If you love the taste of smoked meats, but live in an apartment, don't have the money or space for an expensive backyard smoker, or just don't want to spend a lot of time smoking your meat or fish, this how-to from Saveur shows you how to make a stovetop smoker that will add that smoked flavour to meat or fish in minutes, using gear you probably already own.
With the exception of the wood chips (most people don't have those lying around), you probably have aluminium foil, a stock pot and a metal steaming tray in your kitchen already. That's all you need to build this smoker — just put the aluminium foil on the bottom of the pot, add your wood chips, another layer of aluminium foil, your steamer basket and the meat or fish you'd like to smoke. The process works for chicken, fish, or even large cuts like pork shoulders or briskets, although the short smoking time will likely keep the smoky flavour from really penetrating thick cuts or large pieces of meat.
Put some foil around the lid to keep the smoke from escaping, let your meat smoke on high heat for about five minutes, then on medium or medium-low heat for another 10-15 minutes for small cuts and 30-40 minutes for large cuts. Then, after removing it from the heat, let your meat sit in the smoke for another 10 minutes or so. If your meal is finished, you can serve it then, but if the meat's not cooked through (and it likely won't be) you can finish it up in the oven. While the taste and flavour can't compare with a brisket or salmon fillet that's spent hours in a real, full-size smoker, it does add a light smoky flavour to a meal that only takes a few minutes to prepare and doesn't cost a fortune.
Have you constructed your own stovetop smoker? Do you use a different method? Share your DIY gourmet tips in the comments below.
Video: How to Make a Stovetop Smoker [Saveur]