From Proteins to Produce: 22 Things You can Smoke On a Propane Grill

New to smoking on a BBQ? If you’re wondering what you can smoke with a gas grill, look no further. Smoking on a BBQ is a great way to create some of the most flavorful barbecue you’ve ever had.

A dedicated smoker may be the ultimate smoking machine, but with a few tools, you can easily smoke just about any food on a charcoal and gas grill as well, including both propane and natural gas grills. All you need is a smoker box and some wood chips.

We’ve already covered how to turn a gas grill into a smoker and how to smoke meat on a gas grill, but there’s no limit to smoking on a BBQ (though some foods will work better than others). So, what else can you smoke with a gas grill?

In this post, we will dig deeper into the art of smoking on a propane grill, with a focus on what items will smoke well on a gas grill, including:

  • Proteins
  • Grains and dairy products
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Other things you can smoke with a gas grill

Let’s get cooking.

Smoking on a Gas Grill: A Brief Overview

To get your propane or natural gas grill set up for smoking, all you need is a smoker box and some wood chips or chunks. Add the wood chips to the smoker box and set it on the grill grates. Light the chips, place them over direct heat, and shut the smoker box. Once you see smoke, you’re ready to get grilling.

If you need more help setting up your gas grill for smoking, try our guide.

GRILL SPOT TIP: When you’re smoking, especially if you’re smoking something over a long period of time, it’s even more important to leave your grill lid closed so you maintain the right cooking temperature and don’t let all that delicious smoke flavour escape. A probe thermometer—or better yet, a smart thermometer—is especially helpful when you’re smoking. You can insert it into whatever you’re cooking and monitor its internal temperature without even opening the lid.

Smoking on a Propane Grill: 11 Proteins To Try

It’s just a fact—smoke makes meat taste better. Enhance the flavors and have the best BBQ of your life with these meats that take to smoking especially well.

GRILL SPOT TIP: Size limitations can make smoking foods on a gas grill more challenging, especially if you have a smaller grill. Some larger cuts of meat or pieces of food may not smoke as well or simply cannot be done on a gas grill.

1. Fish filets (especially salmon)

Smoked salmon is the go-to choice, but you can smoke just about any fillet of fish. Start your smoked fish journey with this recipe for maple-glazed smoked salmon by Learning To Smoke.

What wood chips should I use? Learning to Smoke recommends pecan chips. Oak, cherry, hickory, and apple are good options as well.

2. Steak

Steak is typically grilled over high direct heat, but you can also smoke steak over lower indirect heat to add that succulent smoky flavor. Try this recipe for reverse seared & smoked ribeyes by Napoleon.

What wood chips should I use? Mesquite, hickory, oak, or cherry

3. Ribs

Ribs are best smoked low and slow over indirect heat to give them a chance to absorb all that delicious smoke and become fall-of-the-bone tender. Try this method by Smoked BBQ Source.

What wood chips should I use? Mesquite, hickory, oak, or cherry

4. Brisket

Full of fat and delectably tender, smoked brisket is (a least in our opinion) the pinnacle of grilled smoked beef. Like all large cuts rich in connective tissue, brisket is best smoked low-and-slow to give the meat time to melt. Try this recipe by Bon Appetit.

What wood chips should I use? Mesquite, hickory, oak, or cherry

5. Burnt ends

Sometimes known as “meat candy”, burnt ends are the trimmings from a smoked brisket. Smoked a second time, these delicious nuggets of BBQ deliciousness are uniquely mouthwatering and packed with flavor. Try this recipe from Weber: KC Style Smoked Brisket Burnt Ends

What wood chips should I use? Mesquite, hickory, oak, or cherry

6. Pork chops

Smoked pork chops don’t require a lot of time or fuss, which makes them a great alternative to long-cooking, low-and-slow cuts like brisket. Try serving them alongside a homemade chunky applesauce like Hey Grill Hey.

What wood chips should I use? Apple, hickory, maple, or cherry

7. Pork butt/shoulder

Another cut best cooked low-and-slow, pork shoulder is often what is used to make pulled pork. With time and patience, you can cook your very own succulent pulled pork on your gas grill. Follow this recipe by Simply Recipes for inspiration.

What wood chips should I use? Hickory, maple, apple, or cherry

8. Homemade bacon

Bacon is never “bad”, but there’s no comparing store-bought bacon to the real deal you make at home. Smoking your own bacon might take a bit of time and effort, but the result will be far superior to anything you can buy at the grocery store. Try this method by Hey Grill Hey.

What wood chips should I use? Hickory, maple, apple, or cherry

9. Chicken

Tired of your usual go-to grilled chicken? A smoker box is a great way to introduce new flavors into your regular grilling rotation. Chicken can be smoked whole or in pieces.

What wood chips should I use? Mesquite, oak, maple, apple, or cherry

10. Turkey

Smoking a turkey is a fantastic way to elevate this holiday classic. So instead of serving the same old bird you roast every year, try grilling a turkey with a smoker box for even more flavor. Check out this method by Epicurious.

What wood chips should I use? Mesquite, oak, maple, apple, or cherry

GRILL SPOT TIP: Place a drip pan under the turkey and use the drippings for gravy. The added smoke flavor will make your gravy even more delicious.

11. Eggs

Looking for a meatless protein to smoke? Try smoking eggs! We recommend starting with raw eggs—previously soft-boiled or poached eggs can easily overcook. This recipe by Men’s Health, it only takes 15 minutes.

What wood chips should I use? Maple or apple

Smoking on a Gas Grill: Grains & Dairy

Possibly the most surprising category in our list, you can (and should) smoke grains and dairy for an even more delicious grain- and cheese-eating experience.

