John-Paul Bourgeois knows a thing or two about badass BBQ.
As the executive chef of New York City powerhouse barbeque spot Blue Smoke, Bourgeois has helped the restaurant expand from a touchstone of down-home cooking to a bona-fide BBQ empire, with new outposts in downtown Manhattan and John F. Kennedy International. He’s even brought his mouth-watering smokehouse flair to Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets, and Nationals Park, home of NL East rival Washington Nationals.
It’s a long way from home (the bayou city of Thibodaux, LA) for this barbeque extraordinaire, but Bourgeois keeps his heartland close with his hard-won pitmaster techniques—like transforming any old charcoal grill into a smoker. Thanks to a few of his quick modifications, you can start slinging barbecue like the master himself.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to transforming a charcoal grill into a smoker, courtesy of Bourgeois.