Tips For Wood Smoking On A Gas Barbecue
There are numerous reasons to opt for a gas barbecue instead of a charcoal barbecue, but ultimately it comes down to your preferred barbecuing style. If you do like gas BBQs better, then by adopting the wood smoking process your gas-barbecued food gets the delicious smoky flavour too!
The debate over whether using gas or charcoal is the best means of cooking your food al fresco, rages on. Reasons to choose gas include convenience, the fact you can simply flick a switch and start cooking, unlike with charcoal barbecues when you need to allow sufficient time for the coals to get hot. You also don’t need to worry about smoke getting in your eyes or the flames getting out of control – because you control the heat. And if you’re worried about the lack of “real barbecue flavour”, don’t be, because with a few easy steps you can create the same great smoky taste on a gas barbecue.
All you need are some wood chips, water and smoker box or aluminium foil, and you can add a taste of smokiness to your grilled food.
There are various different types of wood you can use, depending on the richness of flavour you want. Some of the best woods are oak, apple, chestnut and cherry. If you’re new to wood smoking, it’s a good idea to experiment at first, trying different wood chips to see which flavour you prefer.
Remember, though, that adding smokiness to meat or fish on your gas barbecue is like adding seasoning – you don’t want too much or you’ll mask the natural flavour of the food.
Once you have your wood chips, soak them in some water for around one hour. You want the chips to be damp as it is this moisture content that will keep your food moist during the smoking process.
Remove the wood chips from the water and get rid of any excess liquid by shaking or squeezing the chips. Then add them to your smoker box or aluminium foil.
For added flavour and to enliven your barbecue, you could try soaking the wood chips in beer, wine or fruit juice instead of water, to give them an extra element. Once you’ve used your smoker a few times, you’ll get to know what works and what doesn’t, and can create your own perfectly smoked barbecue dishes.
A smoker box is a small metal box designed to hold wood chips, so you can add wood smoke to your gas-barbecued food. It contains smoke holes so once added to the BBQ, smoke will steadily be released, flavouring the food.
If you don’t have one of these boxes, simply add the wood chips to a large piece of foil, spreading them fairly loosely before wrapping the foil around them and making a few holes in the foil – this can then be placed beneath the grill.
Both smoking methods will gently heat the wood chips so they release a wonderful smoke to flavour the food with, as you barbecue using the indirect heat method which also keeps the fish and meat incredibly moist and evenly cooked.