12. Cheese and butter

Who doesn’t love smoked cheese? Soft cheeses can easily take on too much smoked flavor, but hard cheeses like cheddar and gouda are perfect for smoking. Cheese and butter should always be cold smoked so you don’t melt whatever you’re smoking. Find out how with this guide by Hey Grill Hey.

What wood chips should I use? You can use any wood chips to smoke cheese. Apple, hickory, maple, cherry, and pecan are popular options.

What is cold smoking?

Cold smoking is very similar to regular smoking, but you’ll keep the item you are smoking as far away from the heat as possible and you’ll use a much lower temperature. Typically, cold smoking is done at temperatures below 71 F.

You can buy or DIY your own cold smoking setups, but the easiest way to cold smoke is with a smoker box or pipe on an otherwise unlit grill. Because cold-smoking doesn’t actually cook the food, you should only do it with items that are safe to eat raw or ones that you will be cooking in some capacity afterwards.

13. Rice

Rice is excellent at absorbing flavor, which makes it a great candidate for smoking. This recipe by Grillocracy uses a charcoal grill, but you can easily replicate it on a gas grill.

What wood chips should I use? Anything will do! We recommend choosing a wood smoke that will pair well with whatever you’re planning to serve the rice with. Check out our chart for inspiration.

14. Flour

If you’re getting tired of the same old all purpose flour, try smoking it to jack up the flavor of your baked goods. This video by Will It Smoke?! BBQ uses a smoker, but you can do it yourself on a gas grill with a smoker box.

What wood chips should I use? Same as with rice, any wood chips will work well to smoke flour. We suggest opting for wood smoke that will pair well with the other flavors you’re planning to incorporate.

Ensure your food is cooked perfectly and safe to eat with grill temp thermometer.

Smoking on a BBQ: Fruit & Veg

From fruit to vegetables to alliums, smoke can enhance the flavoring of a number of edible plants. For fruit and veg, cold smoking is often the way to go. Check out this guide by for a suggested method. They use a smoker, but you can easily replicate the process on a gas grill using a smoker box. Try smoking these options for a BBQ boost:

15. Fruit

  • Cherries
  • Apples
  • Tomatoes
  • Pineapple
  • Avocado
  • Melon

16. Vegetables

  • Asparagus
  • Cabbage
  • Corn
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Beets
  • Potatoes
  • Cauliflower
  • Squash
  • Garlic and onions

What wood chips should I use? We recommend ash, acacia, or maple for fruit and vegetables.

Other Things To Smoke With a Gas Grill

The options for experimenting with smoke don’t stop there! There are even more things you can infuse with that delectable smouldering flavor, including:

17. Salt and spices

You can easily smoke salt and spices to add even more flavor to your usual go-tos. Salt and spices should be cold smoked, and you’ll get the best results if you opt for larger granules like Kosher salt or coarse sea salt. Check out Hey Grill Hey for detailed instructions.

What wood chips should I use? Any wood works. Each variety will infuse salt and spices with a different flavor. If you’ve never smoked salt before, Hey Grill Hey recommends starting with a mild option like apple wood.

18. Condiments

Imagine a nice smoky mayonnaise or a smoke-infused ketchup elevating your burgers. Thankfully, you can make this dream a reality. Smoking condiments is an easy process that adds something special to your food.

Most condiments should be done via cold smoking, but there are options for cooking your condiments from scratch for extra smoky goodness. Place your condiments in your grill as far away from your smoker box as possible. With your grill turned off and cold, light the smoker box and shut the grill. Let it smoke for 15 to 30 minutes.

What wood chips should I use? Mesquite, hickory, or pecan.

19. Water for ice cubes

Want to impress your guests at your next dinner party or backyard cookout? Up your mixologist ante by smoking your ice cubes. Traeger recommends letting water smoke for 20 minutes before pouring into your ice cube tray and freezing.

What wood chips should I use? This will depend on what you plan to put the ice in. Choose a wood that pairs well with the flavors of the drink(s).

20. Coffee & tea

Did you know you can smoke either coffee grounds and tea leaves, as well as the actual brewed beverage? For the grounds or leaves, spread them out onto a lined baking sheet and place onto the grill. Leave the grill turned off and insert your lit smoker tube or box. Let it smoke for 20 minutes. For the liquid form, Traeger recommends you heat your grill to 180F. Decant the liquid into a shallow baking dish and place it in the grill. Let it smoke for 1-2 hours, tasting occasionally to test the smokiness.

What wood chips should I use? Hickory or maple are natural flavor pairings for coffee. 

21. Pizza

Whether you’re making a pie from scratch or looking for a way to add something extra to a frozen pizza, try smoking it on the grill next time you’re craving a slice. Prepare your pizza to cook the way you normally would in the oven. Set up your smoker box inside and let the pizza bake inside a closed grill for the allotted time (typically 7-20 minutes, depending on whether it’s frozen or fresh and how thick the crust is).

What wood chips should I use? That depends on what is on your pizza, but you can really choose any wood chips you like.

22. Mac & cheese

Imagine that rich, ooey gooey cheese pull…only amped up with the flavor of wood smoke. Smoking mac and cheese is as easy as it gets—all you do is pop your mac on a grill prepared for indirect cooking and bake it just the same as you would in an oven, just with a smoker box over the lit burner.

What wood chips should I use? Cherry, apple, maple, or pecan

23. Apple pie

Smoked pie? You bet! Just like mac and cheese, any pie can be smoked on the grill simply by following the same method as your oven (though you may need to adjust the baking time depending on the temperature of your grill).

What wood chips should I use? Apple, of course!

Wrapping Up

Smoking food doesn’t require buying an entirely separate smoker! You can easily smoke smaller foods like chicken or fish on a gas grill, and even try your hand at cold smoking tasty treats like cheese.

Learn more about smoking your food: