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MargyB

Stove-top Smoker: Favorite Things to Smoke?

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This coming Sunday, I am going to make pork ribs and thinking to smoke it using my new "Cameron" stove top smoker.

But, I have never done this, so I need some advice.

 

Usually, I make pork ribs like this:

 

- Put BBQ sauce on the pork ribs

- Wrap tightly in aluminum foil

- Let it marinade overnight in the refrigerator

 

Then ...

 

- Set oven to 160C 

- Put the wrapped pork ribs for 2 hours

 

Then ...

 

- Pat dry the pork ribs, blast it under super hot broil until charred

 

I love the result, it's tender fall of the bone but still juicy inside with caramelized outside :)

 

Now, coming the smoker.

 

My initial plan would be to smoke it AFTER the 2 hours 160C oven:

 

...

- Set oven to 160C 

- Put the wrapped pork ribs for 2 hours

- Unwrap the pork ribs, pat try

- Put in the smoker for 1 hour

...

- Broil / blow-torch it to get caramelized outside?

 

As I have never done smoking before, I am not sure with the plan. 

I read that Cameron stove top smoker can go as high as 190C (375F) on medium stove heat.

I am afraid that 1 hour smoking would turn it into dry-rubber-ribs.

 

Any thought?

 

Thanks.

 

 

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I would tend to smoke it first, then put in the oven to tenderize. I've gotten good results that way.

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The stovetop smoker is 'hot smoke' - and the meat is not far from the heat in a small mostly sealed container - so yes it will continue to cook the ribs .. and quickly. I can cook/smoke a large piece of salmon in less than 10 minutes in mine on medium-low heat and a chicken breast in not much more than that.

 

Kenneth may be right about the order of smoking vs oven tenderizing but I don't think you should leave it in the Cameron for a full hour which ever way you decide to do it.

 

If the Cameron is new to you, you may want to try it out on something else first just to see how fast it will cook and smoke up the meat before you try it with the ribs.


Edited by Deryn (log)

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I agree with Deryn - I think an hour is too long in the smoker as well... For ribs, I would probably smoke them no more than 30-40 minutes...

Or, you can do what I do, which is to start the wood chips smoking using the prescribed heat, then turn down the heat a bit once you see the smoke get started. That way, it doesn't get that hot in the box, but you still get the smoke.

In general, I don't like to leave in the stovetop smoker too long (more than say 45 min) because I find the smoke gets a bit acrid after that.

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I own and occasionally use a Camaron smoker.  For ribs I'll echo the above and smoke first and then go to the oven, though I would be looking for 5 -10 min in smoker. Max. If you use the supplied sawdust it will burn up in that time anyway.

 

When moving to the oven I would think you could forgo the foil and just move the whole smoker over.  Less handling, less mess.  That's when I would sauce them.  Use caution when opening as a lot of steam will be released/

 

I find the Camaron excells at shrimp and fish as they cook quickly, take on the smoke flavor and the box is a fairly moist environment for smoking.  I've not done chicken but that would no doubt be good as well.  It will product a good deal of smoke so have the hood fan on, windows open, etc.  It also does very well on outdoor camp stoves for those that enjoy the RV lifestyle.  . 

 

Edit:  When using the smoker line the inside of the pan with foil and cleanup will be easy.  I've forgotten this step a few times and.....


Edited by daveb (log)
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I agree with Deryn - I think an hour is too long in the smoker as well... For ribs, I would probably smoke them no more than 30-40 minutes...

Or, you can do what I do, which is to start the wood chips smoking using the prescribed heat, then turn down the heat a bit once you see the smoke get started. That way, it doesn't get that hot in the box, but you still get the smoke.

In general, I don't like to leave in the stovetop smoker too long (more than say 45 min) because I find the smoke gets a bit acrid after that.

I have a Cameron and I agree with Kenneth - after about a half hour-45 minutes it is too much.  Plus, the longer you use it the longer it will take to rid your house of it.  Unless you are using it outside.  I think I am going to try it on my grill this summer.

