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8/19/2014 11:24 AM grooming • 0 Comments

How To Transform Your Grill Into A Smoker

There is nothing more mouth-wateringly delicious than smoked meat. Tender and moist, it just drops right off of the bone. Unfortunately though, a state-of-the-art smoker can run you up to several thousand dollars. But no worries, there’s a simple procedure that can turn your simple charcoal grill into a smoking machine that will turn out some delicious smoked chicken, BBQ or pork.


1. Divide your grill.

You will only be using half of your charcoal grill when you transform it into a smoker. So keep the charcoal piled up on one side. Soak a few of your favorite flavor wood chips in water, then toss them on the coals once they’re nice and hot.


2. Water pans.

The other half of your grill will be taken up by cheap, metal water pans (disposable brownie pans work well). Fill them up about halfway with water and let them rest beside the coals. These will steam up the grill and help keep your meat extremely moist. Plus they act as a great grease guard, catching all the spills.


3. Keep your meat away from the coals.

Only put your meat over the water pans, never over the coals themselves. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Also, keep the vent on the cover of your grill over the meat. The circulation inside the grill will force the smoke to cover more of the meat, ensuring it develops that delicious smoked taste.


4. Keep an eye on the slow and steady.

The other key for perfect smoked meat is a slow, steady, low temperature. You’ll want it to remain somewhere in the range of 225-250 but up to 300 degrees is fine. Definitely not over 325 for any extended amount of time. Add coals when you need to and open the vent to cool it down, but for the most part keep an eye on the temperature and then leave it alone.


5. Timing is everything.

There’s no set time for the different meats you can smoke. Fish and chicken generally cook quicker while baby back ribs can take over two hours. And a Boston butt? Those can take up to six. Smoking meat is a patient man’s game, that’s for sure. You should be able to get a visual read on the smaller meats to see when they’re done but something like a butt needs to have an internal temperature around 160 degrees.


And there you have it—five simple steps to turn your grill into a smoker. Of course, true smokers will give you greater control over temperature and taste, but in a pinch this will definitely serve and definitely impress your dinner guests.


PRZ Bourbon Smoked Ribs Recipe



  • 1/2 cup of Bourbon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 12 ounce can of beer
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 4 racks of spare ribs (5 pounds)
  • 1 cup or tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup of cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 4 cups/one small bowl of wood chips: 2 parts hickory, 1 part cherry- soak in water for 30 minutes beforehand.



  1. Heat the marinade ingredients in a small saucepan (everything but the tomato sauce, vinegar and honey). Bring to a boil and completely dissolve the sugar.


  1. If you wish, remove thin layer of skin from the back the spare ribs to avoid chewy ribs.


  1. Place the ribs in a large plastic bag and add marinade to them. Allow to marinate overnight.


  1. Removed ribs and pat dry. Take sauce in bag and pour into saucepan and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup or tomato sauce and ¼ cup of cider vinegar and 2 teaspoons of honey. Simmer until mixture is thick. Brush ribs with sauce.
  2. Start grill according to preferred method. Once grill starts to heat up, add wood chips so they can get started smoking. Regulate temperature until it reaches 250 degrees. Place ribs bone-side on grill. Smoke for 3-4 hours or until the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees.