How to Smoke Meat on Electric Grill


Devouring smoked meat is fun, but have you tried smoking meat yourself?

It’s an incredibly grueling and time-consuming process. But the level of satisfaction you get from doing it is beyond words.

Oh, wait! You cannot smoke meat at home because you don’t have a smoker. There’s an electric grill sitting on your porch instead.

An electric grill can neither produce the rich aroma of smoke nor offer indirect heat. You need both of these for smoking meat, right?

Well, let us take the opportunity to give you some good news. You can use an electric grill to smoke meat.

Meat On An Electric Grill

What! Smoking meat on electric grill?

Yes, it’s possible – with just a DIY smoker box and the right placement of the meat on the grate. 

Let’s find out the secret to smoking meat in an electric grill – and learn about a few other things in the process.

Smoker vs. griller – what’s the difference, anyway?

To try smoking for the first time, you can turn an electric grill into an electric smoker. But first, let’s understand the difference between the two.

The one thing that’s common between these two is the source of fuel. Both use electricity and need to be plugged into a power source to function.

So, where’s the difference between a smoker and a grill? It is in the heating source.

The heat source in a grilling device is direct, while a smoker has an indirect source of heat. A grill helps with faster grilling and barbequing on an open flame, and a smoker enables the low and slow style.

Why electric grills are popular

For a new cook who wants to experiment with smoking and grilling, an electric grill is the most viable option. That’s because it’s easy to use, quick to heat, and light on the pockets.

An electric grill is, therefore, a popular choice for newbies. Sadly, the poor fellow receives a lot of fire, no pun intended.

The complaint against electric grills is the lack of smokiness. Since its source of fuel is electricity, there’s no combustion involved and hence, no smoke.

However, modern grill designs ensure that the meat’s grease and melting liquid give rise to fumes for a smoky flavor. You’ll even find electric grills with a chamber for wood or charcoal, which means that they use these to create smoke.

You can also infuse the meat with some of the smoky richness. But we’ll discuss that a little later.

Let’s be honest here – the result won’t exactly be the same as smoking in a charcoal smoker. But it won’t be half as bad as people describe. 

Besides, electric grills are better for indoor cooking in a limited space. It takes minutes to heat up so that you can start cooking immediately.

Also Read:

How to start smoking meat on electric grill

The latest electric grills are equipped with a chamber to add wood and charcoal to create a smoky environment. You may also find grills designed to allow all the melting fat and juices to fall into the fuel source for fumes.

But what will you do if you are stuck with an old electric grill? How is it possible to smoke meat on a basic electric grill?

We know that wood can give meat an enhanced smoky flavor.

Are you wondering how to get charcoal flavor on an electric grill?

So, can you use wood chips in an electric grill, too?

The answer is “yes”! You’ll have to start with something called a smoker box.

Smoker Box with Wood Chips

While smoker boxes made of stainless steel are available at stores, you can also make a smoker box for electric grills easily. There are a few simple ways to do it.

Take a small box or muffin cup made of aluminum to use it as the ‘box’. Put charcoal or pre-soaked wood in that box and place it inside the grill.

You can even use both. Cover the box with another layer of foil, and punch a few holes. Then place it on the grates!

For a temporary solution, simply wrap the wet wood and charcoal – or either of them – in aluminum foil. Then, poke a few holes and place it in the electric grill.

Simple, isn’t it? The smoke will escape the smoker box through the holes on the cover.

If they burn out completely, you can refill the box. You can use any one of the fuels, or use both together for multiple layers of flavor.

So, the lack of smokiness is not something you need to worry about anymore. So, what next?

The next thing you need to do is preheat your electric grill to a low temperature, like 225-250 F. Do so with the smoker box inside so that by the time you put the meat inside, the wood and charcoal are ready to emit smoke!

Now, place the meat on the grate. The heating element in an electric heater may be within the surface or directly beneath it. 

Make sure to place it as far away from the heat source as possible. That will help to get the indirect heating effect.

Your smoking journey begins! To be on the safer side, check the meat’s internal temperature every hour using a thermometer.

Ensure that the internal temperature of the meat reaches at least 145-160 F. On the other hand, poultry needs to attain a temperature of 165 F.

If God knew how to smoke, this would be the moment for Him to exclaim, “Let there be smoked meat!”

Final Words:

If you’re a smoking newb or a home cook, investing in a large and expensive smoker is somewhat of a far-fetched plan. That doesn’t mean you have to give up on your dream of hot smoking meat yourself.

The answer is simple – Smoking meat on electric grill using a smoke box.

It might be easier to smoke meat on gas, pellets, or charcoal grills. But if you follow the tips we have shared, you’ll love how the smoked meat will turn out.

If you’re planning to buy a new electric grill, you can look for one that has a chamber for wood or charcoal. This will make the job much easier, and you’ll infuse rich smokiness in your smoked meat, even on an electric grill!


Tyler Lachance is a cookout professional. His expertise on cooking grilled food, creating marinades, formulating sauces and matching his food with the perfect drink is unrivaled.

Born and raised in a family that has a long history of cookout, he has treated this activity as a part of his culture and who he is.