Monday, March 9, 2009

Mini Smoker

I got a mini stovetop smoker for my birthday and we decided to try it out the other night.

Our menu consisted of pork tenderloin with sweet turnips and baby carrots smoked over hickory chips. For seasoning, I stuck with a little salt and pepper because I wanted to experience the unadulterated smoked taste. The items being smoked sit on a rack over a drip tray. Under the tray you place about 1 Tbsp of the wood chips, then you place it on a burner set to medium heat. Surprisingly, it only takes about 30-45 minutes of cooking time and a few minutes under the broiler to brown things a little if you want. There was also very little smoke... just a few wisps escaping from time to time - the smell is quite strong though, so it's probably wise to use the oven exhaust fan while you're cooking.
Personally, I found the meat to be a little dry. I can see why they recommend using barbecue sauce for most meats - next time I think I'll just use the drippings to make a nice smoky gravy. The vegetables, however, were divine! They were nice and tender and had a wonderful smoky flavor that just made them stand out - esp. the turnips.

Next time we're going try fish with radishes and fennel smoked over alder chips!

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