Let's talk grills and grilling


Yea smoke adds a lot of flavor if you chill the meat after you Sous Vide. Obviously charcoal would be preferable but then you spend more time tending the fire than visiting with guests.


What’s the benefit of chilling the meat? I sous vide it, and then I immediately smoke it for another 1-3 hours at a lowish heat in my charcoal smoker.


Smoke adheres to cold meats better and it also allows you to smoke without further cooking the meat


I’ve never heard about the adhering better to cold. You’d think it wouldn’t penetrate as well, due to the meat tightening up. I find that the extra 1-3 hours does very little cooking other than impart a bark to the outside layer, which is good thing. How does your meat actually get warmed all the way through into the center, or are you only quickly chilling just the outer layer?


Well I leave it in there for 3 or so hours at about 250. That usually brings the internal temp to about 140-160.


I’m confused. If the internal has reached 140-160 from a chilled state, doesn’t that mean the outside is well above 160? Still not following why that’s better than going straight from the water bath to the smoker, setting aside the smoke-stick-better-to-cold bit. Are you smoking at a super-low temp (e.g., 160) so that the outside doesn’t go beyond the 160? If so, I’m surprised the middle makes it up to 160 from chilled.


Unrelated to taste, but my propane tank ran out in the middle of cooking – but I knew it was no problem because I keep a spare tank in the garage for precisely this situation!

Except, of course, I’d forgotten to get that one filled the last time it ran out.


It’s purey for smoke and bark. Smoking at around 250 but I’m not picky since it’s already cooked and it’s not like it will over cook.


That reminds me I should probably drop by the gas station that does propane filling.


I use wood chips in a container on my propane grill. It’s a life changer. Heat up in 2-5 min, smoke in about the same, food on and off in record time (note, when smoking I’m usually cooking something longer.)

I do wish I had a Weber though. Next grill, maybe …


How many times can you reuse those wood chips? And what kind of container do you use? Do you wet them first too? Txs!


Can’t re-use, soak them for an hour first, and you just make a little boat out of aluminum foil.


You don’t they typically burn out. but you put in a small handful at a time, or at least I do. There isn’t much waste. Typically I only fill once per grill. My smoker (a separate unit entirely) actually has a smaller fill than the tray in my grill. It’s very similar to the one below. I’d guess I put in about a cup of chips when smoking on the grill.

When actually smoking in a smoker, I’ll probably go through about 2 cups. But you’re usually smoking for hours, and when grilling, not nearly as long.

Smoke flavor doesn’t really take much.

I almost forgot, there are alternatives, which are like a half step along the way to just putting a smoke box in your grill:


Yeah, you can go fancy if you want, or just wrap cheap hardwood chips in a little foil boat and poke a couple holes in the top.


I like how in this scenario, fancy is a $12 box. Go ahead, splurge and be decadent with the box. :)


I agree, but to Stusser’s point, it’s pretty easy to try out his way. Stusser’s method only costs a few wood chips and tin foil to try out.

BTW, I do NOT wet chips beforehand. I am not the only person with this method:


I like the foil packet version because a couple of slits allow the smoke to escape without letting too much air in. This makes the wood chips last longer.


I dunno, they definitely seem to last longer if you soak first. I expect that’s because the water needs to boil off before the wood can smoulder.

If you look at the little cast-iron smokebox Skipper linked, it also restricts the flow of oxygen so the wood smoulders not burns. Takes a lot of aluminum foil to equal twelve bucks, and it’s just one more thing to clean out rather than throw out, but I’m sure it works fine.


Mine is a little different from that one but I got it at Lowe’s if I recall correctly. I never clean it, I do dump it out occasionally if there is anything left in it next grill session. I consider it part of the grill at this point, but one that doesn’t come in contact with food.


I use this guy. I love that I can tuck it on the edge and not really lose any precious grill space.