Smoking On Gas Grill First Timer

Discussion in 'Pork' started by smokehousemst, May 12, 2013.

  1. smokehousemst

    smokehousemst Newbie

    HELLO SMOKING WORLD!!! I have been an AVID griller since I was a youngin' and now I am starting to branch out and try to learn the secrets of the southland! Kansas City Style Ribs, St. Louis Style, and the ever illusive PERFECT Pulled pork! With all that being said..... I have NEVER smoked anything a day in my life. I have recently attempted to do so, but all my attempts have failed. I have a four burner gas grill and attempted to smoke a nice cut steak but didnt acheive what I was hoping for, and I attempted to smoke chicken legs today, but my smoke packets in both instances burned up on me, and maybe got a good 5 to 6 mins out of them. What am I doing WRONG??? I want to smoke a Boston Pork Shoulder but I need guidance. I know what I want to acheive but im not sure if I can acheive that iconic smoke ring with burnt up smoke packets! PLEASE HELP ME!!! Any advice on what chips to use for the cut of pork? I have Apple and Cherry. Also, should I use a disposable pan and put soaked chips in that instead of foil packets? I do not have a smoker tin either. Any help would be apperciated!!!
  2. pig rig bbq

    pig rig bbq Newbie

    Not familiar with the smoke packets, but I would advise buying real hickory or apple wood chips/chunks. Just take a couple handful of chips, wrap them in some foil, poke some holes in the foil, and place them directly on the grill over the burners. Wood chunks could probably be placed over the burners as well if that's what you buy. I prefer chunks as opposed to chips but it's totally up to you. Remember to use chips only during the first hour or two of smoking. Otherwise you'll end up with over smoked food. After an hour or two, don't add any more chips/chunks. You should end up with a nice smoke ring. Hope this helps a little!
  3. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    Would really help if we had more details about your actual process.   You have a 4 burner grill, so I presume that the burners go front to back.  Are you smoking indirectly (some burners on, some burners off) ?   Where are you placing your smoke packet ?  Is it going under the grate directly over a burner ?  Sitting above the burner on a grate ?

    From the sounds of it, I'd guess that you are getting too much heat to the smoker packet which is causing it to burn out quickly.    You need a decent amount of heat to get it started, but once you see the smoke starting to rise, slide it off the direct heat and just let it smolder.   I'd have a number of packs made up in advance so that you can keep adding smoke all the way through the cook. 
  4. smokehousemst

    smokehousemst Newbie

    Thank You for responding Demo! Yes, the burners run front to back, and I am smoking indirectly. I put the packet on the burner itself until smoke appears, but as soon as I take it off the heat, I do not see any more smoke coming from the packet at all. It appears to me that it is either out or not lit enough. In turn, I then put the packet back on the heat to produce more smoke. That's when I run into my time problem. I wanted to smoke a pork shoulder, and it would probably be around a 6 to 8 pound shoulder. How long should I smoke the shoulder for? Should I use smoke during the entire process? Would adding a dry rub to the outside hinder the smoke process? What would be the best way to acheive that perfect pulled pork with a Texan style sauce? (I believe it is a sweet vinegar based sauce, but im uncertain)

    Thank you for you Replies! 
  5. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You're welcome Smoke!!

    How long to smoke for is is up to your personal tastes and how much of a smoke flavor you want.   Presuming that you are making "good smoke" so to speak, you can smoke it the entire time it's on the grill/smoker.   Personally, I've never smoked a butt for less than 4 hours, and that was just because I wanted a light hint of smoke on that particular occassion.  

    Will dry rub hinder the process ?  The "factual" answer is that yes, Rubs "hinder the process".  That said, the "hinderance" is so minor that it's ignored by most as it won't stand in the way of you getting good smoke penetration.   

    As for time, rough guideline is anywhere between 1.5 - 2 hrs per pound.   Foiling at 165˚ reduces that amount of time.  Also, when you pull the butt, you should throw it in a towel lined cooler to let it rest for a couple of hours before pulling.

    Can't tell if you are asking for input on a "Texan style sauce", but just in case, sorry, can't help ya there as I'm a n00b at sauces   :)

    WRT you getting smoke from the packets, hopefully, someone else experienced with using packets will jump in and offer a solution.  Best I can do is to suggest getting an actual smokebox for your grill, preferably a nice cast iron one (in my opinion). 

    Here's a very good step by step guide for Boston Butts by Bearcarver that I've found to be very helpful.
    Last edited: May 13, 2013

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