If you miss the charred, smoky flavor a charcoal grill provides and are too tight on the pocket to invest in a new grill; then you don’t have to lose hope as we are here to save the day.
Electric grills are cheaper and somewhat more versatile than charcoal grills. But many have noticed that the food cooked on these electric grills lacks that zing in it. If you want to get the good ol’ charred flavor back, then you are at the right place.
How does an electric grill work?
Unlike charcoal grills, these grills do not have the natural ability to produce more smoke. They are centered around user convenience and indoor cooking. All you have to do is plug it, set the temperature, and devour the food. They are portable and easy to maintain. You can do well with this grill, even if you are an amateur.
Why does charcoal-cooked meat taste so good?
Gas grills differ in taste primarily because of three reasons :
- When you use natural lump charcoal, the smoke smears your food with a charred flavor that can’t be seen on an electric grill.
- Vapor running back and forth between the food and the coals, providing extra flavor.
- Lighter fluid also adds to the taste.
- Charcoal barbeques can raise the temperature to a higher level as compared to a gas grill. This heat puts a better sear on your steak, thus making it crispy.
In this article, we will be walking you through the various ways by which you can upgrade your gas grill to taste more like charcoal.
Tips for getting a smoky flavor
Using a smoker box
You can fill wood chips inside this metal box which is hinged at an angle. A smoker box comes in two finishes, stainless steel, and cast iron. There are various varieties of wood chips such as apple, mesquite, hickory, cherry, etc. Adding wood pellets is also a common alternative.
Smoker boxes do not take up any additional grilling space. To use a smoker box, all you need to do is: Switch on the burner after adding a few wood chips and wait till they start smoldering.
The more time your meat spends on the cooking grate along with the smoke box, the richer charcoal flavor it will have.
Moreover, a smoker box will not take any additional grill space. You can also get the same effect if you wrap the wood chips in an aluminum foil pouch.
Tip: Wet chips generate more steam, but dry chips provide a better charcoal flavor. Therefore, do not soak your wood chips in water before usage.
Using charcoal in your electric grill
Just tossing bare charcoal in your gas grill may cause you to replace various parts, if not the entire grill. Hence, place a few charcoal briquettes wrapped inside a foil on a pan of hardwood chips and place them inside your propane grill.
The heated coils will cause the hot coals to start smoking. Once this happens, pour some olive oil over the gas grill and close the lid. This will help you get rid of the electric grill taste and replace it with a fine flavor dipped in liquid smoke.
All about wood chips
Little pieces of dry wood are known as wood chips. The easiest method uses wood chips during charcoal grilling. Just place the wood chips in your smoke box. You can also enclose your wood chips in aluminum foil. Try to keep the temperature between 570-750 Fahrenheit. Moderate heat will impart antioxidant traits to your food.
Using liquid smoke
Liquid smoke will add great flavor if sprayed over chicken breasts or meat. It looks the same as BBQ sauce. Just a half tablespoon brushed on your chicken will give it different flavors. It is the condensed smoke that is taken from burning wood that helps prepare more smoke. You can also dilute it with water if the flavor becomes too strong.
Up and close method
Traditional grills function on extreme heat. This is the biggest difference between electric and charcoal grills. To get gas grills to mimic the charcoal taste, try to churn up the temperature zones as high as possible. You can sear your meat over high temperatures and later shift them to more moderate heat for browning.
This indirect heat will keep the meat moist from the inside. Maintaining the optimum temperature by shielding your grates with a sheet pan while keeping the lid closed is also crucial. Avoid taking the cover off until your meat is fully cooked to keep the smoke inside.
Seasoning your gas grills
Smoke seating using a pellet smoke tray adds great flavor to your steak. To do this:
1. Set your grates apart from the grill.
2. Put your pellet tray in the gas grill at a low position after kindling it with a kitchen torch.
3. Then close the oil outlet for added airflow.
4. Then, close the lid upon inserting a foil in the air vent.
5. Allow it to smoke for eight hours.
Make sure to seep out the edges and clear the holes in the lid. Upon completion, clean the lid and remove all ashes.
Electric and charcoal grill combo
With the advancement of technology, the market has offered us various grills run on both electricity and charcoal. This way, you won’t have to worry about regulating temperatures or buying separate accessories.
Now that you are equipped with all the info you need, we hope that you can get rid of that electric grill taste and make your food taste like an absolute delicacy.
Charcoal flavored food has its merits, but it is worth noting that too much of anything is hazardous. Grill vapor contains cancer-causing particles and may hamper your health if consumed often.