What’s the difference between grilling and barbecue? Chef Mick Brown from bbqrescues.com knows that for many grillers, the only distinction is whether or not the recipe in question uses wood smoke.

Introducing wood smoke into your backyard grilling routine can seem like a big step, especially if you have a gas grill. Regardless of whether you grill over gas or charcoal, you can easily add that delicious smoky flavor to any grilled meal. Here’s how:

Smoking on a Charcoal Grill

  1. Soak wood chunks in water.
  2. Light a pyramid of charcoal chunks. Once lit, pile the coals on one side of the grill.
  3. Just before you add your food, place 3-4 chunks of wood onto the coals. For recipes that take longer to cook, replace chunks when the smoke fades. Cook indirectly on the other side of your grill (not over the smoke).

Smoking on a Gas Grill

  1. Heat one end of your grill to high and the middle of your grill to medium. Leave the other end of your grill off for indirect grilling.
  2. Wrap ¼ cup of dried woodchips in aluminum foil, squeezing sides together to form a pouch with an open top (to allow the smoke to escape). You could also use a smoker box.
  3. Place 1-3 pouches on the hot side of your grill until they begin to smoke (5-15 minutes). Grill over the hot side of your grill for direct grilling, or on the other side of your grill for indirect grilling. If the smoke rises too high, move the pouch to a lower heat area. If the smoke dissipates, add another pouch.

Start smoking on your grill with this easy recipe for Smoking Grilled Shrimp by Chef Mick:

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2 lbs fresh thawed large shrimp, cleaned and deveined

2 Tbsp olive oil

3 Tbsp chopped fresh garlic

2 Tbsp dill and/or rosemary to taste

2 Tbsp BBQ dry rub

1 lemons, sliced into wedges or length-wise halves

3 Tbsp shrimp cocktail sauce


Wooden skewers, soaked in water for at least 20 minutes

Wood chips or chunks, if smoking


Step 1

Clean and devein the shrimp. Remove the shells, but leave the bottom tip. Slide shrimp onto soaked wooden skewers.

Step 2

Combine olive oil, garlic, and herbs.

Step 3

Marinate shrimp evenly in olive oil mixture. Add a generous amount of BBQ dry rub and a splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Step 4

Heat up your gas or charcoal grill to medium heat. If you’re smoking your shrimp, check out Mick’s guide to smoking using wood chips and chunks.

Step 5

Grill evenly 4-8 minutes per side until no longer translucent. Do not overcook.

Step 6

Remove from skewers, spray with squeezed lemon juice and serve with fresh lemon wedges and/or shrimp cocktail sauce. For an entree serve over your favorite wild rice, veggie rice or rice pilaf.

Step 7