How to build a stove-top smoker
Smoking meats is a wonderful way to cook. It keeps the food moist, it adds wonderfully complex flavors and the delicious aromas don't hurt, either. Of course, smoking has traditionally been considered an outdoor-only activity since it uses fire and fire is dangerous to have in a house.
However, you don't have to brave the outdoors (and the elements) if you want to smoke. If you want, you can stay inside and use a stove-top smoker, which is perfect if you live someplace cold or you don't have access to a grill. All you need to do is buy a specially made stove-top smoking device and smoke away! Then again, you can also save money and build one on your own.
To make your own smoker, you will need:
- 1 oven safe container, like a roasting pan or disposable foil turkey tray
- 1 lid for the container
- 1 rack that fits inside the container
- Aluminum foil
- Wood chips
- To construct your smoker, presoak your wood chips in water or apple juice for 20 minutes.
- Next, line the bottom of your roasting pan with foil. Put the soaked wood chips on top of the foil and cover them with a second layer of foil.
- Put the rack on top of that second layer and press down so that it's steady. Place the meat you are going to smoke on top of the rack. Put the lid on the container and wrap the lid in foil to prevent smoke from escaping.
- Then, all you have to do is roast the meat in the oven. Cook times will vary, but they should be as long as you would roast the meat if it were cooking normally in the oven. However, don't forget that as you are smoking, you should periodically check to make sure you have enough wood chips, which you can easily do by opening the container and looking under the top layer of foil.
- The sky's the limit on indoor smoking, so get out there and try it. Do, however, start with something that cooks quickly (pork chops or tenderloin, for instance) until you get the hang of how to handle your new smoker.