When I want to add a subtle hint of woody smoke to a dish and cannot get to a open flame grill I make my own,
Smoke is one of my favourite aroma it reminds me of visits to origin where most things are cooked on the open flame meat or plant based both are good for me.
But when we are at home with all our gadgets and kit to help with cooking our food we can nip into the back yard and use the BBQ grill to give us the flavour, but if we are indoors then need to think of a few more creative methods.
Make an Indoor Smoker
It’s not as hard as you might think, use your stove top with a wok and a cake cooling rack.
Use Smoke Generator and closh:
Some people consider this cheating, but we think it makes sense for small apartment living when the above isn’t possible.
Using a smoke generator is all-natural and adds great smoky flavour to a cocktail and is also very theatrical.
Add a Strip or Two of Bacon:
Cut the bacon into pieces and render out the fat before any other cooking. Use the rendered bacon fat to cook the rest of the ingredients and then add the bacon back in at the end for a subtle smokiness. Smoked chorizo, and cured meats work well.
Cook with a Dark Smoky Beer:
Used in a marinade or substituted for some of the broth, dark beers will add a very nice undertone to the dish. Look for porters and stouts, and ask the sales person for help with flavour profiles. For smokiness, we like cooking with Guinness and the smoked porter from Stone Brewing Company.
Add Lapsang Souchong:
Adding a few teaspoons of this tea works well for adding smoky flavours to vegetarian dishes. Grind it into a powder using a spice grinder.
Molasses is a common ingredient in a lot of barbecue sauces, and we can take advantage of its dark, earthy flavour to add smoky depth to glazes, sauces, and even soups.
Try Smoked Spices:
Some spices come with their own smoky flavour, like cumin, while others have been smoked before being ground, like smoked paprika. Add a half teaspoon at a time until you get the flavour you want.
Sprinkle on Smoked Salt:
Use smoked salt as a finishing, particularly on individual dishes like hamburgers or over a pasta dish. try using my bacon salt recipe
Use Liquid Smoke:
Some people consider this cheating, but we think it makes sense for small apartment living when grilling isn’t possible. Liquid smoke is actually an all-natural product and adds great smoky flavour to slow-cooked braises and stews.
How Make an Indoor Smoker:
While you're never going to be able to slow-cook a whole slab of St.Louis style ribs or whole salmon on your stovetop, but using your wok is a great way to add a bit of light smoke flavour to foods
It all happens in a sealed foil tent, (En Papillotte) in a pouch as the french would say. this way very little smoke escapesinto the room. The stove top is much more adjustable than the heat you get on a grill or in a smoker, which expands the possibilities when it comes to choosing ingredients to smoke with. Standard wood chips work fine, as do tea leaves (try green or Lapsang Souchong), dried and fresh herbs, spices (star anise and cinnamon are good), various sugars, fruits and vegetables, and rice.
but don’t forget to take the battery out of your smoke alarm!
BUT DON’T FORGET TO PUT THEM BACK
Lining wok with tinfoil
The process is straight forward: Cover your wok with a piece of heavy-duty foil let it hang over the edges by at least 5-6 inches on the sides.
The foil should be pressed into the base of the wok and be wide enough on all sides to come up over the edges of a metal rack set on top of it.
Wire rack in a foil-lined wok
If you have a round cake cooling rack that can be put inside the pan/wok, brilliant, as long its at least three inches above the floor of the wok.
next place your ingredients to smoke with in the base of the wok. Cocoa nibs, sugar, white rice, green tea, star anise, and coriander seeds smoking in bottom of foil-lined wok. are all good.
Set the burner to medium-high and let the wok heat up until the ingredients inside start releasing smoke, this should take about 5 minutes.
The sugar will burn first, then the other ingredients will start smoking. Work quickly so that your house doesn't fill with smoke.
place the food you want to smoke on a sheet of aluminium foil on the rack inside foil-lined wok and cover with another sheet of foil crimp to make a seal, so that the entire rack is enclosed in a foil pouch.
Try to leave as much room for circulation above the food as possible.
For most foods, I leave the wok on a medium heat for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and let the food sit for a further 20 minutes, during which time the smoke dissipates.
You can hot smoke by leaving the burner on under the wok, turning the foil pouch into a mini oven, or you can get cooler temperatures by blasting it with heat for 1 minute out of every ten.
It'll get hot enough to produce smoke, which will get trapped in the foil and smoke the food without cooking it much.
Unlike smoking on a grill or a regular smoker, most wok-smoked foods need some further cooking afterwards, use your temperature probe to be sure it’s done.