As summer season starts to wind down, some of you die hard grilling fans may be wistfully sighing as you cover up your grills and smokers for winter. Do not fret! You can still have that smoky meaty deliciousness all winter long without having to stand in the frigid (So.. Maybe frigid isn't the right word. Maybe slightly cold sometimes?) cold and it doesn't involve going out to an expensive (dry) barbecue meal at a restaurant. All that you need to make your barbecue wishes and dreams come true all winter long is a stove top smoker.
Q: What is a stove top smoker?
A: This handy device is essentially a large metal hotel pan with a drip pan, rack, and a cover.
Q: What can you make with a stove top smoker?
A: Just about anything, really. Meats, cheeses, poultry, wild game, vegetables.. literally this list could go on forever.
Q: Are they expensive?
A: Absolutely not! You can pick up a cheap one from Amazon for less than 50 dollars.
Q: Can I use them on my grill?
A: Sure. It kind of defeats the purpose of getting a stove top smoker, but if you wanted to throw it on the grill on low to medium heat, you could totally do that.
Q: If one was to use this stove top smoker you speak of, how would that work?
A: So glad you asked! See recipe below.
Smoked salmon with a mustard dill sauce
1 lb salmon (think coho, not the farm raised stuff)
1 lemon, zested
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp dill (fresh, chopped)
1/2 cup milk (skim, whole, 2% .. whatever you fancy)
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Sprinkle your desired wood chips (alder in this case) into the bottom of the pan.
2) Place the drip tray on top of the chips and rack on top of the drip tray.
3) Place the desired meat or veggies on the rack. (Salmon, in this case)
4) Next, place the smoker on the stove top and turn the burner to medium heat.
5) As soon as you see a tiny wisp of smoke, slide the lid closed.
6) Make sure it is snugly in place, so as not to let smoke escape the vessel and asphyxiate you*.
7) Leave the lid closed for 15 minutes, but do NOT leave unattended. Note: Cooking times vary based on the product you're smoking. Cooking instructions for other items can be found on a plethora of websites.
8) Remove the lid carefully at this point. It will be super hot. Use potholders. Ooh. Or an Ove' Glove even!
9) Combine milk, mustard, dill and lemon zest. Stir until combined.
9) You can remove your food from the smoker, sauce, and devour immediately.
* Warning: There may be a very small amount of smoke that escapes throughout the cooking. This is about the equivalent to using a fire place in your home. If at any point you see plumes of smoke escaping the pan, you're doing it wrong. Crack a window at the very least and turn on a fan. Proper ventilation is kind of a big deal.