I'm thinking about trying to use a smoker box with wood chips on a gas grill for lunch and dinner restaurant use. Does anybody have any experience doing this? Or better yet, does anyone know of any grills that have built in and accessible smoke boxes? I'd like to get some smokiness going on for steaks, but don't want to deal with the headaches of a wood fired grill, and this seems like the easiest and most economical way of doing it. But I can't seem to find any grills built this way. Any advice would be appreciated.
Wood chips on a gas grill
If you want quick and dirty, you can put a nine pan under the are you want the steak. Soak the chips, fill it about half way, cover with foil and poke some holes in it. Or you could funnel the smoke to come out just in one direction. If you changed it between services, you should be good. I don't know what kind of grill you have, so it might be a pain to get the smoke pans in and out, especially after the grill's been going a full lunch service.
But hey, the price is right.
Alternatively, you could get a little smoker set up and actually "cold smoke" your steaks before service. Just to get flavor, they shouldn't need long and you can get the temps on those small units pretty low. Pull them after about 1/2 hour, make sure they're chilled for service and then get your marks on the grill, per usual.
Hey thanks for replying!
Opening a new store, contractor is doing the build out now, so we're in the process of acquiring equipment. So I can get any grill thats not stupid expensive.
I know theres those triangular smoke boxes designed to fit inside a gas grill, but refilling those in the middle of service would be a nightmare.
Really kinda wondring if theres any grills with a smoke box built in , or that has them as an accessory, such that the box can be removed and refilled while the grill is going.
Although the cold smoke idea is really good. We're going to be doing our own butchering, so that should be easy enough. Plus wouldn't have to worry about too much smoke coming off the grill during service and suffocating the grill guy. Thanks for the idea! I'm going to run that by my people...
you put it in a bowl with glad wrap over the top, then poke a little hole for the gun tube to sit in. Make sure no air can escape, then pump it full of smoke and 10-20 mins later it's done.
Thanks for the replies everyone.
Yeah I like the smoking gun, but I'm thinking much bigger picture here now.
Thanks to cnimbelli's excellant idea to cold smoke the steaks, I'm thinking about batch smoking steaks. So a gun won't be efficient for smoking 40 steaks or so at a time.
Been doing a lot of research on this. Everyone I've seen online whose done this says its amazing. I've never had a cold smoked steak, nor has anybody I know personally. Frankly, never really considered it before, and nobody around here is doing it. (If this works out well this could be a signature item....) So we're going to do some test batches once the kitchen is up to see if its a direction we want to go.
Procedurally could take the primal ribeye and loins and cut to individual steaks, season, then cold smoke for 45 mins to an hour at <70F. Then wrap in plastic and back in the fridge. This is acceptable as far time spent in the danger zone temperature wise. And from what others are saying, wrapping and refrigerating after smoking helps with the smoky flavors. And pre seasoning them means better consistency than having the grill guy do it to order.
As far as a smoker, I think I can create one out of a single door commercial fridge. Finding a dedicated commercial cold smoker seems next to impossible. (We're getting a hot smoker, but for health and efficiency reasons don't want to use this for cold smoking.) The only ones I saw (and it took some digging) were massive, used for commercial sausage making, and cost more than my car. But making one out of a fridge looks quite doable, at least according to my contractor/machinist friend. Plus can install speed racks, so can put steaks on wire racks on speed racks for ease of use. Not sure the health inspector will be happy with my make shift smoker, but I can probably pass it off as a refrigerator :)
Will be doing more research and testing on this. I'm pretty excited about it....
The idea is absolutely about consistency, from smoke to seasoning.
I really hope it can be a signature for you.
The problem with the hotel per pan set up is it eats a lot of space on your cook surface, and I don't care how good your hvac is, that set up is SMOKY.