Courtesy of The Adventures of TasteeBQ
[Note This is an Update to Article originally released in December 2013.]
‘Tis the Season of Giving, Joy to the World, Chestnuts Roasting… Yada, Yada, Yada. Our superhero TasteeBQ doesn’t begin his Holidays Celebrations in September (Like many Retailers. Next year they will be starting in August). Like many of us, the Holiday Spirit doesn’t usually take him over until the final shopping weekend before Xmas. This year he was planning to gift- to family and friends- his favorite, most essential Grilling accessory: Coal. But something told him that it wouldn’t be received in the spirit intended. So TasteeBQ had to come up with another plan.
He was sprinkling BBQ Dry Rub on his Deluxe Mixed Nuts, and preparing to cook them on his sunny California Smoker. Then, TasteeBQ got Zapped with a sudden burst of inspiration. He began to think about all of the unfortunate Boys and Girls throughout the World who are not privileged enough to live in California and have access to Grills from Webber, Char-Broil or the Big Green Egg- yearround. Some people even live in Apartments. While others may not be able to excavate their BBQ Rigs from “Let it Snow” Land. More interactive than those screechy Musical Holiday Cards, he decided to bestow the Gift that keeps on Giving: The DIY Stovetop Smoker (STS).
HOW TO MAKE A DIY STOVETOP SMOKER-[STS] FOR .99 CENTS
Here’s all you’ll need:
1- Large Pot or Dutch Oven/ with Lid (Heavy Bottomed or Cast Iron will work best)
1- Steaming Tray or Rack (to fit inside of Pot)
1- Bag of Mesquite of Hickory Wood Chips from the .99 Cents Only Store.
Before you run out to grab a Whole Hog or 50lb. Chicken, bear in mind that this technique works best for small portions of Prepared Foods. Stovetop Smoking is a quick and easy way to infuse real Natural Wood Smoked Flavor, without leaving your Kitchen. Chefs have used similar techniques for decades doing indoor Tea and Herb Smoking, with Fish, Potatoes and other Veggies. TasteeBQ has just began to experiment with translating it to BBQ. So far the results are simply delicious. [Others have also discovered this technique, see Links].
1. Put Pot on Stove, with small foil pouch of dry Wood Chips (no more than 1/4 Cup) placed in the center.
2. Place Rack inside Pot with the Food to be Smoked
3. Cover Pot with Lid (leaving small vent) and turn burner to High. You should start seeing smoke in 3-5 Minutes. From there it depends on what you are Smoking. Let’s experiment together. Maybe we can compile 100+ DIY Stovetop Smoker (STS) Recipes in time for the next Super Bowl. Many of you will still be in the snow, so it should work out nicely.
Here are some Suggestions to try, followed by our first 2 DIY STS Recipes.
For Precooked Snacks, Pasta, Nachos, Nuts, Popcorn, Pretzels:
Place Food on open foil tray, preseason with BBQ Rub, or seasoning mix of your choice. Once lid begins to smoke, close lid. Cut heat to medium for 2-3 Minutes, then cut off. Leave food in closed chamber for 10-15 minutes (until smoke dissipates. In case of emergency, always have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen and pre-clear a path to an outside door or window where you can release smoke.* An built-in intake system is even better.
*This shouldn’t happen if you stick to less than 1/4 Cup of Wood Chips and turn off burner in regular intervals while cooking, or every 15-20 minute Smoking Cycle.
For Pre-Roasted, Baked or Smoked Meats, Bacon, Fish and Vegetables, Pizza, Rice, Pre-cooked Baby Back Ribs, Hot Wings:
Start with above instructions. The idea is to warm it through on your DIY STS. Pre-warmed or room temperature food will absorb smoke faster, so it could be good to go after only one Smoking Cycle. Cold leftovers may take 2-3 Cycles.
For Uncooked Meats, Potatoes, Root Veggies
TasteeBQ has recently learned that he is not the first, or only one to think of this Stovetop Smoking technique. A quick web search found blogs as old as 2012. Most of them suggest to STS the meat on low for up to a couple of hours, then finish in the oven. This will also provide a milder flavor. The other way is also fine- cook Meat first, then set it in the STS for a Smoke Cycle or Two. Links to referenced Articles appear below.
Recipe #1- Stove Top Smoked Mixed Nuts
Great for Holiday and New Year’s Gatherings. Also works with Cashews, Pistachios, Almonds, Walnuts or Peanuts.
1. Season Assorted Mixed Nuts with your choice of Spices, Seasoning or Herbs (we used HEROIC! Rub.)
2. Place in Foil Pouch, then into your STS.
3. In only one Smoke Cycle, Nuts will come out tasting warm and delicious. Won’t last long, at all.
Recipe #2- Stove Top Smoked Salmon
This a great “Next Day” Recipe for leftover Grilled, Baked or Smoked Salmon. We served ours over a bed of Cheesy Garlic Fettuccini.
1. Place Portion of Salmon on Foil. Spritz with water or Citrus Juice to help maintain moisture.
2. Re-season Salmon with BBQ Rub or Spices and Herbs.
3. Cook on STS for 1-2 Smoke Cycles until warmed through. Finish with Tzatziki Sauce with Dill or Garlic Herb Seasoned Butter.
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From Jan. 2012- Some good Stovetop Smoking Advice, with Video and tons of Great Comments- http://lifehacker.com/5880818/build-your-own-stovetop-smoker-with-kitchen-gear-you-already-have
New York Times 2007 Article has lots of Info, including a discussion of Chinese Tea Smoking Technique- http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/24/dining/24smok.html?_r=0
A Texan’s view of Stovetop Smoking- http://www.homesicktexan.com/2008/05/me-and-my-stovetop-smoker.html
Of course, About.com has a great Article from 2008- http://cookingequipment.about.com/od/eqipmenttutorials/ss/SmokeSalmon.htm
A nice L.A. Times story from 2010. He actually smoked Ribs (sorry no pics)- http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/04/food/la-fo-smokers-20100304
Video- From Smoker to Oven- http://www.saveur.com/article/Video/VIDEO-How-to-Make-a-Stovetop-Smoker
FROM OUR SPONSORS
California Gold BBQ Rubs- http://www.californiagoldrub.com/index.html
Tastee BQ Grilling Co.- http://tasteebqgrilling.com/
HEROIC! Rub on Amazon- https://www.amazon.com/HEROIC-BBQ-Gluten-Free-Added/dp/B00IEEYCRQ
(new) BBQ RESCUES! with Chef Mick Brown- https://bbqrescues.com