How to Smoke Meat on a Charcoal Grill

Did you know you don’t need a fancy smoker to enjoy the delicious flavour of smoked meat at home? If you have a charcoal grill, you can create a smoker that delivers amazing results. Follow this guide to get started, and have fun showing off your skills at your next cookout.

How to Smoke on a Charcoal Grill

  1. Pick your wood. Fill up a disposable smoker box with your choice of wood chips. Remember that certain flavours of wood pair better with certain types of meat. You can expect two to three handfuls of wood chips to last about an hour.
  2. Select your coals. A chimney starter makes all the difference. It will reduce the amount of time it takes to get your charcoal burning.
  3. Set up two zones. Arrange the coals for indirect cooking — you’ll want one side of the grill to be cooler than the other. Simply pour the coals on one half of the grill and leave the other have empty. Place your smoker box over the coals.
  4. Control the temperature. Your charcoal grill comes equipped with vents that allow you to regulate the temperature inside the grill. You want to maintain 230-250°F. The bottom vent is like your control panel. If the temperature drops too much, open it more. If it’s too hot, close it. Keep a frequent check on the temperature. If you’re cooking something that takes several hours, expect to add more charcoal.
  5. Cook your meat. Place the meat on the cool side of the grill so it cooks “low and slow.” Only open the lid to add more wood chips or charcoal.
  6. Follow the recipe. How long you smoke will depend on the type of meat you will be smoking. Consult your recipe to determine the cooking time. Use a meat thermometer to check it the internal temperature. Once your meat reaches the proper internal temperature, or close to that, you’re ready to pull it off the grill. Let it rest, and then serve!