Author Topic: Smoking without a Smoker  (Read 281 times)

Offline blair.streit

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Smoking without a Smoker
« on: February 04, 2019, 06:40:17 PM »
I’d like to try smoking meats. My brewing equipment takes up enough room that I would pay extra to avoid additional footprint. Looking for ideas here.

Does anyone know if I could buy a standalone widget that would allow me to load wood chips and smoke them (so probably electric), but do the actual smoking in a thing that I already have (probably my gas grill). To be even more picky, I’d prefer it to be something I could walk away from for a little bit (so would prefer to avoid open flames).

Am I wasting my time or is this doable?


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Offline Robert

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Re: Smoking without a Smoker
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2019, 07:34:27 PM »
One of the simplest ways to get smoke on meat is to line the bottom of a hotel pan with foil, spread chips, place a rack on top of this and place the meat on top (not in contact with the chips,) cover tightly with foil, and place on a direct, open flame heat source.  This could be your gas grill, or even a stove top indoors.  Restaurants without smokers use this method on the range.  It's best to do this just for an hour or so to put smoke flavor on the meat, and finish cooking in the oven without the wood chips, so it may or may not be what you're looking for.



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« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 07:38:29 PM by Robert »
Rob Stein
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Smoking without a Smoker
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2019, 08:20:16 PM »
Very similar to what Robert suggests: fashion a foil pouch and add wood chips, pellets, or dust. Throw that on your coals.

The next step up would be a smoke box or tube. Similar to the pouch but reusable: simply add chips, pellets, or dust, light it and place it in your grill.

There are other devices that will convert a grill to a smoker.

If you have no grill a hot plate, smoke box or iron skillet will produce smoke inside a cardboard box that will produce competition grade BBQ.


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Offline Robert

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Re: Smoking without a Smoker
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2019, 08:26:52 PM »


If you have no grill a hot plate, smoke box or iron skillet will produce smoke inside a cardboard box that will produce competition grade BBQ.

Just remembered years ago seeing Alton Brown use an iron skillet (or was it just a pie pan?) on a hot plate inside a cardboard box,  with some dowels driven through to hold an oven rack.  Blew my mind.  It does show you don't need dedicated equipment or a big budget.   Hope the OP reports what he comes up with.


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Offline blair.streit

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Re: Smoking without a Smoker
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2019, 08:46:55 PM »
This is great stuff, thanks guys! Knowing that soaking in smoke flavor for an hour or two should do it, here’s my current though on what I’d like to try this weekend:

1) Rig up cast iron skillet or other “chip container” to work inside the gas grill; Smoke this in the grill while doing yard work

2) Finish cooking in my air fryer (in convection oven mode). It takes very little energy and will probably smell great

This should give me a shot at decent results and keep the wife happy since it won’t require any money or space for new equipment.

I swear, if I ever need to engineer anything, this is the community to talk to.

Thanks!

Blair


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Offline kramerog

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Re: Smoking without a Smoker
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2019, 09:10:04 PM »
This is great stuff, thanks guys! Knowing that soaking in smoke flavor for an hour or two should do it, here’s my current though on what I’d like to try this weekend:

1) Rig up cast iron skillet or other “chip container” to work inside the gas grill; Smoke this in the grill while doing yard work

2) Finish cooking in my air fryer (in convection oven mode). It takes very little energy and will probably smell great

This should give me a shot at decent results and keep the wife happy since it won’t require any money or space for new equipment.

I swear, if I ever need to engineer anything, this is the community to talk to.

Thanks!

Blair


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I tried to finish the cooking of smoked meat indoors (without more smoke) one and the smoke odor was too intense indoors so I had to finish on the grill outside.

Offline blair.streit

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Re: Smoking without a Smoker
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2019, 12:47:39 AM »
I tried to finish the cooking of smoked meat indoors (without more smoke) one and the smoke odor was too intense indoors so I had to finish on the grill outside.

Ooh, thanks. You guys probably saved me twice today.

I learned that lesson the hard way doing French Fries in beef tallow. Amazing flavor, but now I fry them on the back porch.

Apparently my learning doesn’t scale as horizontally as it should



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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Smoking without a Smoker
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2019, 04:00:45 PM »
They make smoker boxes for gas grills that sit under the grate that work like a foil pouch but they have a lid so you can see how much wood is left and refill if necessary. They are stainless steel and fairly cheap (<$15).

The nice thing about using this or a pouch is that you can put the wood over the hot grills and the meat next to it so you're only heating the meat with indirect heat. If you find too much smoke escapes out the back of the grill you can play with draping foil over the smoker boxes and meat to increase contact time with the smoke.
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Offline blair.streit

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Re: Smoking without a Smoker
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2019, 07:29:49 PM »
Following up - I was able to create plenty of smoke using the cast iron skillet inside my existing gas grill. And a small strip of aluminum foil plugged up the crack at the hinge that was allowing the smoke to escape.

I was able to get a ton of smoke flavor in an hour or so with this method.

Next time, I will need to pay more attention to temperature regulation, as I do think it got too hot at times. I had to do a fair amount of shifting to prevent the meat from cooking.

But all in all this seems like a very workable process. And with a little better temperature monitoring and some strategic positioning I think it would be just fine for my occasional use.


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