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Test Kitchen tips: Stove-top smoking

Tea-smoked game hensSometimes nothing beats smoking a nice cut of meat outdoors on a lazy, hot day -- that is, so long as the weather cooperates. But the great outdoors can get a little testy, especially during these winter months. Even in Southern California.

Next time you're hankering for a smoked rack of ribs, consider smoking in the great indoors, right on your stove-top. Stove-top smoking is certainly not a new concept: scatter some wood chips in a roasting pan, put the meat on a rack to sit above it. Loosely cover the pan with foil and heat. Watch for the chips to start smoking and cover tight, then smoke to desired doneness. VoilĂ .

There's nothing complicated about stove-top smoking, and I'd even argue that it's probably easier to master than smoking outdoors. You don't have to mess with charcoal or vents, deal with chambers or manage chips or pellets for hours on end.

You can purchase a stove-top smoker (such as the one pictured below), or construct one from odds and ends in your kitchen. You can even convert a wok into a smoker (pictured at left) to make your own tea-smoked birds.

If you're new to smoking foods, and/or have never tried to smoke foods on your stove-top, it can be surprisingly easy. And it makes a great weekend project. Check out this story for more information. We also include recipes:

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or shoot me an email at [email protected].

Camerons stove-top smoker
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-- Noelle Carter
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Photos, from top: Tea-smoked game hens and the Camerons stove-top smoker. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

 
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