Smoke is one of my favourite aromas it reminds me of my trips to cocoa origins, where most things are cooked on the open flame outdoors,meat or plant based both are good for me. So when I want to add a subtle hint of woody smoke to a dish and cannot get to a smoker or open flame grill I make my own, when we are at home with all our equipment filled kitchens, stacked with gadgets and kit to help us cook like a boss we just can nip into the back yard and use the BBQ grill to give us the flavour, but if we dont have a garden then need to get more creative
Smoke Meat in the Oven
First we need to work out how to create the same wood-smoke environment in our home oven as in a smoker. (while keeping the low-and slow cooking environment that we get with a meat smoker.)
The best method—ive found is by soaking your favourite barbecue wood and heating them in the oven with your meat.
Use Smoke Generator and Cloche
Some people think this cheating, but I think it makes sense for small kitchen 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.
Preheat to oven to 150°C and place the ribs on a sheet pan with a roasting rack. Seal it really well with foil and leave one small spot to insert the smoking gun hose. Try to seal foil the foil around the hose as best as you can.
Fill the smoking gun with chips, alternating the smoke speed from high to low every 10 minutes for 30 minutes. After this process, quickly pull out the hose and seal up the tinfoil trapping the smoke.
Pop in the the whole tray oven for 2 1/2 hours 150°C.
Ham it up
try adding a couple of strips of bacon, cut the bacon into pieces and render out the fat before 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 amazingly well.
Beer is BBQ:
Using a dark Smoky beer in a marinade or substituted for some of the stock, dark beers can add an undertone to the dish. Look for porters and stouts Chocolate safari works well, For smokiness, we like cooking with Guinness and the smoked porter from Stone Brewing Company.
Add Lapsang Souchong:
Adding a few teaspoons of this aromatic 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, take advantage of its dark, earthy flavour to add smoky depth to glazes, and sauces.
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 gradualy a half teaspoon at a time until you get the flavour you want.
Use smoked salt as a finishing, particularly on individual dishes like hamburgers lamb steaks or over a pasta dish. try using my bacon salt recipe
Use Liquid Smoke:
Some people consider this cheating, ( i dont like it) but it may make sense for small flat when grilling isn’t possible. Liquid smoke is usually an all-natural product and adds great smoky flavour to slow-cooked braises and stews.
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’s not as hard as you might think, use your stove top with a wok with a lid and a cake cooling rack.
its 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. 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. 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 flame to medium-high and let the wok heat up until the ingredients inside start releasing smoke, this should only 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.
take the battery out of your smoke alarm! BUT DON’T FORGET TO PUT THEM BACK
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.
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.
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 too much.
Unlike smoking on a grill or a regular smoker, most wok-smoked foods need more cooking afterwards, use your temperature probe to make sure it’s cooked.