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Gas grill BBQ-ing

GdiguyGdiguy San Diego, CARegistered User regular
edited July 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
So I have a gas bbq grill, and while it has served me well in beginning to teach me to make delicious burgers and hot dogs, I have a hankering to make some pulled pork sandwitches. Internet searching, however, has led me to believe that most pulled pork recipes are for charcoal grills / smokers, and that gas grills will be a little too hot to do it properly

anyone have success with doing this? suggestions? other things I should be grilling instead?

Gdiguy on

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    DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Can you setup the grill such that you can maintain a constant 190-215 degree (F) indirect heat? If so you can probably smoke a pork butt for the making of pulled pork. Brined pork butt is pretty forgiving so you could probably do it over direct heat so long as it's still under 215 degrees.

    I've only done it 2 ways: chacoal grill and the alton brown homebuilt terra cotta smoker. Both work well, but the Good Eats method does afford easier temperature control since the heat is provided by a hot plate.

    Regardless of how you do it, you should invest in a remote thermometer so you can check the temp in-grill at meat height without opening the grill. You can score one for about $17 at WalMart, though they all appear to operate on the same channel, so if you are using more than one at a time the receiver cycles between them.


    Edit: If you're hankering to grill big pieces of meat, a brined pork butt is a good start as it's kind of forgiving. Once you tackle that you might move on to a brisket flat cut, and then a whole brisket. I've yet to smoke a turkey, but I'd like to give it a try. You also might try beercan chicken, which won't take as long as a pork butt or brisket, but you still need indirect heat, low and slow (200-225).

    Edit2: Non-meaty things to grill: pineapples, peaches, whole ears of corn, onions, mushroom, bell peppers, zucchini/squash, yams (or sweet potatoes or what the heck ever they are called, look for "garnet" and "jewel" varieties they are good, the japanese variety I don't think grills up as well).

    Djeet on
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    a penguina penguin Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Yeah, pretty sure you'd have to go with a big smoker for what you want. Whole roasted pig is heaven.

    When I jsut want BBQ though, I toss a shoulder in the crock pot.

    Oh man, I have a pork shoulder in my freezer, now I want to turn it into delicious barbeque. OmNOmNOm.

    As for the grill, I usually do steaks, burgers, hot dogs, etc. on it. Bone-in pork chops are also good.

    a penguin on
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    see317see317 Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    If you do try to smoke meat on your gas grill, get some wood chips (mesquite, hickory, apple maybe...) and soak them in water for an hour or so before hand. Wrap them in a foil packet and punch holes in it and toss that on the grill near the heat. This way you can get some of the smoke flavor into your meat. Not as much as if you had an actual smoker, but better then dousing the meat with liquid smoke or something criminal like that.

    Other then that, gas grills aren't really built for that kind of low and slow barbecue. Use them for brats, burgers, dogs, steaks, chicken, pork chops... really any kind of meat that is broken down into a single serving size before you cook it. Also, grilled corn on the cob is awesome.

    see317 on
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    i n c u b u si n c u b u s Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I've made pulled pork sandwhiches with an electric crockpot and a boston butt and they came out just fine. I pretty much seasoned the meat like usual with the rub or seasonings of choice (usually butt rub) and I even poured a packet of BBQ crockpot sauce over it then let it cook for a few hours. It came out pretty awesome and the meat was easy to pull off the only thing I would suggest if you were to do this is to re-apply some BBQ sauce of choice at the very end.

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    HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    You can make pulled pork in an oven as well, it's really about the temperature control and if you're trying on a gas grill it seems like you're probably not going for the smoke flavor from the grill anyways?

    Hypatia on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Like Hypatia says, there's sort of no point on trying to actually barbecue on a gas grill because there's no smoke. You'd have an easier time doing it in an oven or crock pot (with a couple dashes of liquid smoke).

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    DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited July 2009
    I've smoked ribs and other stuff in my gas grill. As long as you can maintain a consistent temperature you will be fine. Wrap a pile of soaked wood chips in tin foil (and leave an opening for the smoke to get out) and put them in the opposite corner from the active burner.

