I often get questions from friends and co-workers on how they can get a smoked flavor in their food when they don't have a smoker and without use of the dreaded "liquid smoke". This process required an outdoor gas grill.
I posted about a year about cheating when preparing a smoked chicken. Since then, I have further developed the concept. This involves a similar process to using a "stove top" smoker similar to the Cameron version substituting the stove top with a gas grill.
What did I do?
I started with a large aluminum pan(full pan) and heavy duty aluminum foil. From the foil, I made an envelope in which I added hickory wood chips (one large handful). The foil pouch/envelope was sealed. I then used a knife to make 5-8 one inch piercings on the top of the pouch. The pouch was then placed on the botton of the aluminum pan. I layered heavy duty foil over the pouch and then placed two square grates on top. This is to keep the chicken from laying directly on the foil.
To mimic a water pan which I use in my Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker (WSM) I took a small aluminum loaf pan and filled it halfway full with water to which I added a couple of sprigs of Rosemary.
I took two whole cornish chickens and cut them through the back to lay flat. The cornish chicken was simply seasoned on the inside with a chicken rub (any store bought rub will suffice). I seasoned the skin side with only salt. The purpose of using only salt was to minimize the possibility of rubbery skin which is a dreaded consequence of smoked chicken. The theory being that the salt draws out the moisture from the skin and increases the potential for a more crisp skin (less rubbery).
The cornish chickens were smoked for about 35-40 minutes. I did keep the inside of the grill temperature at 400 degrees but I did not verify the temperature inside the aluminum pan or the temp of the chicken. My estimate was based on indirectly cooking a chicken on the grill where I usually go for 45 minutes.
I opened the pan and found two beautifully browned cornish chickens. I felt a need to add grill marks so I quickluy placed the cornish chickens skin side down over direct heat for less than 10 seconds.
The cornish chickens were moist with a mild smoke flavor. The skin was tasty and not rubbery.
Yes, you too can have real smoked flavor with a simple smoking process.