Smoking food is not the first thing that comes to our minds when we think of a Blackstone griddle. After all, they’re designed to provide the perfect grilling and searing surface for delicious food, not fill the air with smoke.
You can smoke food on a Blackstone griddle and it’s fairly easy to do so using a smoke box and a cover of sorts. You will also need a thermometer to monitor the air temperature and a meat temperature to check whether the meat is done.
With the quick answer out of the way, let’s talk about some of the methods and tricks you can use to smoke food on your Blackstone griddle.
Table of Contents
- Are Blackstone Griddles the Best Choice For Smoking?
- What Will You Need To Smoke on a Blackstone Griddle?
- How To Smoke Food on a Blackstone Griddle Step-by-step
- Final thoughts
Are Blackstone Griddles the Best Choice For Smoking?
Griddles are flat-top grills designed to work sort of like a huge frying pan. So you smoke food on a frying pan? I guess not. Griddles are certainly not the optimal choice when it comes to smoking. However, if you’ve already got one, why not give it a shot?
Smoking is possible on pretty much all Blackstones. With one exception – the electric griddles. These may not be suitable due to their nonstick finish that may get damaged by the smoke box or smoke tube.
The small Blackstones will not offer much space for smoking. Your best bet is to use a 36 or 28-inch griddle.
There are two ways to employ smoke on a griddle:
- Pre-cook the food first directly on the griddle and then let the smoke infuse it with a smoky flavor for a short time
- Keep the food raised above the cooktop and let the smoke (and heat) do the job
Method number one is easier to pull off and takes much less time but the resulting food is not as flavorful as with the latter method.
The second method takes quite a bit longer but provides the authentic smoky flavor you’d expect from a smoker.
What Will You Need To Smoke on a Blackstone Griddle?
To make smoking on a griddle possible, a couple of items will be needed. All of the products are relatively affordable, and you can even use some basic DIY skills to save money.
Here’s what you will need:
- A source of smoke – a smoker box or a smoker tube
- Fuel – Wood chips, pellets, or sawdust
- A cooling rack – to keep the food above the griddle surface
- Thermometer – to keep an eye on the temperature
- A cover of sorts – to keep the smoke contained
Smoker boxes or tubes are simple metal containers that hold the fuel of choice while it burns and produces smoke. There are holes, usually at the top of the device, to allow smoke to escape. They come in different shapes and sizes and you will need to choose one depending on the griddle you own.
The good news is that they are not expensive at all. You can find them online or at your local hardware store for less than 10 bucks or so. Yes, there are more expensive ones as well but I don’t see the point.
Instead of buying, you could also make a makeshift smoker box from a disposable foil pan. Use the pan as the container, put the wood chips in, and cover the pan with foil. Poke holes in the foil cover and light the chips. Done. As a side note, buying a dedicated smoker box is probably cheaper than buying a pack of foil pans.
Technically you could smoke on a griddle without any smoker box because smoker boxes are primarily made to contain the burning wood chips so that they don’t fall through the grates on a grill. With a griddle, nothing’s gonna fall anywhere. However, I would still recommend using one because uncontained burning fuel would make a mess and possibly lead to damage to your carefully built-up seasoning layer.
We need something that produces smoke since a griddle does not smoke (unless you are burning your food).
The most popular choices are wood chips that can be bought in a variety of tree species. Each species will give off a different flavor. Hickory is one of the most popular options but we will discuss the wood choices later on.
Apart from wood chips, you can also use wood pellets or sawdust. Sawdust however doesn’t produce as much heat and burns more quickly. Thus requiring more refills during the cook.
Charcoal is also used in smokers but it does not produce much if any smoke by itself and is usually used accompanied by wood chips or pellets. We don’t need another source of heat so charcoal is not required for smoking food on a griddle.
You will need something to keep the smoked food above the cooking surface of the griddle. This is to prevent the food from getting too hot and burning. Yes, the griddle itself will be on.
A wire cooling rack like the one used when baking is the best choice. It is simple and cheap. And also some have adjustable height legs allowing you to move the rack up and down to experiment and perhaps accommodate larger cuts of meat.
A cover of sorts
We’ve already got something to contain the fuel, now we need something to contain the smoke produced by the fuel and of course the heat. After all, we are looking to produce smoked meat or veggies, not smoke signals for your neighbors.
If your griddle has a lid then you could possibly use that but for most purposes, it will be too large.
Since you likely won’t use your griddle for full-scale smoking operations, something smaller like a basting cover will do. Blackstone does offer their own basting covers if you want everything to carry the Blackstone logo or name.
They are not the cheapest options though and if you want to save some bucks, you could use a large disposable foil pan to act as your cover.
