As you know (if you’ve been reading along) my Stove Top Smoker arrived yesterday. I bought it on the advice of my friend Dan who uses his smoker all the time, and was on his way home to smoke some shrimp when we last spoke. I planned to smoke a half chicken, and a half rack of ribs (I prefer St. Louis style but you can baby-back all you want) and had brined the chicken and rubbed the ribs, which perhaps for the sake of pure experimentation, and taste I shouldn’t have done, but I did. I did the chicken first, I removed it from the brine, cut it (I had to or the wing stuck up too high) set up the smoker, followed the simple directions, and let it smoke for 35 minutes, at which point it was fully cooked. The ribs went for 45 minutes. Both emerged from the smoker smelling wonderful, but not very pretty. The smoker essentially steams the product, while bathing it in an atmosphere of smoke provided by tiny woodchips.
The ribs came out looking only a little better, but I finished them off in the oven with some barbeque sauce. They were extremely tender and juicy, with a less pronounced smoke flavor than the chicken. I had the ribs for dinner with a tomato and arugula salad.
Though I would call both a success, I will continue to tinker and adjust everything from the amount of chips, to heat and time in the smoke. I will smoke more stuff and talk about it, and I will try to keep good notes on what does and doesn’t work. Today I made some cold noodles with peanut sauce and topped it with cucumber and some shredded smoked chicken. It was tasty, and the smoked chicken worked well with it, but I am still not happy enough with my peanut sauce recipe to share it here. If you have a really good recipe I’d love to try it, so please send it along. The recipe I used was from the Sunday NY Times from April of ’07. I came across it the other day while looking for who know what, and it looked promising, but the result was way too salty, and then I added more peanut butter and then more chili sauce, and then…well I’m sure you get the picture.
I think I will make a smoked chicken salad with the rest of the chicken. If it turns out well I will post the recipe, and more photos.
This weekend seems like a good time to play around some more with the smoker, and I think I’m going to try some eggplant for baba ganoush, some tomatoes for a sauce, and mozzarella. Maybe next week I’ll move on to fish and shellfish, but I’m going to try to pace myself!
If you’re an indoor smoker I’d love to hear about your successes, so please post them in the comments! If you’re thinking about it, I recommend it!