Q: What should I do if the Smokin’-O catches on fire?
A: Smokin’-O’s sometimes catch fire, and it’s fine when they do! Just pick up the Smokin’-O with tongs, blow out the flame, and then put it back on the grill, on the coolest spot, away from direct flame. Make sure to also turn the heat down to cooking temperature—Smokin’-Os will continue to catch fire if your grill temperature is too hot. In that case, place it on a piece of aluminum foil or in an empty tin can.
Q: What’s the best way to get my Smokin’-O to smoke?
A: Pre-heat your grill on high (above 400 degrees F), and find the hottest spot. Place your Smokin’-O directly over that hottest spot, exposing it to direct flame if possible, and close the lid. Wait 5 minutes and open the lid—the Smokin’-O should be on fire or beginning to smolder. If not, just repeat this step.
If the Smokin’-O catches flame, just pick it up with tongs and blow out the flame—it will continue to smoke. When about 15% of the bottom of the Smokin’-O is covered with white ash, turn down heat to normal cooking temperature (below 350 degrees is recommended), and move the Smokin’-O to the coolest spot on the grill. (Do not put Smokin’-O over direct flame or it will keep igniting—you don’t want your Smokin’-O on fire to cook with, you want it smoldering and smoking.
Q: Does my food taste like it was in a smoker?
A: No. Smokin’-O’s don’t actually smoke food, they just add a wood-fired taste to gas grilled foods. For the complete smoked flavor and texture, you must use a smoker. But, for a more intense wood-fired taste, you can add multiple Smokin’-O’s to the grill.
Q: Is there a faster way to light my Smokin’-O?
A: If you have a side burner or searing station/burner, turn that burner to high, place your Smokin’-O over it so it straddles the flame, and watch it carefully. The Smokin’-O will catch fire in about 2-4 minutes, depending on how hot your burner is. Once it’s flaming, allow the Smokin’-O to burn for approximately 60-90 seconds. Then, pick it up with tongs, blow it out, and check the bottom side. When it’s properly lit, about 15% of the bottom surface will be covered in white ash and/or have glowing red coals around the edges, and is smoking heavily. Then, using tongs, remove Smokin’-O from burner, place it on the coolest spot on grill, and begin grilling.
If you’re handy with a propane blow torch, you can also use it to light the bottom of your Smokin’-O when it’s on your UNLIT grill. This method produces a Smokin’-O with 15% ash and embers in just 1-2 minutes. Once it’s lit, follow directions above.
Q: I’m grilling on a higher temperature and my Smokin’-O keeps catching fire. What should I do?
A: Smokin’-Os will catch fire when exposed to flame or temperatures above 400 degrees F. If you’re cooking at that temperature or above, just place your Smokin’-O into a small, empty, can (tuna cans are perfect) or piece of foil, and move it to the coolest spot on your grill. This will keep it from catching fire.
Q: Should I soak the Smokin’-O’s in water before I use them?
A: No! Unlike chips, Smokin’-Os not only don’t need to be soaked, they don’t work as well (or at all!) if they’ve gotten wet. So not only should you NOT soak Smokin’-O’s before you use them, you should protect them from rain, water and moisture so they don’t swell up and fall apart.
Q: What if I want extra smoke, or require a longer grilling session? Can I use more than one Smokin’-O?
A: Yes! If the smoke from your first Smokin’-O is starting to go out and you want longer smoking times, just flip it over and stack a fresh, unlit Smokin’-O on top of its hot side. If you want more smoke overall, just use two or more lit Smokin’-Os at a time.
Q: Can I use a Smokin’-O in my smoker?
A: Yes! For smokers, Smokin’-O’s replace the need for wood chips or chunks, and require no soaking. In electric smokers, just place one unlit Smokin’-O in the wood tray and set desired temperature. It should begin to smoke within 15-20 minutes, and will last 45-60 minutes, depending on the temperature of the smoker. If cold smoking or using a wood-fired smoker and the temperature of the smoker isn’t high enough to get the Smokin’-O to smoke, it may need to be lit before it’s placed in the wood tray; just follow lighting instructions for gas grills before placing in wood tray. Smokin’-O’s are very dense, and give off more smoke than pellets, wood chips and chunks, so be careful not to add too many during the smoking session! We recommend using 1-2 per smoking session.
Q: How should I store my Smokin’-Os?
A: Keep them in a dry area away from moisture, rain or water.
Q: Are Smokin’-O’s edible?
A: If you’re a beaver, maybe! But seriously, it’s important to keep Smokin’-Os away from children and pets. They smell good, but they’re not edible. Even though Smokin’-O’s are made of 100% real wood and spices, eating a ring of wood is not healthy.
Q: Once it’s smoking, how long should I expect my Smokin’-O to last?
A: When used according to the instructions, you should get about 20-30 minutes of smoke per Smokin’-O. However, this depends on the temperature of the grill surface and whether or not the Smokin’-O has caught fire. Like any wood product, the higher the heat or the longer you let the Smokin’-O burn, the faster it will be consumed. When it’s used up, the Smokin’-O will turn to white ash.
Q: Can Smokin’-Os be used on a charcoal grill or campfire?
A: Yes! For charcoal grills, after lighting the Smokin’-O over direct flame, just put it above the coals, away from direct flame. For campfires, you’ll either need some kind of cover to concentrate the smoke, or you can use multiple Smokin’-O’s to create more smoke.
Q: Can I use Smokin’-Os on an indoor grill if I open all my windows?
A. Absolutely not! Like all wood products, Smokin’-Os naturally emit a high concentration of carbon dioxide, which is very dangerous in enclosed areas, even with windows open. Smokin’-Os are intended and safe for outdoor use only.