    Over memorial day I smoked ribs for about 5 hours on the ol' propane and they were delicious :)

    Unknown User on
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    EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    In contrast to wood chips, you can buy smoking planks from food supply stores (usually the higher end ones) for a moderate value. You soak them in water, then place whatever you are cooking on them, then place them in grill. They'll catch fire on the edges a bit, and will produce the right flavor.

    I've found them to work better than the foil-wood ships thing, but I was always torn about the price. They can be $5-$10 a plank or more.

    Consider a Webber. It's basic, yet produces they best grilled food I've ever had outside of a built-in wood burning grill.

    Enc on
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    DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited July 2009
    I've been meaning to try smoking planks but have never found any at our grocery stores. :( The thing I like about the chips is that they are easy to throw in a plastic tub and soak overnight, I don't know if the planks are easy as well.

    Unknown User on
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    PhistiPhisti Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    What I've done is take a pile of applewood chips, soak them in water for an hour or so.

    Get out the excess water so just the soaked chips are left, put them in an aluminum packet and perforate the top of the packet.

    Fire up your gas grill. Preheat as normal. Once it's up to the 3-second temperature (ie open the lid and place your hand over the grill [not touching it!], if you can hold it there for 3 seconds it's not hot enough) turn off one side of the grill (if more than two burners make sure middle is off as well). Put the chips under the grill directly on the gas burner H - or the metal plate above it (the burner that is on) and let some good smoke develop.

    After about 10 minutes you should have a decent smoke going. Open the BBQ quickly, drop the prepared pork on the off side of the grill, using aluminum foil to catch the juices. Depending on how done you like your roast will vary your cook time. 30mins per pound is a medium / medium rare in beef, so maybe go up to 40mins for pork.

    Edit: I did a prime rib roast last night on the grill and omg, I'm salivating thinking about it now.

    Phisti on
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    EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    robothero wrote: »
    I've been meaning to try smoking planks but have never found any at our grocery stores. :( The thing I like about the chips is that they are easy to throw in a plastic tub and soak overnight, I don't know if the planks are easy as well.

    Williams Sonoma carries them, as does Target occasionally. Look at those over-prices kitchenware stores, these are the sort of things you can get there that are worth shopping there. The process is the same, just soak in the sink/tub for a while then place and cook. The price can vary, which is the one downside, but you do get a more consistent flavor as you can pick what wood to smoke with.

    Overall, the biggest difference when cooking this way over the chips was in fish. I love bbq salmon and snapper, etc. Works amazingly.

    I still prefer charcoal, even if it is a much bigger pain. :(

    Enc on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Two things for the non-gas crowd. One, you can get cheap cedar planks at Lowes and other garden stores, usually for cheaper than a boutique place. And if you soak them before use, you can usually use them 3-8 times before they go bad. When they DO go bad, break them up and use the bits :D

    Two, get lump charcoal. It's becoming much more common nowadays, and it lights better, heats for longer, and produces much less ash (so easier to clean up). Since it's not just sawdust compressed into a shape, it also helps in the smoky/flavor sense (although not as much as an actual "flavor" wood like apple or hickory).

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    TrinisTrinis Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Thirding the crock pot suggestion. I love my gas grill, but for barbecue or anything slow roasted the crock pot is the best, it will produce a much more tender and juicy meat. Liquid smoke is really not that bad, I enjoy the flavor, but I'm not all crazy purist about most things cooking.

    Trinis on
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    DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited July 2009
    I'll have to look into getting some planks this weekend and grill some salmon.

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    DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Even an oven can turn out a decent pork butt since you tend to have good temperature control. Brine it overnight, dry it, rub it, put it in a roasting pan (add some liquid smoke if you like), cover with foil, bake at 200-225 until internal temp is 195. Start checking internal temp every 30 minutes after 80 minutes per lb. I've finished butts in the oven when an overnight smoking session took too long.

    I'd get an oven/grill thermometer to put in the oven to make sure your oven thermostat is correct.

    You won't get the bark that you would with smoke but it'll taste good.

    Djeet on
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