My mother in law got me a great gift for Christmas this year – a Cameron mini stove top smoker. It’s the small model, so it fits perfectly on the large electric burner on my stove. It’s large to enough to hold a large fish filet, a good sized slab of pork belly, or a turkey drumstick. Apartment Farm sized.
I’ve got a big filet of salmon smoking away on alder chips at the moment. The set up is fairly simple. The smoker box looks like a roasting pan with a slide-on lid. Inside, there’s a drip pan and rack. You put wood chips (more like fibers actually) on the bottom in the center of the pan, then in go the drip tray and rack, onto which you place your food to be smoked.
The ambient heat from your pre-heated burner gets the wood fibers smoking, and voila – smoked food! I seasoned my salmon with a little black pepper and lemon juice as the recipe booklet that came with the smoker suggested. The house is starting to smell very good indeed. In about a half hour’s time, my salmon will be smoked and I’ll finally find out if indoor stove top smoking actually works!
* * *
Yes, it works! During hot smoking, the food essentially becomes cooked while being infused with the smoke flavor. The salmon was just done; light peach and flaky after about 35 minutes. And the flavor! Like eating a campfire. My husband had some of it on a plain bagel with a little mustard and liked it quite a lot. It will make good snacks and appetizers this week – if it lasts that long.
And the smoker works like a dream – it’s got a good seal, so no perceptible smoke escaped from it during the process (though I did disable the smoke detector while I used it – and I didn’t walk away. This is not a cooking process you can walk away from). Clean up was fairly easy, especially since I lined the drip pan with foil. I’m really impressed and can’t wait to try more – I’m going to do some apple wood smoked bacon, andouille sausages (which I imagine will be fantastic in my perloo recipe) and I’d like to do some shrimp for shrimp cocktail (I’ve got a jar of horseradish in my fridge that’s just begging for some attention). So you because you’re “stuck” in an apartment with no access to the great outdoors, it doesn’t mean you can’t hot smoke your own tasty tidbits!