Using a standard charcoal grill as a smoker

My grill is older than my kids. It has rust holes where there used to be rack supports, and it seems to go in several directions when I roll it across the patio. I can’t afford a true smoker, but I LOVE those big smoked turkey legs you have to pay $10 for at theme parks or the fair. I HAD to make some of those.

Your grill CAN work, and pretty easily at that. I’m not going to provide a recipe here, but maybe later… there are lots of great ones on-line. To make your grill a smoker, you just need a deep aluminum foil pan (like the ones you use for drying bread crumbs), some oil, lemons and seasoning, and, well… nothing else. Aluminum pans are available at most dollar stores for… $1. You should get one large enough to fully occupy the space below whatever you are smoking… no “direct” heat.

I recommend a chimney for coals. You don’t need lighter fluid, and you end up with a bucket of hot coals with a handle, so you can pour them out where needed with reasonable accuracy. You’ll need more coals for the several-hour smoking process, so be sure to have them handy. Wood chips too… you know… smoke! I put these in a bowl or large pan with a paper towel over them to keep them ALL submerged for at least an hour before cooking. When the coals are about ready, pull the chimney off the grill and put it somewhere safe, where it won’t light anyone, or anything, on fire. Put some water, lemon slices, oil and seasoning in the pan(s), placed in the central area of your grill. Deposit your hot coals around the pan and add some of your soaked wood chips. Place the grill over the cooking materials, and add your prepared meat over the aluminum pans. Whatta you know? You’re smoking meat on your old charcoal grill!

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