Hot smoking

I’ve always loved barbecueing, the taste of roasted meat with the smokey flavour of the charcoal, I just love it. Unfortunately, living in the city for the past 20 years, means I hardly ever barbecue. Not even once a year. Poor me. But fortunately, thanks to two discoveries in the last years I don’t miss it anymore! First I discovered the griddle pan (grillpan in dutch) and then a few years later I discovered the stovetop smoker (rookoventje in dutch).


Smoker & smoking agents

First you need a seperate kitchen and a ventilation hood. If you don’t have those you need to do this outside on a portable stove because you will smell this for a day or so.
Then how does it work? It’s simple. You’ve got this container. You add 1 or 2 tablespoons of “smoking agent” (normally wood chips). On top of that you put this drip tray and a roasting rack. Put the oiled meat, fish or vegetable on the tray, close the lid, put on a stove with the gas just 2 mm higher than low. Don’t forget to on turn your ventilation hood! When you see smoke escaping from the edges turn the gas down to minimum. Normally you only need to smoke it for about 7 minutes, patdry and grill in a griddle pan. The trick is to just smoke it enough to get the right smokey flavour, without getting a bitter, burned taste or overcooking your the meat you want rare.

alder =>  Nutty & heavy. Use for: meat and tofu
apple => Light, fruity & nutty. Use for: white fish
cherry => Light & fruity. Use for: fish, chicken or vegetables
hickory => Light, not very smoky. Use for: wild poultry like pheasant
maple => Woody & tabacco-ish. Use for: shrimp and lobster
mesquite => Heavy. Use for:  spareribs
oak => Spicy. Use for:  salmon
pecan => Nutty, coco, coffee-ish. Use for long smoking.

rice, black tea, sugar mixture => use for: duckbreasts
earl grey tea => Use for: scallops 

Tip of the day: go to your fishing gear shop. They sell bags full of cheaper woodchips. And cheaper smokers too!

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Steak and other red meat

You can marinate your meat or just smoke it au naturel. You don’t even have to take it out of the fridge to get it to roomtemperature, the smoking will do that for you. Just make sure you pat dry and oil it. Without the oil it might dry out. Tip of the day: when the steaks you buy in your supermarket turn out to be ridiculously and unevenly shaped, sometimes it helps to put a string around them. Like the ones in the photo above, they were rubbish, but a string made them nice and even. But other times, even a string won’t help.
Anyway, smoke it for about 7 minutes, not much more, you don’t want it to be cooked. Take it out of the smoker or better yet, turn off the gas and leave it for another few minutes until you’re ready to grill it. Pat dry, oil it again, salt it and grill it for just 1 minute each side max. Let it rest a few minutes on a warm plate with tin foil before you serve/cut it.

I used to eat my steaks rarer than rare, but with smoking that’s in the past. Fortunately, it’s still succulent and moist, it tastes better than just panfrying it medium. Probably because it’s a bit like slowcooking at low temperature.

The best cuts for smoking are the ones with some fat, like entrecote/sirloin and of course duckbreast! I love smoking duckbreast.

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Smoking Fish

With fish you can go three ways.

  1. Smoke it like meat just for the flavour and finish it in a (griddle) pan.
  2. Smoke it for 20 minutes or more until cooked.
    (Like on photo above, recipe here : salmon in maple syrup
    or smoked trout used in this lovely potato salad)
  3. First brine the fish, then smoke it until cooked.
    (Like on photo below, recipe here:  smoked mackerel pate)

 

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Smoking vegetables & other stuff
 

Officially vegetables need to be blanched first, but I don’t always bother.  With bell peppers I don’t think it’s necessary. I smoke them for 20 minutes before using them in regular recipes, like the soup on the photo above. (smoke 4 red bell peppers and 10 cloves of garlic, then whizz them with some vegetable stock and a boiled potato)
You can smoke peeled tomatoes for a smokey tomato-sauce. I’ve smoked paprika (the powder) once when I needed smoked Spanish paprika and didn’t have any, it was almost like the real thing! You can smoke cheese. I even saw a chef smoking a cup of milk that he later used for making mashed potatoes! I still need to try that trick. Anyway, the sky is the limit with smoking.