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Thanks for all the feedback, obviously I have never used stove top smoker nor any kind of smoker :)

 

I guess I am going to try to smoke first:

 

- Put BBQ sauce on the pork ribs

- Wrap tightly in aluminum foil

- Let it marinade overnight in the refrigerator

 

- Take out from the wrap and smoke the pork ribs for 20 minutes (from smoke starting to occur)

- Let it cool to handle

 

          - Glaze again with marinade, because I think it will dry out after smoked

          - Re-wrap in aluminum foil

 

          - Oven at 160C for 1,5 hour 

 

I think 20 minutes should be enough to get smoke flavor, no? I don't really like strong smoke flavor though.

 

I am also thinking to smoke after the oven, and add some water + marinade sauce in the "drip pan" to help with the moisture, so the rib won't be too dry.

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I would smoke before putting any BBQ sauce. This will let the smoke particles better adhere to the meat. Once smoked, you can apply the sauce, wrap in foil, then bake.

I don't think you'll have problems with being too dry - 20 minutes in the stovetop smoker will make the ribs warm - but certainly not even cooked through. Once you've added the bbq sauce, and sealed int he foil packet, I think that should be enough moisture since you're only baking the ribs for 1.5 hours... just make sure the foil is sealed well.

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Last night I did a rack of baby back ribs in the Cameron. They were seasoned only with some salt @ pepper. I used 1 1/2 tablespoons of their maple wood chips and used a medium heat setting. I started timing when I saw the first wisps of smoke come out. These were left on for 45 minutes and left in the pan for another 15. I transferred them to a foil lined baking sheet, slathered them with BBQ sauce and baked them uncovered for 30 minutes in a 350 oven. They were perfect, nice and tender with a touch of smokey flavour. If you like a stronger smoke flavour, try using 2 tablespoons. I hope this helps.


Edited by ElsieD (log)
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Can someone tell me about this Cameron smoker?  Does it work well on an electric stovetop?  In an oven?  How smokey would the kitchen get?  How thick is the stainless steel?  Is the body of the smoker just stainless,r is it layered with aluminum (tri ply)? Any other info would be helpful.   Thanks!


Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

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http://www.cameronsproducts.com/smokers

Here is the link to the smokers. I have two of these, the regular and the mini. They work on gas, electric and induction. When we lived in the house I did not have a fan above the stove and you could smell a mild smoke smell for a few days after use. I used mine yesterday in the condo with the fan on and there is not a hint of smoke in the place. The fan vents to outside. I had forgotten about them until Josh71 posted his question which is why I thought to dig it out and cook the ribs last night as per the post above. Now that I have been reminded I will start using it again. For those interested, it also does a superb job on fish and seafood.

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I don't know if you can tell from the website, but the smoker is basically stainless sheet steel, bent to form a pan and tight fitting cover.

The food is intended to sit on a rack in the smoker - so heat conduction is really not that important. The heat is there to just get the chips to start smoldering, and it turns the box into a small oven.

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I would smoke before putting any BBQ sauce. This will let the smoke particles better adhere to the meat. Once smoked, you can apply the sauce, wrap in foil, then bake.

I don't think you'll have problems with being too dry - 20 minutes in the stovetop smoker will make the ribs warm - but certainly not even cooked through. Once you've added the bbq sauce, and sealed int he foil packet, I think that should be enough moisture since you're only baking the ribs for 1.5 hours... just make sure the foil is sealed well.

 

Thanks! It does make sense. I will smoke it before putting the sauce :)

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http://www.cameronsproducts.com/smokers

Here is the link to the smokers. I have two of these, the regular and the mini. They work on gas, electric and induction. When we lived in the house I did not have a fan above the stove and you could smell a mild smoke smell for a few days after use. I used mine yesterday in the condo with the fan on and there is not a hint of smoke in the place. The fan vents to outside. I had forgotten about them until Josh71 posted his question which is why I thought to dig it out and cook the ribs last night as per the post above. Now that I have been reminded I will start using it again. For those interested, it also does a superb job on fish and seafood.

