Grilling is a man’s world…oops, did I just say that. Sorry, but since ancient man discovered fire we have had a love affair with cooking over an open flame. And when it comes to summertime we rally around the grill and cook up some of the tastiest fare this side of the Pecos.

Over the years we’ve developed techniques that are as individual as our souls, each person adding their own style to the way they approach cooking over an open flame. I’ve been searching for a way to add a little punch to my style to set it apart from the crowd so this year I’ll be experimenting with the flavor enhancing characteristics of smoke.

For our faithful followers you already know we cook over a gas grill so I’ve been doing a little bit of research on the different ways to get the smoke without going overboard while keeping it simple, I am a guy after all so we don’t need to make it too complicated. So here’s the low down on imparting smoke into your grilling toolkit…

  • Use only hardwoods, (hickory, oak, mesquite) and fruit woods (apple, pear) these are readily available at most stores or if your looking for more exotic woods you can find them online.
  • Soak wood chips in water for at least 20 minutes prior to adding to the grill. For a little added flavor try soaking them in liquids other than water, white wine pairs well with chicken and I’m going to try some other liquors as well.
  • If you choose to grill with charcoal add the wood chips directly to the coals, for gas grills you’ll need a foil pan to hold your wood chips. Just be sure to poke a couple of holes in the bottom of the pan so any cooking juices can drain to limit flare-ups.
  • Smoke goes a long ways so start out small and only add a few chips, learn as you go so to say.
  • Once you get comfortable with the process or you just want to add another flavor characteristic add some herbs to the mix, you can use dried or fresh, either way make sure you soak them the same way you do the wood chips.

Being the experimental cook in the family, the freedom that grilling gives and experiencing all the ways you can change up the flavors of the grill, is the best thing in my world.

These are just some of the reasons why Grilling is my Happiness. Besides all of the tasty food, tell me what you love about grilling. One of my lucky readers who answers below will win a $25 Sears Gift Card!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sears. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Sweepstakes Rules.


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