How to Smoke on a Gas Grill
Gas grills are great for grilling steaks and seafood, but I just don’t get the smoke flavor I want with a gasser. Gas grills are only good for hot and fast, not low and slow. They’re good for burgers and brats, but no way I can do something like ribs or pork tenderloin on one. Heard any of those before? I have. Hell, I’ve said every one of them at one point or another. I’ll admit it. I was a charcoal snob. I said I would never own a gas grill. If I wanted to cook on gas, I would use my stove.
But then I was contacted by Char-Broil and they asked me to do some writing for them. They sent me a couple gas grills with their TRU Infrared technology, and I was blown away at how juicy the food was, but I was only using it as an outdoor stove top. I made some wicked lamb, grilled pizza, grilled tomatoes, and chicken, but I wasn’t doing any smoking on it.
But not anymore. Not with these little beauties:
That’s an aluminum tin filled with cherry chips. You can also put unsoaked wood chips in a foil ball or in a foil tin. Amazon has a great assortment of wood chips. You can see them here.
So how does this work? Turn all the burners on the gas grill to high and take the grill grate off the left side. Remove the plastic from the tin of chips and place the tin where the grate was removed. There might take a little finagling with the tin to get it to set on the burner. It’s aluminum and disposable so don’t stress it. It’s pretty pliable. Get it as close to the flames as possible. And soon enough you will see this:
Once the wood starts to smoke, let it go for about 10 minutes, then turn the other burners down to a more moderate temperature before putting the meat on. Here’s how it looks in relation to the pork tenderloin in this recipe:
So, can you smoke meat on a gas grill? Absolutely.
Now to our recipe: Stuffed, Smoked Pork Tenderloin Sliders
2 pork tenderloins
salt and black pepper
8 ounces cream cheese
4 tablespoons pepper jelly
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
Hawaiian slider buns
Butterfly each pork tenderloin lengthwise, ensuring not to cut all the way through the meat with my badass, Ken Onion, Kershaw Shun Ergonomic Chef’s Knife. They aren’t cheap but they are outstanding. You can view them here on Amazon:
Cover with plastic wrap and go to town with a meat mallet to make giant paillards. If you don’t have a mallet, here is the one I use:
Hit both sides of each pork tenderloin with salt and black pepper
Now make up the stuffing. Put the cream cheese, jelly and garlic in a bowl:
Put it in the microwave for about 60 seconds to soften the cream cheese and break up the gelatin in the jelly and then blend well:
Spread the cheese concoction over the pork, roll up, and tie with bakers twine. I stopped buying my cooking twine locally because it is so expensive for the most pitiful little rolls. I got mine on Amazon with a stainless holder that I can refill again and again for the cheap. If you just want the ball of cooking twine, they have that too:
Then place the pork tenderloins on the cool side of the grill and away from the smoking tin with the seam facing up to keep the cheese from oozing out as much when the pork tenderloins heat up:
I did these at about 400 degrees. Yes, that’s a little higher than most consider low and slow, but this was the first time I did this and was taking them to a party across the street in a couple hours and didn’t want to mess around with finding the perfect low temp that still was hot enough to get the tin to smoke.
At 30 minutes of smoking, I’m getting some nice browning at the ends closest to the hot burner:
Here you can see the smoke coming from the tin:
At 45 minutes, I decided to flip the pork tenderloins around and move them farther away from the hot burner:
In doing that, I lost a bunch of cheese, so be careful:
And here are the stuffed, smoked pork tenderloins are at the 75 minute mark and ready to come in:
On the cutting board:
Let the pork tenderloins rest for three reasons:
1) Letting the meat rest will allow the juices, in an excited state from the heat from grilling to calm down and redistribute throughout the meat.
2) The cheese is like molten lava right now. Slicing into it and the cheese will run all over cutting board
3) Gives you a chance to grab a beverage or two:
After letting them rest for 8-10 minutes, slice and place on the Hawaiian buns to make pork tenderloin sliders:
The gooey, spicy stuffing of these pork tenderloin sliders is perfectly offset by the soft sweetness of the Hawaiian rolls, all complemented by the smoke from the cherry wood. These are a definitely crowd fillers and pleasers. They would be ideal for your next tailgate. Make them the night before, toss them in the fridge to halt the cooking process and then warm up at the game on a travel grill.
If you still don’t know how to smoke on a gas grill, or have any questions about the stuffed, smoked pork tenderloin sliders, please feel free to comment below or shoot me an email.
- 2 pork tenderloins
- salt and black pepper
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 4 tablespoons pepper jelly
- 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
- Hawaiian slider buns
- Butterfly the pork tenderloins and then place a piece of plastic wrap over and and pound with a meat mallet into pail lards
- Hit each side with salt and pepper
- Mix the cream cheese, pepper jelly and garlic in a bowl and microwave for 60 seconds to soften the cheese and the gelatin of the jelly
- Spoon the cheese/pepper jelly mixture over the flattened pork tenderloins and roll them up
- Tie the tenderloins with baker's twine and prepare the grill
- Take the grill grate off one side of the grill and place an aluminum pan of UNsoaked wood chips right over the heat and place the meat over the side with no burners on
- Target internal temperature of the grill is 400
- Smoke for 60-75 minutes
- Remove from the grill, allow to rest for 8-10 minutes
- Slice and place on the Hawaiian buns to make pork tenderloin sliders