Published July 1, 2012. From Cook's Illustrated.
Can a grilling fan reduce cooking times on a gas grill?
Getting smoke and air to circulate is easy on a charcoal grill: Just open the vents in the lid to draw smoke up and over the food. But most gas grills lack adjustable vents. Now, there’s the Charcoal Companion TurboQue ($23.69), a battery-operated fan that attaches to the side of any gas grill that has a rotisserie notch. When the lid is closed, the fan circulates smoke and hot air around the food, which the manufacturer claims not only speeds up cooking but also intensifies smoke flavor (when used with a wood chip box or packet). We used it to smoke salmon and grill ribs and found that cooking times shrank from 30 to 15 minutes for the salmon and from three hours to 2 1/2 for the long-smoked ribs. Most of us couldn’t detect any uptick in smoke flavor, but the shortened cooking time and more even heat distribution created by the TurboQue make it a worthwhile gadget.