I had a parcel meeting me at the door this evening, turned out to be a delivery from Amazon; my Camerons Stovetop Smoker that I ordered 2 weeks ago:
This is the handy dandy kitchen gadget that is often seen on Emeril and other shows - it was on sale for $34.99 at Amazon, with free shipping I thought why not. Not much in the box, just the smoker, a drip tray, and a wire rack, oh wait; it's the New and Improved Non-stick wire rack!.....got to make sure I got this right! Also, included were four little containers labeled, Alder, Cherry, Mesquite, etc.... So I open the Alder, and there lay a little pile of sawdust, smelled like sawdust, felt like sawdust, I didn't taste it, but I'm sure it was going to taste like sawdust. Where was the magic? This is going to give us the "succulent flavors of wood smoking"? There's no way that this is going to work! By this time my OCD kicked in and I just HAD to make something, anything. So we jumped in the car and sped off to Costco to buy some salmon (no sense in using anything too expensive).
Back home, salmon in hand, I trimmed off both end cuts and seasoned the middle piece with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. I placed a little pile of "Alder" (at least that's what the container said) sawdust in the middle of the smoker base (sort of like I was going to try and start a fire with two sticks - my confidence was waning). Covered the drip pan with aluminum foil and placed that over the "wood chips" (in the most loose definition of the word chips!), and set the wire rack on top of the drip pan, covered and was ready to roll! I turned on the burner, set the smoker on top, than opened up the instruction book! Hey, I'm a guy, what can I say...... I noticed a bit of smoke leaking out so wrapped some foil around it, and caught a whiff, and damn if it didn't smell like real "smoking smoke"! Well now that I had the little "Cooking Guide" opened, I realized my first mistake; I should have left the cover of the smoker two-thirds of the way open until wisps of smoke appear, than cover the smoker. Uh-oh, I missed the "wisps" step, would this ruin the salmon?....No Salmon Salad! No Salmon Gravy!, Salmon Hash! No Salmon Ala King! Ooops sorry too much Christmas Story....
After about 25 minutes later I checked on the salmon, and it looked a sort of "gloppy", so I replaced the cover and left for about 7 minutes more. At this point the salmon was starting to flake(sort of like me.....how appropriate), so I decided this was enough and removed it from the heat. At this point the salmon still had sort of a poached look:
So I tasted a piece, damn if it didn't taste pretty darn good! So it's smoked salmon and bagels tomorrow! Visions of smoked corn, smoked clams, smoked duck, and smoked tri-tip danced in my head!
So I guess this piece of equipment is pretty "idiot proof", it seems that if you (unlike me, but it still turned out) follow instructions this is pretty fool proof. Easy and fast. The only things that I need to do next time is to season a little more generously and follow the instructions for starting the cooking process.