How to turn your barbecue into a smoker

How to turn your barbecue into a smoker - smoky mushrooms

Want to hot smoke food at home without splashing out on expensive kit? The pros at Hot Smoked reveal some simple tips on how to turn your barbecue into a smoker 

That barbecue you invested in and only wheel out in good weather to grill sausages, burgers and steaks? You could be using it year-round to hot smoke everything from joints of grass-fed beef to cauliflower steaks and sides of hot smoked salmon. 

Turning your charcoal or gas barbecue into a hot smoker is surprisingly easy (and inexpensive): all you need is a lid, a small smoker box and special wood chips. That’s it.   

Alyson Murray, founder of Hot Smoked, shares the low-down on how to turn your barbecue into a smoker.

  1. Choose what you’d like to cook and select the best type of wood chips to complement the flavours. Red meat, game and mackerel are great with oak chips’ bold woody flavour; cherry chips are rich and mellow and ideal with chicken and pork; fish and vegetables pair perfectly with beech chips.  
  1. Season the food with a barbecue rub or homemade mix of spices and infuse in the fridge for an hour.  
  1. Fire up the barbecue. Put a handful of wood chips in the smoker box and place directly over the barbecue heat source (coals or gas). The box will get hot and heat the chips causing them to release their aromatic smoky flavours. 
  1. Once the smoke is going, place the food on the barbecue. If you’re going for a long and slow cook don’t place the food directly above the heat source, instead place it to the side and close the lid.  

    Cooking the food like this is gentler than placing it over the more powerful direct heat from the coals, which will cook too quickly. If you do want a quicker cook, place closer to the heat source, close the lid and check it regularly to make sure it doesn’t burn.  
  2. Once you’ve mastered hot smoking, your next project is cold smoking which you won’t need any additional kit for. Find out more about cold smoking here.

Want to give it a go? Hot Smoked’s starter kits include everything you’ll need (bar the barbecue) to start creating utterly smokin’ homecooked feasts.  

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Indy Coffee Box
Salcombe Gin & Paul Ainsworth

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