How to Smoke on a Gas Grill

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Today we’re walking you through How to Smoke on a Gas Grill. Don’t have a smoker? No fear! I’ll walk you step by step through the process of turning your good ol’ gas grill into a smoking machine.

collage of smoking on a gas grill with smoke tube pellet and wood chip pouch

Can You Smoke Meat on a Gas Grill?

You most definitely can smoke meat on a gas grill! In fact, you can smoke whatever food you want on a grill. If you only have a trusty gas grill on your patio, but you’re craving that delicious flavor of smoked meat, no fear! Whether you’re wanting to cold smoke or hot smoke something delicious, you can add some smoke to your gas grill to get the best of both worlds!

What is Cold Smoking?

Cold smoking is a great way to smoke a variety of foods when you don’t want to actually cook them. I use cold smoking for making smoked cheese, cold smoked salmon, smoked salt, and much more. For cold smoking, you’re looking at a target temperature of less than 80 degrees F in your grill with the smoke running constantly during the entire process. Because you’re aiming for such a low temperature, I like to cold smoke in the cooler months during autumn and winter.

One way to make cold smoking a reality on your grill is to use a pellet tube smoker. These are relatively inexpensive (usually under $15), and they are easy to use.

lighting a pellet smoke tube in a grill.

How to Cold Smoke

Here’s the basics on how to cold smoke:

  1. Fill the pellet tube smoker. Fill up your tube smoker with wood cooking pellets. Make sure you purchase cooking pellets and not wood heating pellets. These are not made for cooking. Fill the tube until the pellets are an inch from the top.
  2. Light the end. Simply light one end of the tube with a match or a lighter and let it burn for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Blow out the flame. Blow out the flame, and now you’re ready to cold smoke!
  4. Get smoking! Place the pellet tube smoker in your grill, close the lid, and smoke!

With the use of a pellet tube, you can turn anything into a cold smoker. Whether it’s your gas grill, pellet smoker, regular smoker, charcoal or grill, you can now cold smoke. As long as your grill has enough space and a lid to hold in the smoke, you can turn it into a cold smoker.

Cold Smoking Recipes

Now that you know the basics on how to cold smoke, try out these tasty cold smoking recipes from Hey Grill Hey:

Cold Smoked Salmon
Smoked Cheese

gas grill with smoke rising from the lid.

Smoking on a Gas Grill

Next up, hot smoking! For hot smoking, we’re looking to keep our grill at temperatures between 180 degrees F and 275 degrees F. This means you’re cooking your food while adding smoke flavor. If you’re cooking on a gas grill, this works for any number of meats and veggies. Hot smoking works for any food you’re cooking that you want to add a smoke flavor to. The possibilities are endless!

There are two differing opinions about wood chips when smoking on a gas grill. Do you use soaked pellets or nice and dry ones? I prefer a soaked wood chip if I’m going to be adding it directly to the fire like in a charcoal or offset smoker because it generates steam and turns into smoke to give your wood chips more longevity. When making a smoking pouch (as detailed in the next section), I like to use dry chips because you’re placing them directly over the burners in your gas grill.

dry wood chips piled in the middle of heavy duty aluminum foil.

How to Smoke on a Gas Grill with Chips

To add smoke to my gas grill, I make my own smoking pouch out of wood chips. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Grab some aluminum foil. Tear off two large pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil and layer them flat on your work surface.
  2. Make the pouch. Place two cups of dry wood chips on the center of your foil. Fold up each long side and crimp to secure. Then roll up the ends to make a sealed wood chip pouch.
  3. Poke holes in the pouch. Poke holes in the top of your pouch to allow the heat from the fire to singe the wood chips inside the pouch and make some gorgeous smoke that will be released through the holes and add a delicious smoke flavor to your food.
  4. Add the pouch to your grill. Take off one of your grates on your gas grill, and nestle your pouch right over one of your burners. Replace the grates, and you’re ready to go.
  5. Fire up the grill! Turn on your burner on your gas grill (I used my Weber Genesis II). If you’re aiming for a temperature of 180-275 degrees F, you’ll likely only need to turn on one burner. This will heat the pouch, circulate the smoke through the grill, and it should provide enough heat to get your grill to a perfect smoking temperature.
  6. Cook your food. Place your food on the opposite side of the grill from the smoking pouch, close the lid, and use the dome thermometer on your grill to monitor the temperature. Turn on additional burners as needed to maintain your desired smoking temperature (this is often around 225 degrees).
  7. Keep and eye on your grill and your smoke packet. It’s going to take about 45 minutes to burn through all of your wood pellets in the pouch, so have extras on hand when the first one burns through. Continue to cook and smoke your food until it reaches your desired internal temperature/doneness.

wood chip foil pouch in a gas grill.

Smoking Meat on a Gas Grill

Ready to add some smoky flavor to your grilled food? Try these recipes and follow the steps above to add some awesome smoked flavor to these tasty meats:

Smoked Salmon with Maple Orange Glaze
Homemade Smoked Bacon

Watch the video below, and let’s make something delicious! I’m all about helping you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a BBQ hero. Check out more Hey Grill Hey behind the scenes action on InstagramFacebook, and YouTube!



Susie is the BBQ Brain behind the Hey Grill Hey website. Her passion for smoked meats and developing fun, new recipes have landed her on the Food Network, cooking turkeys with Shaq, and on a couple of Guinness World Records. When she’s not grilling, she is hanging out with Todd and their three kids, preferably outdoors!

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Reader Reviews

24 Reviews

  1. Joel Miller says:

    I am newbie on grilling do you know anything about propane grill can I do smoker on a propane grill can you help me on that I was going to do the old fashioned way use foil for wrapping my wood chips not used water i
    Have a 2 burner it’s a American Gourmet grill

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      Because of the way they’re designed to cook, you can use the same methods outlined in this post for a propane grill.

  2. Tracy says:

    What kind of wood chips

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      Any wood chips found in the grilling/smoking section of grocery stores or hardware stores will work fine!

  3. Robin (husband’s personal grillmaster) says:

    Omgoodness! I loved the pouch under the grate. I made some jerk chicken that was amazing!!! Great idea.

  4. lowandslow says:

    The smoker tube works surprisingly well in Weber Genesis Gasser and if you set it on the grate directly over one of the burners it creates even more intense smoke which is helpful for short cooks such as steaks, chops,burgers and especially fish.Will have to try cold smoking some time with something small to start with like a wedge of blue cheese.Thanks for the inspiration Susie!

  5. Jeff says:

    Using a smoke tube in my Genesis gas grill, here are a couple things I have learned in the last few years. If available, use a torch to get the tube burning well. Works great!! The other thing I do consistently is after lighting tube, drop the tube down underneath the grates. The grates act as a diffuser on the smoke making for more even smoke coming up to the cheese. Hope this helps everyone!!!

  6. Cindi Grisham says:

    I just want to know please, do you poke the holes in the foil packet on both sides, or just one? If just one, which side faces down on the burner? Thank you.

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      Holes are only needed on the top of the packet, away from the burner.

  7. Susan says:

    I always heard that the wood chips should be soaked first to keep them from burning. Won’t they last longer if they are soaked?

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      No. All soaking chips does is cause them to steam out all of that water before they actually start to burn and produce smoke! Don’t soak!