around 12 inches) and wood pellets ready.
  2. Clean the smoke tube and let it dry.
  3. Place wood pellets to fill it below 1 inch.

How to use a smoker tube for hot smoking on a gas grill

How to Use a Smoker Tube on a Gas Grill

The process to hot smoke on a gas grill is quite straightforward, almost invariable, and consists of the following steps:

Step 1: Ignite the grill and prepare it.

Light your gas grill. And let it preheat for 15 minutes. 

During the process, keep the lid closed. Then turn off the burners on which you’ll place the meat.

Set the other burners to low heat so that the internal temperature matches the grilling temperature of what you plan to grill.

Step 2: Fill and light the smoker tube

Put the smoking pellets into the tube. For this purpose, place the smoker in a vertical position. Light the top end of the pellet tube using a butane torch.

Once the pellets are ignited, and some flames are visible, allow them to burn for about five minutes. Now, blow out the flame.

Step 3: Place the smoker tube inside the grill and start smoking

Now you can place the smoker tube in the grill. Do not place the smoke tube on the burner that you’ll light for cooking. 

Place the smoking tube in a horizontal position. Place the food on the grill and start grilling.

Note: Also, remember that you shouldn’t keep the tube near the vent. It’ll waste the smoke.

How to Use a Smoke Tube on a Gas Grill for Cold Smoking

Here’s an easy method to cold smoke your food:

Step 1: Fill the smoking tube.

As stated earlier, add wood pellets to the tube smoker. If you want the pellets to last longer, add more until they’re an inch from the top of the tube.

Step 2: Ignite the tube

  1. Light the top of the tube with a butane torch lighter, keeping it in a vertical position. And allow it to burn for approximately three to five minutes. Then, blow out the flame.

Step 3: Place food on the grill and smoke it.

Now you can add your food, cheese, or meat to the grill chamber without lighting the grill. Close the lid and enjoy the cold smoked food at the end.

Be careful not to over-smoke

You need to be very careful with smoke. Do not over-smoke, or the food will turn bitter. Over-smoked meat does not taste good and can be unpleasant to eat. 

If this is your first time, don’t use more than half a cup of wood pellets.

Once you’ve cooked the food, the next step is to decide whether or not to add more pellets for a stronger smoke flavor. 

It’s not a bad idea to experiment with increasing or decreasing a little at a time until you get the flavor you want. Meat without smoke is better than meat with too much smoke.

What to Use for Smoking if you don’t have a Smoking Tube?

There are many solutions if you don’t get a smoker tube. You can make a DIY smoker tube like this.

 

However, I don’t recommend you make a DIY pellet smoker tube….WHY? 

Here are the reasons:

  • They’re much more painful and time-consuming to cost you XX time than the original tube.
  • The original pellet smoking tubes are only $$ and much easier to use. Since you can use them for smoking your BBQ over the years, they hardly cost you a penny each time you use them (they last over five years).

What if you’re in a hurry, or the clock is ticking, and you’ve already told your guests that they’d enjoy a hearty smoked meal?

Using tin foil bombs will be more helpful, time-saving, and cheaper. Not only this, you can increase its size to get smoke or prolonged time. 

Do you want to make it?

All you need is:

  • Aluminum foil
  • Wood pellets

Method:

 

  • Get a large piece of aluminum foil and place the wood pellets in the center.
  • Fold the aluminum foil so that both edges are gathered in the center and cover the pellets.
  • Fold the remaining edges as well.
  • Pierce through the foil to create small holes. The purpose of these holes is to allow the smoke to escape.
  • Position the foil under the cooking grates on an unlighted burner.
  • Return the grill to its original position.
  • Turn the burners to high heat.
  • Hold until the pellets begin to smoke, then start a two-zone fire.
  • Set the temperature as needed.
  • Place the food on the burner that is not lit and close the lid.

You’re done now. It’s a homemade gadget that produces the same effect as a smoke tube.

Things to Consider before Buying a Smoker Tube

You should have some considerations in mind before buying a smoker tube. Some of the most important considerations in this regard are the following:

The size of the tube:

The size of the tube is a good indicator of how wide and far the smoke will reach in the grill. A large pellet smoker tube of 12 inches should do the trick for smokers in general, but people tend to use larger or smaller pellet tubes as well.

  • Tube Shape:

The next important factor is the shape of the pellet tube. Some are cylindrical. Some have a rectangular cube or even a hexagonal shape. 

The shape of the pellet tube smoker determines the distribution of the smoke. 

A cylindrical shape is good for even smoke distribution, but it lacks the stability to stay in a certain position. That’s why a hexagonal shape is always preferred.

  • Density and distribution of pores:

The most important aspect of a pellet tube smoker is to ensure that the smoke is well distributed. 

For this reason, it is important to have the right number of holes in the smoker. The higher the density of holes and distribution, the more ideal the tube will be.

  • Material of the tube:

Stainless steel is preferred as it will not melt or get destroyed even after prolonged use. It increases the lifespan of the tube as well as provides better smoke emission.

  • Miscellaneous:

Other miscellaneous items include whether the tube has grips to avoid rolling around or displacement, hangers for outdoor grip, or any other similar set of handling features.

What is the best Pellet Tube Smoker to use on a Gas Grill?

The tube by Lanney is the best pellet tube smoker. It’s sturdy, easy to clean, and of excellent shape to help with smoking.

FAQS about using a Smoker Tube on a Grill

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

If you do not have a traditional wood pellet grill, you can use a smoker tube, smoker box, or aluminum pouch to smoke your food.

Which is better: tube smoker or smoker box?

Smoking tube and smoke-box create smoke for your food with the woody aroma we look for when savoring BBQ meals. This box is perfect for large slices of red meat. 

However, the smoking tubes create smoke significantly faster than other smoking tools in these types of cases.

How can I blow out the smoking tube?

When you position the tube smoker horizontally and allow the flame to burn itself without the butane torch, the flame will extinguish, and the tube will begin smoking.

How do I stop a smoking tube?

Use an old teaspoon to separate the burning pellets from the unburned pellets. Make sure you take them all. There will still be smoke for a while, but it will quiet down when it is gone.

Are pellet tube smokers worth it?

As far as durability and quality are concerned, pellet tube smokers are excellent devices. They are made of stainless steel and are designed to provide years of service with acceptable use.

Can I use wood chips in the smoke tube?

Of course, the smoke tube can also burn wood chips and generate smoke. Yet, it’s always recommended to use wood pellets in a smoke tube for a superior taste, though you can use wood chips as well whether you do cold smoking or hot smoking.

Final Thoughts

There is no way to get an excellent smokey taste in your BBQ except by using the pellet tube smoker. Using the smoking tube the right way allows you to get an unforgettable, tasteful experience with smoking at your grills.

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.