 

Is it possible to put a rack of ribs in the mini, perhaps by cutting the ribs and putting each piece side-by-side in the smoker?


 ... Shel


 

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Is it possible to put a rack of ribs in the mini, perhaps by cutting the ribs and putting each piece side-by-side in the smoker?[/quote

I don't think so, the inner rack measures 91/2" x 5". We had a third of the rack left so I just cut them up and placed them in the mini smoker. As you can see, there is room for another 1/3 rack but I really don't think a whole rack will fit.

image.jpg

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Btw, I saw 2 kind of wood chips in the store where I am going to buy. Only these 2 though.

 

So ....

 

ALDER or OAK?

 

For pork ribs with kind of sweet BBQ sauce :)

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An acquaintance gave me a list of wood properties.  This is what I have about alder and oak.  I assume you'd get similar results with wood chips or pellets.

 

ALDER - Very delicate with a hint of sweetness. Good with fish, pork, poultry, and light-meat game birds. 

 

OAK - Heavy smoke flavor--the Queen of smoking wood. RED OAK is good on ribs, WHITE OAK makes the best coals for longer burning. All oak varieties reported as suitable for smoking. Good with red meat, pork, fish and heavy game. 


Edited by Norm Matthews (log)
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Hickory or pecan contribute great flavor on their own or when combined with oak. 

 

How about concerns of creosote with these type pf smokers? 

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Josh71, how did you end up doing the ribs and how did they turn out?

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personally Im not concerned w creosote from hard woods.    but i can't give you any data

 

Chris Schlesinger

 

only used lump hardwood charcoal.  in one of his mighty-fine books he showed a pic of condensed smoke that came out of hardwood in water

 

as the argument for lump charcoal.

 

you can make of that what you will.

 

then again he lived around 'pits'

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Josh71, how did you end up doing the ribs and how did they turn out?

 

It was nice, the smoke flavor was there, but not so strong.

I made 2 versions, one without smoking. Then I asked my gf "what's the difference?". She said "yours were smoked"

She didn't see when I did the smoking :)

 

Recap:

So, I smoked the ribs for 20 minutes.

I was a bit worried because when I checked using digital thermometer, the smoked ribs meat it registered 100+C (and I stopped measuring).

Then I glazed with BBQ sauce and wrapped in aluminum foil, refrigerate overnight.

The day after, throw in 160C oven for 1 hour and half, still wrapped.

Then I blow-torched quickly the surface to get the crust before glazed again with BBQ sauce.

 

Definitely I will do it again, but probably reduce the oven time to 1 hour. It was still moist, but I want moist-er :)

 

Question though, with stove-top smoker like Cameron, once the smoke started, may I reduce the stove-heat to minimum?

Will the smoke still produced? Is there any minimum heat that needs to be attained to get the smoke?

 

I am thinking this because of the result of the smoked ribs, 100C temperature ... and I have plan to make "tea-smoked-duck-breast". 

If I do like the ribs, the duck breast will be way overcooked! 


Edited by Josh71 (log)

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"Question though, with stove-top smoker like Cameron, once the smoke started, may I reduce the stove-heat to minimum?

Will the smoke still produced? Is there any minimum heat that needs to be attained to get the smoke"

 

Yes and yes.  Heat may be reduced, the minimum may depend on the type and even the brand of chips used.  If smoke stops prematurely then you've reduced too far.  Camaron's sawdust product works well at low heat.  For the planned duck breast I would turn off the heat after observing smoke - I do this with shrimp and they come out very well.

 

The minimum to be attained will also depend on chips used and your particular stove top.  There is no absolute answer but after a couple of uses you should have that dialed in.

 

Finally suggest that if your thermo is reading +100C, that you're likely reading a bone or even the bottom of the pan.   If's tough to get an accurate reading of the meat temp when smoking ribs.

 

Good luck and enjoy the ride.

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FWIW, Cameron's recommends you use a medium heat setting. It is also suggested that duck breasts be smoked using apple, cherry or pecan wood chips and that breasts be smoked for 20 minutes.

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