There are only two problems with the foil pans:
- There’s no handle to use to raise the cover when checking on the smoked food
- They are extremely lightweight so they won’t stay in place when a gust of wind comes for a visit (weigh the cover down with something flat like for example a smash burger press)
Important – The cover should not be completely airtight as we need some oxygen getting in there. Without any oxygen, the fuel would stop burning and smoking.
Smoking usually involves fairly low heat over a long period of time. Having a thermometer that reads the temperature in the makeshift smoker chamber is of vital help. You should periodically check the temperature to make sure it doesn’t drop too low or rise too high.
The optimal temperature depends on what you are planning on smoking.
When using a foil pan as your smoker chamber, then all you have to do is to poke holes in it and stick the thermometer in there.
A metal basting cover makes things slightly more complicated. You probably don’t want to drill a hole in the cover so you may need to resort to a thermometer with a long probe. This way you can insert the probe through a gap under the cover. Don’t forget to keep the probe elevated from the cooktop as you want to read the temperature of the air and not of the cooking surface.
Don’t forget you will also need a thermometer to check the internal temps of the smoked meat. That is unless you are an adventurous soul who likes to guess the doneness of your food. I don’t recommend it though.
How To Smoke Food on a Blackstone Griddle Step-by-step
So we’ve covered all the things we will need and now we can start with the smoking part itself.
Oh, and you will of course need something to smoke. Like beef ribs, pork tenderloin, or perhaps some bacon. The choice is yours. For the first griddle smoking session, you might want to choose something that does not take too much time though.
Here’s the guide:
Step 1: Prepare the griddle
Before we get to the smoking part, we need some heat. Ignite the griddle and set the burners on low as we don’t need them going full blast. Remember, smoking is not about getting as hot as possible. Low and slow is the way to go.
Depending on the size of your griddle and the number of burners, you may only need to keep one or two burners going. For example, on the 36-inch Blackstone, you would only use the two central burners.
Step 2: Place the cooling rack and the food on the griddle
Take the cooling rack and place it so that it sits on the griddle top right above the ignited burners. Place the food of your choice onto the rack.
If you are using a long probe thermometer, attach the end of the probe to the cooling rack so that it doesn’t touch the griddle top. Important – Don’t leave the thermometer itself sitting on the hot griddle top (unless you want it to melt).
Step 3: Fill the smoker box and place it on the griddle
Now it’s time for the smoke. Place the smoker box on top of the griddle so that it sits near the cooling rack but not underneath it. Fill it with the wood chips of your choice. I like applewood.
Step 4: Ignite the wood chips
Now it’s time to start the fire. Ignite the wood chips with your preferred method. Using a small torch is one of the easiest and fastest options. Close the smoker box and wait a bit until you see smoke coming out of the smoker box.
Step 5: Place the cover on top
Once the smoke gets going, you can place the cover over the cooling rack and smoker box making sure to leave a small gap between the cover and the griddle to allow some oxygen in.
If you use a foil pan as a cover, you can poke a hole in it to allow oxygen in and smoke out.
Step 6: Watch and wait
Now it’s time to wait. Keep the temperature in check by regularly checking the thermometer and adjusting the burners or adding more chips accordingly.
The optimal temperature depends on what you are smoking and as such is out of the scope of this post. If you are following a recipe then it should mention the temps.
Step 7: Check the food
Once the food has been smoking for some time it’s time to check how it is doing. Smoked meat should reach a certain internal temperature to be safe for consumption. For example, beef or pork requires at least 145 °F(63°C) according to FSIS, and poultry requires more.
Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temps. It’s vital to check in multiple spots as the temps may vary in larger cuts of meat.
If smoking veggies, the temps are not as important, you just the veggies until they are tender enough.
Step 7: Enjoy
Once you are done smoking, let the food cool off and then enjoy it.
Being able to smoke meat and veggies on a griddle just shows how versatile this grilling companion is.
You can cook almost anything on a griddle. Is it the optimal choice for smoking? Hell no, but it gets the job done when needed.
Of course, if you are a smoked meat lover, getting a dedicated smoker is probably the better choice.
But until you do, a Blackstone griddle can be used for smoking just fine.
Does Blackstone make a smoker?
No, unfortunately, there is no Blackstone smoker yet. If anything changes, we will let you know.
How do I control the temps when smoking on a griddle?
Controlling the temps when smoking on a griddle is a bit tricky. You can do so by adjusting the burners and by the number of wood chips in the smoker box. Unfortunately, even with burners on low, the air temperature may be higher than desired.
Can you use a smoker box on a Blackstone griddle?
Yes, you can use a smoker box on a Blackstone gas griddle. With the electric version, you may want to stay on the safe side and not use it for smoking because of potential damage to the cooking surface.
Last update on 2024-01-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API