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stovetop smoker and low temperatures: pointers?

a
adam Dec 28, 2006 09:31 PM

The following gifts have been given in the past couple weeks:

1) I gave my brother the camerons stovetop smoker
2) My girlfriend gave me a meat grinder, sausage stuffer, and casings to make sausages with
3) I gave myself Ruhlman's Charcuterie book

I would love to smoke sausages, and also make some of the recipes from the Charcuterie book, which look fantastic (bacon/pork belly, pastrami, etc).

The smoking involved would be either cold smoking or "hot smoking" at a temp of around 180-200. As I understand it, though, the stovetop smoker cooks at temps of around 375.

So my question is: (how) can I do what I want to do using the stovetop smoker? In the oven, on the stovetop, etc? I'm in a Manhattan apartment so outdoor smoking and the like is not possible. But I want to make my own bacon, and pastrami, and smoke my homemade sausages - any pointers?

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  1. andreas Dec 28, 2006 11:56 PM

    I just don't think cold smoking is possible with a stove top smoker. This will make it difficult for you to achieve the cold smoked and cured meats of your dreams.

    Hot smoking should not be a problem however.

    1. a
      adam Dec 29, 2006 04:47 AM

      do you think i'll be able to smoke at, say, 200 degrees (as opposed to the 375 that the smoker generally registers at)?

      1. andreas Dec 29, 2006 12:18 PM

        I don't own a stovetop smoker, but I'd be very surprised if you could get the temperature low enough. Maybe if you try and put a heat diffuser underneath the smoker? You can pick up cheap models in Chinatown.

        1. j
          janzy Dec 29, 2006 12:58 PM

          You might want to try this sight http://www.wedlinydomowe.com/recipes/... for sausage recipes. Imo it's the bible for sausage making.
          I don't know anything about the stovetop smokers. I have a Kamado cooker that I both cold and hot smoke with. You want to cold smoke at 175 degrees. This is a great time of the year with the lower temperatures outdoors to do some cold smoking.
          Bradley smokers do this very well. You can get a propane model for around $150. All of their smokers are very light units that you can pick up and transport anywhere. I would think you could get away using a Bradley indoors or on a fire escape if you have one in your building.
          Bacon and pastrami are hot smoked by the way at around 230 degrees.

          1. j
            janzy Dec 29, 2006 01:04 PM

            Adam,
            Smokers don't generally register at 375. That is roasting.
            To smoke meat, such as Boston Butt, Brisket, Pastrami etc, in a smoker the smoker should not exceed 250 degrees. For pulled pork for example the pork butt should be smoked on what is called lo and slow. A 16lb Butt should be cooked at 230 degrees for around 21 hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees.
            To cold smoke sausages and cheese you should cold smoke at no higher that 175 degree.

            1 Reply
            1. re: janzy
              a
              adam Dec 29, 2006 02:17 PM

              I understand that smoking at 375 is not ideal, or by your definition not smoking at all. It is, however, the temp that the instructions for the smoker indicates the inside of the stovetop unit reaches - I'm not really asking how long to smoke at what temps, just if there's any way using the stove top unit to reach the proper temps.

            2. j
              jkent Dec 29, 2006 01:21 PM

              I have the Cameron's stovetop smoker. You are correct that in normal use it runs much hotter than 200 degrees, so isn't appropriate for slow-cooked ribs, pork butt, etc. What I have been doing is starting it off at medium heat on the stovetop for 10-15 minutes, long enough to burn most of the wood chips, then moving it into a 200 degree oven. I keep it sealed up for at least an hour or so to let the smoke inside dissipate, then remove the cover for the rest of the cooking time to allow bark to develop. For spareribs, my total cooking time is usually around 3 hours. Then when I remove them I wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and let them sit for an hour at room temperature, followed by a quick finish on the gas grill (or under a broiler). The results have been pretty good - the smoke flavor isn't as deep as true BBQ, but it's enough to be worth the trouble. Before starting, I apply a spice rub to the ribs and keep them in the fridge for 24 hours or so.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jkent
                a
                adam Dec 29, 2006 02:19 PM

                this is helpful, thanks. does the time spent on medium on the stovetop cook whatever is inside too much? sounds like a good technique.

                1. re: adam
                  j
                  jkent Dec 29, 2006 02:33 PM

                  No, I find 10-15 minutes to be just about right. The temperature inside the smoker after that amount of time is just getting up to near what it would level off at if you left it on the stovetop, yet it is enough time to burn the wood.

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