How to Get Charcoal Taste with Gas Grill? (9 Methods)

Grilling is an all-time favorite adventure for food enthusiasts. Gas grills are a lot more common than charcoal grills nowadays. They are much easier to use, have a larger surface area, are highly convenient, have simple maintenance, and are very versatile. 

However, the one thing that a gas grill lacks is the charred, and smoky flavor of a charcoal grill. Because it cannot impart that flavor profile due to the absence of real burning charcoal. The traditional charcoal taste is what makes grilling worth it. So, you will come across this thought of how to get charcoal taste with gas grill?

Although, indeed, you will never get that real charcoal taste. But there are some methods and tricks that will get you pretty close for sure. In this article, you will learn about the expert methods to get a charcoal taste with a gas grill. So, that you can take your grilling experience to the next level. 

Difference Between Gas Grill, and Charcoal Grill.

Before getting into the methods, it is quite a point to know what makes charcoal-cooked meat different from a gas grill in flavor profiles. We do know the obvious difference that the gas grill uses hot air to cook the meat while the charcoal grill uses real coal to cook the food. 

You might be surprised to know that the difference between the taste of charcoal and a gas grill is not the flavor of charcoal. But it has to do with how the coal cooks the meat compared to hot air cooking. 

Contrary to what you have heard, charcoal does not initiate the smoky flavor. Instead, the smoky aroma comes from the marinade drippings and meat that mingle with the grill and create the smoky steam. This infusion is what gives you that intense and charred smoky flavor. So, with the same method and technique, you can easily create a smoky meat flavor while using a gas grill. 

So, how do get a charcoal taste with a gas grill? Seems a more straightforward question now to answer after learning the logistics of the charcoal flavor. 

You can get the charcoal taste with a gas grill when the drippings and meat will heat the flame. The flavor will not be as strong but it surely will be the closest. Now, for the charred part, it is important to cook the meat at a high temperature as the charcoal grill. High heat levels put a good sear on your food, making it crispier, and juicy. 

Simple Methods of How to Get Charcoal Taste with Gas Grill. 

Gas grills do have the versatility, and efficiency to provide you with a very close charcoal grill flavor. However, it is only possible if you know the right methods to use. Here is a list of easy and simple methods that will help you to get the supreme charcoal taste with a gas grill:

Incorporate smoke. 

The best way to get the charred, and smoky flavor from a gas grill is to incorporate smoke into the grilling procedure. You can do that in a few different ways such as using a smoker box, smoker generator, or liquid smoke. 

Using a smoker box or generate that includes wood chunks or wood chips is a great and inexpensive method to add an immense smoky flavor. You have to keep the smoker box below the gas grill grates, then throw your meat or veggies on it and shut the cover. The smoke will work its magic and give your food that rich charred flavor. Before using the wood chips or chunks, it is necessary to soak them in a little bit of water first. 

Do not uncover.

It is important to not blow the cover of a gas grill. In charcoal grills, usually keeping the cover on for too long reduces its heat output. But in gas grills, the cover helps in building heat and smoke which provides you with a good char. 

So, do not uncover the grill much, just do it once or twice for checking the food whether is ready or not. 

Cranking technique.

The charcoal grill has the natural ability to have different temperature zones. It provides extreme heat on the coals and mild heat away from the coals enhances the flavor even more. 

You can mimic that method in your gas grill by putting half part of it on high, and another half on low heat. It will create a Maillard reaction of proteins, giving you the charred, and browned flavor profiles

The buildup of heat level.  

Heat is the main thing in the gas grill that maintain and amplify the taste of the food. So, before grilling any meat or veggies on the grill, you must build up the heat level. You can use tin foil or a rusted baking sheet over the grate to initiate extra heat for good char and taste. 

Usually, it is estimated that the blast of extreme heat only lasts for 30 seconds on the gas grill. So, you better be ready to slip your meat on the grate to capture the beautiful sear and char. 

Include spicy rubs, marinades, and dried spices.

The charcoal taste does not only extract from the wood or smoke, but spices also participate in giving the delicious charcoal flavor.

Do not hold yourself back, to have the best spice mix rub or marinade to coat the meat. Try to marinate the meat a few hours before grilling it will as it will make the flavors more prominent and richer. You can also use smoky sauces, or marinades to enhance the char flavor even more. Using spice blends, and traditional marinades is a great way to incorporate your favorite flavors into the meat and other meat substitutes. 

The choice of meat. 

When it comes to a perfect cooking experience, you must have ingredients that will suit your grill. Because different meat cuts have different smoking points and cooking times.

And the choice of meat is the topmost priority as the right cut of meat can provide you with all that real, authentic grill, and char taste. As such when you are using wood chips or chunks for extra smoke then you should choose the meat that has a longer cooking time. Because smoke takes some extra time to penetrate through the food and develop the charcoal taste. 

Seasoning your grill.

It may sound absurd to season your grill, but doing it will make a huge difference in the taste profile of your food. Having smoke seasoning for your grill will automatically impact your food to have a richer flavor. 

You can use either a pellet smoke tray or a meat smoker box to season the gas grill to provide a smokier flavor to whatever you cook. If you are new to seasoning the gas grill, then you must look after a few tutorials before doing it. 

Earthen pots. 

A charcoal grill is all about coal and warmth, which is pretty similar to an earthen pot commonly known as a tandoor. You can get the charcoal flavor from a gas grill by turning it into an earthen pot. You have to grab an earthen pot or even a broken piece of a big one and place it on the grill flame. 

Wait for a little while, and let the pot get heated thoroughly. Then pour some butter or oil before placing the meal over it to raise the smoking point. Cover, and leave it for a few minutes so that the flavors can blend, and cook perfectly. 

Smoking technique.

Smoking is a different cooking technique than grilling with smoke. It is one of the efficient ways to get the best smoky flavor with a gas grill. Smoking involves cooking bigger meat cuts at a very mild and low temperature for a long period. You use chunks of hardwood to generate hot, and rich smoke. 

You can also use different kinds of flavors of hardwood to customize the smoky flavor. In this type of cooking, the heat of the smoke is what cooks the food. While on the other hand, grilling is all about cooking food quickly at a very high temperature with the aid of hot air. 

In a Nutshell. 

Gas grills are much more convenient in this modern era than charcoal grills for several reasons. But the only inconvenience that people face with it is not getting that authentic charcoal taste. The charcoal gas provides your meat with a rich smoky and charred flavor. The char and smoke taste are what makes grilling so attractive, and appealing. 

How to get the charcoal taste with the gas grill? However, it is not like you cannot get the same flavor with your gas grill. First, you need a little bit of understanding of how to develop the charcoal flavor. And then with some simple and easy methods, you can pull off the charred and smoky flavor without any trouble. 

Leave a Comment