A lot of people prefer using charcoal or wood for barbecuing because they like the smoke flavor in their meat. For tailgating there are two major advantages to using propane instead of charcoal: Gas grills are ready to use very quickly. No waiting for the coals to be ready and when you’re finished cooking, turn the grill off and you’re done. There are no hot embers to dispose of and the cooling off period is extremely short.
You can have all of the flavor of wood with the convenience of gas. Getting wood flavor from a gas grill is easy and makes your food even more tasty. All you need is some nice woodchips, aluminum foil, and water.
1. Soak the wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes. Put the chips in a resealable bowl or zip lock bag with enough water to cover them if you are traveling to the tailgate. Use about 1 cup of chips per hour of cooking.
2. You can add some whisky to the water for additional flavor if desired.
3. Pre-heat the grill to high.
4. Place about a half a cup (or a handful) of wood chips onto the center of a square of foil.
5. Bring the edges up to meet in the middle and then fold down together until they touch the wood chips.
6. Fold up the other two ends of the foil packet.
7. Poke some holes in the packet using a fork or knife and being careful not to go all the way through the bottom piece of foil.
8. Put the foil pack right on the burner of the grill and wait about 5minutes for smoke to start.
9. Turn down the heat and smoke your food.
10. Add more foil packets to achieve the desired amount of smoke flavor. Use about one packet every half hour.
This technique can be used with anything from cedar and mesquite to more exotic woods found at barbecue shops like orange wood, pecan, and cabernet barrel chips. For indirect cooking, be sure to place the wood chip pack on the burner that is on, so the smoke passes over the meat rather than directly under the meat. The best part is there’s nothing to clean up afterward. Just throw away the foil and you are ready for the next cookout.