Friday, July 9, 2010

Stovetop Smoking

I have recently been using my Cameron stovetop smoker to smoke a variety of things. Consisting of a pan, a liner, a rack and a tight-fitting cover, this inexpensive device allows you to hot-smoke just about anything on your stovetop with little effort and only a minimal amount of ambient smoke.

Using the smoker over a burner set at medium (on a powerful Viking range) is equivalent to roasting at 350
º . First I tried meat -- hanger steak and pork tenderloin. The results were impressive. For the hanger steak, I liberally salted and peppered the meat, then smoked it over hickory chips for 12 minutes. After that, I pan-fried it in a cast-iron skillet for just a couple of minutes per side and voilà, deliciously smoked, tender beefy goodness.

For the pork tenderloin, I had already-brined, cryovac-packed pork, so I didn't add any salt. I opened the tenderloin like a book, rubbed in a lot of cracked pepper, smoked it over cherry chips for 8 minutes and then grilled on a grill pan for 2 minutes per side. Subtly smoke-flavored tender pork that was perfect on a sandwich with grilled onions, jalapeños, barbecue sauce and a little mayo.

Emboldened by my initial successes, I decided to try smoking extra firm tofu and ricotta cheese, which both came out well after 10 minutes on the burner and another 5 in the smoker off the heat. I mixed cubes of subtly smoked tofu with leftover Indian rice and loved the way the smoke mingled with the Indian spices.
I enjoyed the smoked ricotta with slices of local beets that I had foil-roasted with salt and olive oil.

I am looking forward to trying chicken, fish and shrimp in the near future.

While not a kitchen essential, this is a worthwhile piece of equipment if you have space for it.

Bobby Jay

No comments: