Thursday, June 23, 2011

How to Make Your Own Smoker Box

Since my daughter decided she wanted a smoker for her backyard, I've become obsessed with the notion... especially after watching so many TV chefs creating their own smokers on their giant BBQs and reading some article online (if only I could remember where) about making a smaller version at home.

Naturally, the article I read recently is now lost in the vast ethernet. So I did a google search... "How to make your own smoker box" and the funniest thing happened... Third suggested link... AskRuth... which is also... ME!... had the answer I wanted and I wrote it back in 2006. Another great reason for me to write blogs! I had forgotten all about it.

Perhaps I didn't use enough wood chips... I just have a small Weber Q with one rack and thought one cup of soaked apple wood chips would do. It wasn't very smokey and it did take longer to reach a hot temperature, but ... with the help of Peter of The Fish Shop at Pier 20 (the Seaport Farmers Market), his heavenly salmon fillet and his own Maple Sugar Rub with secret spices... it was still delicious, served with some grilled asparagus from Noggins Corner Farm Market.

And did I mention that it took no sweat at all in the kitchen! So, so flavorful with so little effort? Perfect for the hot smoldering summer nights to come. By then I'm sure I'll get the "smoking" down pat. Any suggestions from those who've done it successfully on a little BBQ, please leave me a comment.


Elizabeth said...

Ha! I love that when that happens! (Not the forgetting part, but finding out that you are the one with the definitive answer)

We've successfully done a fair amount of smoking on our outdoor gas barbecue but not on a small barbecue. However, this might be helpful. This is what we do (and when I say "we", of course I mean "he"):

1. Light the BBQ on one side only. Put two handfuls of woodchips (they can be presoaked but it's not necessary - we use dry woodchips all the time) into a metal baking pan that you don't care about (we bought a pan at the Sally Ann).

2. Place the pan or woodchips directly onto the burner of the lighted side.

3. Wait until the wood chips start to smoke (about 5 minutes). Place meat (or whatever you're smoking) on the unlit (cold) side of the BBQ and close the lid.

4. IMMEDIATELY TURN THE HEAT DOWN TO LOW. A good smoking temperature is somewhere around 225F.

(Please read more about smoking on the BBQ here - link includes a thrilling video:

Ruth Daniels said...

Elizabeth, thanks for the tip - I didn't turn down the temp... next time!

Nancy - Hungry in Camden said...

Oh to have a back yard.. sounds like a novel way of cooking something!

Ruth Daniels said...

No back yard Nancy, but I do have a balcony in a city that allows BBQing on them. When we lived in Toronto, Ontario, only those with backyards could do it. Illegal to do it in a multiple unit building.