Instructables

Turn Your Gas Grill into a Smoker - Simple Woodchip Tray

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Like throngs of others backyard bar-b-quer's, I wanted to get a bit more smoke flavor on my gas grill without purchasing a full on smoker.  One day I'm sure I'll have a proper smoker, but for right now I'm simply just not at that scale or scope.  To improve my situation in the mean time, I built a very simple wood chip tray that was custom sized to my Weber BBQ. 

The easy to make, cost effective smoker tray that I bent into shape in minutes from some sheet metal serves my casual rib making needs very well and couldn't be simpler to use.  While it's no custom full fledge meat smoker, it does make A LOT of smoke and help me turn out one of my favorite foods - BBQ ribs.
 
 
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Step 1: Design a Metal Tray

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I measured my grill's width and the height between the flavor bars and grill grate and took those measurements to the shop.  

The goal was to create a simple metal reusable tray that would hold wood chips above the bbq flame element in order to create smoke.  

I used some old sheet metal to create the chip tray.  Mark the dimensions of the box, in my case 20" wide x 4" deep x 1 1/2" tall.  1 1/2" is about the max height that the tray can be so that it still fits underneath the grill grates and 20" is the width of the interior of my grill.

The sheet metal will be folded up just like a cardboard box, so mark the bottom of the tray and the four walls.  The four 1 1/2" corners that remain will be cut off.

Step 2: Jump Shear to Size

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Take the sheet metal over to the jump shear and cut the metal down to the exterior dimensions.  If you don't have a jump shear, a jig saw with a metal cutting blade works just fine.

Step 3: Remove Corners

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Take the material over to the corner shear and remove the material in the four corners.  This should be four 1 1/2" squares if your building your tray box to be the same size as mine.
Well done. This is a great idea for those who don't have a smoker or just want to add a little smoke flavor to the grill.
Nice job. Very adaptable to fit different grills (the burners on mine run front to back).
chrisnotap1 year ago
I have done the same with my bbq (about 5 years ago) and the results are great!! The flavour is sooo good. Making your own tray is best but if you really want to do it on the cheap just go to the dollar store and find a stainless steel tray that is about the size you want and pay a buck or 2. Nice work.
JessieBoom1 year ago
Great job. If you dont have access to all those tools and/or the time to build this, you could most likely get away with using a stainless steel mud pan from Home Depot or Lowes. It would be in the drywall tool section. Basically, the work is already done for you. Or maybe this just doubles as a mud pan Instructable!?!
It's good to know that you can get good results from a grill like this.

I have an infrared gas BBQ and have been thinking about doing this. The grills sit inside a tray that is about 3/4" deep, one on each side, the full length of the grill. I could easily remove the grill from one side, fill it with chips, then set the meat next to it on the other grill. Here is picture showing the "tray":

http://www.gas-grill-review.com/image-files/char-broil-quantum-system.jpg
Lorddrake1 year ago
wow .. you got all the cool toys ... I'm coming over your house to play .. lol

now all you need to do is cut out a hatchway in the side of your grill so you can open it up to remove the tray to swap out the spent wood chips and add fresh chips without having to remove the meat and grates.
Now I'm hungry! :-) Great job!!