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Does Adding Smoke To BBQ Grills Make Food Taste Better?

Adding Smoke To BBQ

Here are several products to add smoke to barbeque grills. Do these products work, or is it all a smoke screen?

As barbeque grills continue to increase in popularity, more and more accessories and products for the grill are developed. Some of these products and accessories are intended to help backyard chefs add that smoky flavor that so many of us love. But do these products actually work?

Here are some tips to help you evaluate whether a smoke product for barbeque grills is likely to be worth your money.

Authentic barbeque involves slow cooking large cuts of meat over a wood fire. Not only does this make meat more tender, it adds that thick smoky flavor that makes taste buds tingle. Many different types of wood are used; from maple to pecan, hickory or apple, and each add a different flavor to the meat.

Because grilling involves a much higher heat and shorter cooking times, it has been difficult to get that same flavor. And gas barbeque grills don't even use wood to cook, so the smoke just isn't the same.

Use a Smoke Box

Several products have been developed to provide ways to add smoke to food cooked on barbeque grills. One of the most popular is a smoker box. This device can either attach to the side of your grill or be placed directly in with the coals. It allows you to place wood chunks or chips in your grill while cooking to produce smoke. You can create a similar effect by using a metal can that is shallow enough to fit under your grill grate.

​Because a smoker box actually adds smoke to your barbeque grill, in much the same way as a wood fire does, it is effective in adding smoky flavor to your foods. But it takes about 20 minutes for food to absorb a noticeable amount of smoke, so you may not notice a difference in foods that cook for a shorter amount of time.

​Buy Pre-flavored Meats

​Another option is to purchase meats that already have the flavor you crave. Many grocery stores and specialty meat markets offer hot dogs, brats, chops, ham, and other meats that had smoke flavor added, either through precooking or other methods.