Convert Gas Grill to Charcoal Smoker

Convert a Gas Grill to a Charcoal Smoker

Men like smoking meats with cold bears more than anything. A gas grill might be a simple, easy and fast way of cooking meat, in fact, most modern indoor cooking ranges have full functionality of making a barbeque.

But outdoor barbeque parties with fellow men and women is always fun, right? For men looking for distinct outdoor smoking meat, new charcoal smokers worth buying might not be a good option because of their cost. So, people like to make use of their old gas/propane grills without spending a lot of money and doing so little tricks.

Rethink for a DIY Smoker, the offer for the new charcoal smoker and the best pellet grill is still on. If you are tired of a routine hectic smoking you can also opt the Top Electric Smokers as well.

Anyways, my customers ask me a lot of DIY tricks to make their cooking easy. Most them them inquire for how to convert gas grill to charcoal smoker/grill. When a propane/gas grill stops working or cannot work effectively anymore, it becomes an embracement in front of the guests or nothing more than a pile of junk.

Afterall, one cannot move a piece of outdoor cooking classic to scrapyard just because it stopped working or failed to work in its full capacity, as hundreds of bucks were spent to buy it. So there comes this DIY trick where most people convert/want to convert this gas grill into a hazel free charcoal smoker to get a taste of smoky flavors imparted to the meat by charcoal. By doing a few modifications to the mechanism of gas grill, it will continue to cook delicious barbeque with full functionality, only now with a different bohemian style, when the time comes.

How to Convert a Gas Grill to a Charcoal Smoker

I am not writing this article just because I am a man and men like to build/modify things. I am sharing my simple yet effective grill converting technique because I am amazed on how easy it is transform a gas grill into a charcoal smoker. There are more intelligent and smart men out there than me, but none of them could claim that he converted a gas grill to a charcoal smoker in a more easier and effective way than I did.

After a lot of requests from my customers I am finally managing to tell you this simple yet effective trick.

Pre-Requires to Turn a Gas Smoker to a Charcoal Grill

First, you will need some pieces of equipment to start with:

  • ½ inch or ¼ inch drill bit for drilling metal (to make holes for fresh air to come into the bottom of grill)
  • Drill machine (to drill into a metal sheet of the grill)
  • Old gas/propane grill (of course you need a gas grill to convert)
  • Aluminum foil paper (to create a bed for burnt ash of charcoal/ collect ash from burnt coal)

Step By Step Procedure

1- Learn the Autonomy of Model

Here is how I did it to make sure that my trick will work before telling my customers about it:

gas grill to smoker conversion

I got this unresponsive propane gas grill from a customer of mine, there was a renovation going in the house so she told me I could just take it for free. I ceased this opportunity to do some experiments on it. You might be thinking that I had to do a lot of research before I got started?

No, I already knew the primary mechanism of how any type of grills work. I just had to plan steps and then execute that plan to make things work in my favor. So before initiating the process, I did a little bit of research about the specific model of gas grill I got, because I wanted to know all ins and outs of the gas and burner connections, so I could know where do I start.

Once I figured the structural working of the grill, I started tearing it open piece by piece until all the gas and burner related parts were removed. Then, with an empty grill I made decisions regarding where I am going to drill for holes, what measurement of the aluminum foil paper and extra top rack grill will I need. After reaching to the conclusion I started executing my plan.

I noticed when I got it, the burners and everything was all rusted out so what I did was, took all the burners, tray and fold in the bottom out. Meanwhile I also disconnected all the gas connections, because I was going to use it as a charcoal smoker from now on.

2- Cleaning the Grill

After tearing open the grill very first step was to clean the complete grill, of course.

This step was a bit nasty, as the whole grill was covered with greasy dirt and what not, I had to spend whole day just cleaning the base, sides, top grills and burners.

3- Placing the Aluminum Foil

After cleaning up, I put aluminum foil in the bottom then I put the support of tray back on aluminum foil, put back tray on support and this tray was now going to be used to burn charcoal on it.

converting gas smoker to charcoal

4- Left the Holes Open

I left these holes right here open, so some fresh air could pass through them as you know that if you don’t get in the air, the charcoal would definitely go out.

How to turn your charcoal grill into a smoker

5- Left the Knob there

I left the knobs of gas burners as it is for decoration, but I did clean them up to give it a nice shiny look.

charcoal inserts for a gas grill

6- Placing back the Side Burner

I put the side burner back after clean up, as I was going to use this side burner with a propane tank to use it for different purposes.

turn master forge gas grill to a smoker

7- Placing the Side Grill back

Then I put back the top grills which I cleaned up thoroughly, the grills were a bit rusty therefore I had to scrub them with wire brushes for cleanup and then I spent about a couple of cans of high heat paint on these top grills.

People use grills continuously but forget or feel a bit lazy cleaning up top grills which are the most important part of a grill, as you put meat on top grills. But I’ll take care good care of it now. You should really clean up top grills after each barbeque session.

How to convert an old gas grill to charcoal smoker

8- Try your BBQ

After finishing my project, I soaked my apple wood chips and prepared a London broil I had with a barbeque rub. It was time to put my new charcoal smoker to test. I was amazed on the perfectly juicy smoked piece of beef. Since then I have used my smoker many times. It works like a charm. 

How much it Cost to Convert Gas Grill to Charcoal Smoker

It costed me $25-30$ bucks to convert this gas grill to a charcoal smoker. What’s your take on converting gas grills to charcoal smokers, what kind of experience you had, let me know in the comments.

Safety Precautions

Make sure to disconnect all propane tanks and gas connections to the grill before start firing charcoal. It may cause a severe danger of explosive fires and even a causality in some cases.

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