How to Get Charcoal Flavor on Gas Grill? (4 Methods)

Do you love the taste of charcoal-grilled food, but don’t have the time or patience to start a fire? Well, you’re in luck! It is possible to get that delicious charcoal flavor on your gas grill. But the question is how to get charcoal flavor on gas grill?

How to Get Charcoal Flavor on Gas Grill?

This blog post will discuss the different ways to do this. We will also provide some tips and tricks to help make the process easier for you.

So, whether you are a beginner or an experienced grill master, read on for all the information you need to create amazing charcoal-flavored dishes right at home! Before we get started, let’s see why charcoal meat is so special.

What Makes Charcoal Cooked Meat Special?

Arguably, one of the best ways to cook meat is on a charcoal grill or pellet grill. Depending on your geographical location, you may have only experienced the former before, but either way, there are some pretty tasty results that come from cooking meat on an open flame. What makes charcoal-cooked meat special?

The answer is simple: it looks and smells great. It also has a distinguishable taste that other cooking methods don’t have.

Bonfire Aroma and the Maillard Reaction

The reason for this is because the red/pink color of hamburgers and other meat products comes from a chemical reaction called “the Maillard Reaction” – it’s what gives browned foods their distinctive flavor. 

This reaction occurs as food cooks and is caused by heat. When you grill something, the additional smoke and the glowing embers produce a “bonfire” aroma that makes meat particularly appetizing.


As for the taste, it’s so good because high heat also causes the exterior of food to caramelize, which is where you get those crispy black bits that add flavor and texture to your barbecue feast. In short, charcoal-cooked meat smells great and tastes delicious!

Read Also: How to Smoke on a Charcoal Grill?

4 Ways To Get Charcoal Flavor on Gas Grill

1. Get Yourself a High-Quality Smoker Box

One of the easiest ways to add delicious charcoal flavor to your food is by using a smoker box. This handy little tool sits right on top of your grill and allows you to add soaked wood chips (or pellets) for smoking. The great thing about smoker boxes is that they are available in all shapes and sizes, so you can find one that will fit perfectly on your grill.

There are a number of high-quality smoker boxes available on the market, but my personal favorite is the Weber Universal Smoker Box. This heavy-duty smoker box is made from stainless steel and features lots of exceptional features to help you get the charcoal flavor on a gas grill.

If you’re looking for a smoker box that is a little less expensive, the one from Skyflame is a great option. This box is made from durable cast iron and has an enamel finish that will keep it looking new for years to come. It also has a unique design that allows it to fit on most gas grills.

No matter which smoker box you choose, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use. This will ensure that you get the best possible results from your grill.

Now that we have our smoker box all set up, it’s time to start cooking!

2. Crank Your Gas Grill by Creating a Two Temperature Zone

If you want to get the charcoal flavor on your gas grill, one of the best ways to do it is by creating a two-temperature zone. By doing this, you’ll be able to cook your food over indirect heat, which will give it that smoky taste that you’re looking for.

To create a two-temperature zone on your gas grill, you’ll need to light one side of the grill on high, and then cook your food over indirect heat on the other side of the grill. This can be done by placing your food on the opposite side of the grill where the flames are not as high.

This method will replicate the indirect cooking techniques of charcoal grills. And, you’ll love the taste a two-temperature zone can produce.

You can also use this method to cook large pieces of meat, like a brisket or beef shoulder. By cooking them over indirect heat, you’ll be able to keep the temperature low and give them that smoky flavor that you’re looking for.

So, if you want to get that charcoal flavor on your gas grill, try creating a two-temperature zone. It’s an easy way to do it, and the results will speak for themselves.

Check out these best commercial smokers for restaurant-style food!

3. Utilize Liquid Smoke

Liquid smoke is a great way to get that smoky flavor on your food. It’s made by distilling wood smoke and capturing the flavors. You can find it in most grocery stores and online, and it is inexpensive too.

To use liquid smoke, simply add it to your marinade or sauce. It’s a great way to add smoky flavor to chicken, turkey, beef, and even vegetables. Simply brush it on the food before grilling.

Here are some things to consider in mind while using liquid smoke:

  • Be careful not to add too much, or it will overpower the food. A little goes a long way.
  • Liquid smoke is available in both smoked and unsmoked varieties. If you want a stronger flavor, go with the smoked variety.
  • It’s best to use liquid smoke when grilling over indirect heat. That way, the smoke will have a chance to penetrate the food.
  • Liquid smoke is also available in different flavors, such as mesquite, hickory, and applewood. Experiment with different flavors to find your favorite.

Read Also: How to smoke a turkey in a charcoal smoker?

4. Keep The Lid of Your Grill Close

The fourth method to get the charcoal flavor on your gas grill is by keeping the lid close. By doing this, you’re trapping all of the heat and smoke inside of your grill. This will create that smoky taste that you’re looking for.

Make sure to keep an eye on your food while it’s grilling. You don’t want it to burn. If you notice that the food is starting to char, you can always move it to a cooler part of the grill.

The key to success with this method is patience. It takes time for the smoke and heat to penetrate your food. But if you’re willing to wait, the end result will be worth it.


What are the advantages of having a charcoal grill over a gas grill?

One advantage of using a charcoal grill is that it almost always tastes better than other types of grills (although this difference is debated), such as electric and gas.

The smoky taste of cooked meat is often preferred by many people. 

Can propane grills retain the taste of cooking over charcoal?

No, but propane grills do offer more control than charcoal grills. When you use propane, you can better control the heat level and how long it’s applied.

Gas grills also tend to have wide cooking surfaces and covers, which allow you to control the movement of the smoke and heat around your food. 

What are the advantages of having a gas grill over a charcoal grill?

Gas grills cost less money to purchase, run, and maintain. These grills are also easier to use because the temperature can be adjusted easily according to how well done one prefers their meat cooked without involving any hassles.


There you have it! Four methods for getting that delicious charcoal flavor on your gas grill. Try out a few of them and see which one works best for you. And most importantly, have fun grilling!

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