Smoking on a Gas BBQ

Food food food. I love food.

I have a friend with a smoker. Every week he regales me with tales of delicious slow cooked smoked meat. Ribs, and pulled pork, chicken wings and sausages. My mouth waters and I cry a little inside, as I dont even own a charcoal grill, much less a smoker.

Now, dont get me wrong. We love our natural gas Napoleon grill. It’s a workhorse of a beast that happily cooks everything from steaks to Thanksgiving turkey. But I wanted more! I wanted smokey, barkey goodness! I wanted a backyard that smelled like a caveman firepit! I wanted a smoker.

Let’s think things through first though. Where would I PUT a smoker? How often would I drag it out, fire it up and patiently stoke it’s fire for hours? The answer is; not very often. Not that I’m lazy, but that’s a lot of work! So I set to finding a way to make Mr. Napoleon somehow smokey.

Napoleon makes smoker boxes for their bbq’s. (Which I may look into in the future.)  For our first attempt at smoking however, my tools were some wood chips, water, and some tin foil.

I got some delicious smelling Jack Daniels wood chips, as well a bag of plain maple chips, a pork loin, some of my favorite spices, and set to work.

Jack Daniels Wood Chips
Jack Daniels Wood Chips

First up, we put a bunch of wood chips in a bowl of water, and let them soak for half an hour.

Wood Chips
Wood Chips soaking in a bowl of water

I mixed a concoction of dried spices with everything from garlic and sugar to chiplote and cayenne. I dried the pork with a paper towel then rubbed it all over with the spice rub. We fired up the bbq and let it get nice and hot.

Spice rub + pork loin
Spice rub + pork loin
Pork with spice rub
Pork with spice rub

Next it was time to make the smoke packets. I have seen several different versions, so I decided to make a traditional rectangular packet with a few holes poked into it, and one shaped like a cone, with it open at the top to let the smoke out (really just putting a pile of wood chips on some tin foil and then folding the tinfoil up around the sides into a chimney at the top.)

* Somehow in the excitement of smoking, neither El Granto or I got a photo. OOPS! Sorry 🙁

Next we placed the pork in the bbq on one side, and the smoke packets in the middle. We turned the burner under the pork off completely, and turned the burner under the smoke packets down to medium low (all other burners in the bbq off). This made the bbq drop to about 300 degrees.

We closed the lid, and let it do its thing. Within an hour the backyard was smelling like delicious roasting meat and whiskey smoke goodness. We tried not to check on it too often (you loose the smoke!). After about 2 1/2 hours we swapped the smoke packets. When we put in the second batch of smoke packets, we also added a vidalia onion into the bbq to let it smoke with the meat, and with one hour of cooking left we added in a tin foil packet filled with new potatoes, garlic, fresh rosemary, olive oil & butter.

pork on bbq
Pork on the BBQ
Onion Smoking
Onion Smoking

Mmmmmm. Now things were smelling amazing, and it was torture to wait for everything to finish cooking. After one more hour, we pulled the pork off to let it rest, then carved everything up and dug in.

Mmmm BBQ
Mmmm BBQ

The verdict? An outstanding success! The meat smoked for five hours total. The bbq kept a steady temperature of about 300 degrees the whole time. The cone shaped smoke packets worked best, and we had a wonderfully smokey (but not overpowering or campfirey) taste. The rub which I was worried would be too overpowering, ended up mellow and wonderful. The barque was delish, and the fat cap on the roast was like butter. The smoked onion was juicy and wonderful, and the roast potatoes went beautifully with a chive sour creme.

Now I want to smoke everything. Whats on the menu this weekend? I’m thinking smoked beef tacos! Or chicken wings, or brisket, or sausages. I might just make it all…

Happy Civic Holiday!

Happy what? Yeah, I know it doesn’t make any sense to me either. Today is Holiday Monday of Civic Holiday weekend in Canada. No one really knows why it’s a holiday, and technically it’s not even a real holiday. (The Government of Canada doesn’t consider it a statutory holiday). Stores are open, but banks are closed. I just consider it a bonus day! Yay, no work! I will be enjoying it with some visiting friends, hanging out with the dog and enjoying a bbq in the backyard. Accomplishing AB-SO-LUT-ELY Nothing. What are you up to today?

Odin Chillin in the Backyard

BBQ Area Facelift

We got a natural gas line and BBQ last spring. I knew we would use it a lot, but it is now the most used appliance in our home. I even cooked Easter turkey on the BBQ!

The BBQ sits beside our A/C unit on a raised platform off our main floor deck. The raised platform is made out of concrete pavers sitting in a bed of concrete. I have no idea why the previous owners would do this. To make matters worse, the concrete pavers were a bit too big for the platform, so some of them were broken and the pieces shoved in. It is beyond unsightly.

We wanted something to cover up the ugly mess, and spied Ikea Platta decking in their summer flyer. Problem is, we don’t have a car, and rarely get out to Ikea. El Granto’s Mum was taking a trip to Ikea last week, so we asked her to pick up a pack of Platta for us.

It took 5 minutes to lay the tiles, then we realized we didn’t have enough. Back to Ikea and another box of platta later and we were ready for another go at the deck tiles. Here is a before look. Note the busted ass patio stones.

BBQ Area Before
BBQ Area Before

We moved the bbq, then used some Dricore leveling disks to try to level out the uneven pavers. We figured Platta was a deck version of Dricore, so we gave them a shot, and they worked great!

Using a Dricore Leveling Kit to level the Platta Deck Tiles

Here’s the area covered in the tiles.

BBQ Area Covered in Deck Tiles

Aaaaaaaand here is the after!

BBQ Area After
View of Backyard Deck after BBQ Area Facelift

A much nicer looking BBQ area. The decking actually matches our Ikea acacia wood chairs. I love how it looks so much that I am contemplating covering our whole lower deck in them. Our poor lower deck really took a beating with the reno, and no matter how much I sweep, scrub or give it a death stare, it looks dirty and shabby. What do you think, to Platta or not to Platta? (and don’t even get me started on that terrible grass and crooked walkway, that is being dealt with later in the fall or next spring.)


2 x Platta Deck Tiles: Ikea
Dricore Leveling Kit: Lowes

Tools Used:
Hands and good looks

Difficulty Level (on a scale of 1-5):

One out of five

Total Cost: $66