One of my best used cookbooks ever is this little book with recipes for your smoker. Unfortunately for all the english readers, it’s dutch/belgium: Gerookte lekkernijen van Cecile Thijssen. But I can really recommend this book. Everything you need to know about hot smoking is in there with loads of simple recipes.

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About Robin

I love to cook. Check out my dutch website: Aziatische-ingredienten.nl
This entry was posted in 8 Equipment, Beef, Game, Other Fish, Other Veggies, Salmon and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Hot smoking

  1. Wow, that really sounds awesome. It is about time I buy the portable stove and stovetop smoker soon!

  2. Carla says:

    Inderdaad wow! Ik krijg een onbedwingbare behoefte opeens. Ik ga op zoek naar een rookoventje dus. Ziet er allemaal heerlijk uit!

  3. Robin says:

    I don’t know how people can live without it. ;)

  4. Yvon says:

    Gaat prima hoor dat leven zonder ;-) Met barbecuen heb ik niks, maar zo’n rookoventje wil ik wel. Ooit.

  5. Remi says:

    Jaren geleden, ik denk zeker 15 jaar terug stonden we op een camping in Zeist.
    Achter de camping lag een uitgebreid bos met vele eikenbomen en daar was Staatsbosbeheer heerlijk aan het zagen geweest. Vele eiken moesten het ontgelden.
    Stiekem heb ik toen een behoorlijk stuk eikenhout weten weg te halen, een plak van ik denk 50 cm doorsnede en zeker 20 cm dik. Deze heb ik toen in stukjes gehakt om het droogproces te versnellen. Jaren lang hebben we van dit hout genoten en aangezien op de camping de BBQ en de rookoven liefelijk naast elkaar stonden werd er regelmatig wat eiken op de BBQ gegooid.
    Oh ja de BBQ was er wel een met een deksel, het zogenaamde Weber model.

    Als ik dit stukje lees krijg ik gewoon heimwee. Helaas hebben we (nog) niet de mogelijkheid om binnenshuis te roken maar je brengt me wel op een idee voor straks in de zomer.

    Remi

  6. Robin says:

    Hee, ik had deze reactie gemist. Wat gek.
    Elke keer als ik die potjes houtsnippers aanschaf, wat op zich niet zo heel vaak gebeurt want je doet er echt enorm lang mee, mijmer ik ook over zelfgemaakte houtsnippers. Maar ja, toen mijn vader laatst een appelboompje omzaagde vond ik het toch weer teveel gedoe blijkbaar, want het boompie is gewoon bij het open haard hout terecht gekomen. Of misschien zelfs wel in de groencontainer.
    Maar als ik een eigen tuin zou hebben zou ik denk ik wel zuiniger met mijn hout omgaan. ;)

  7. Anna says:

    Ohhh ik wil heel graag zo’n ding hebben als jij hebt. Waar gekocht. Mag via mail hoor.. Lekker ziet er allemaal perfect uit

  8. Robin says:

    Je ziet ze best veel tegenwoordig. Elke zichzelf respecterende kookwinkel heeft ze wel in het assortiment. Hengelsportwinkels hebben ze vaak ook. En ik zag laatst ergens een online aanbieding voor die hierboven op de foto staat. Maar waar?! Hmmmm, als ik het me herinner kom ik er nog op terug.

    Ik kocht de mijne jaren terug bij een opheffingsuitverkoop ergens. Dus daar heb je niks aan.

  9. Gotta love it. Thanks!

    I think I’ll go get one of these now.

  10. Door deze post spontaan zin gekregen om mijn DeMeyere rookpan uit de kast te halen. Heb je toevallig nog een lekker recept voor gerookte buikspek?

  11. Robin says:

    Hm, nee, nog nooit gedaan en heb ook geen to-do-receptje klaar liggen, dus dat wordt dan ook googelen.

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