stovetop smoker - are these recommended?
I live in an apartment in NYC, so outdoor smoking is not an option. I've read good things about a stovetop smoker being sold on Amazon:
(the Cameron Cookware Stainless Steel Stovetop Smoker). There's also an "Emerilware" cast-iron one. Does anybody have any experience with these?
There is an alternative. Line a cast iron pot with foil, with plenty of overlap. Drop in some black tea leaves, brown sugar, and uncooked rice grains. Put in a rack and what you want to smoke. Put on the lid, fold the excess foil over the lid for the best seal you can manage. Turn up the heat for a few minutes, then turn down low for 20-30 minutes, depending on what you are smoking. Works like a charm. You'll need to experiment once or twice.
I have the Cameron, as well. I don't love it as much as the other posters here (largely because I find the heat very difficult to regulate) but I certainly appreciate having it around. However, I use it pretty often as part of the cooking process - ie. start ribs, fish, whatever in there to get flavor and then finish in an oven.
Given how cheap these things are to buy, it's a pretty good investment. I STRONGLY suggest buying the Cherry wood chips if you plan on doing ribs. Great for infusing some smokey goodness.