Does anyone know if pouring water during grilling on the charcoal, which makes the fire smokey, would actually make the taste of the meat being grilled more smokey?

3 Answers 3


No, as that isn’t creating smoke. It’s creating steam. A steamier cooking environment may actually inhibit desired grilling flavors as it could inhibit browning via the Maillard reaction.

  • So generally steaming a food prevents Maillard reaction? Mar 14, 2021 at 20:20

Do not do this. You will rapidly cool and may even extinguish your fire. This will also cause ash and cooler, more astringent, elements of smoke to land on your food. The results will be very unpleasant.

If you want your meat more smokey, you just need to apply the appropriate techniques for smoking. Grilling imparts some smoke flavor, but that is generally not the primary intended outcome.

  • What techniques? Mar 14, 2021 at 20:16
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    @FabioSpaghetti typing "smoking" into the search bar will yield many threads on the topic.
    – moscafj
    Mar 14, 2021 at 20:19

The "smokey" taste does not actually come from the charcoal - it is produced when the juices from your food drip onto the charcoal, turning into highly fragrant compounds that then waft up with the smoke and stick to your food.

So no, just adding water to the charcoal wouldn't help reproduce the "smokey" taste.

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