The two universal talking points are weather and food. That’s no different here at Manic Publishing, though you’ve probably noticed one takes a lot more of a prominent role than the other. So as the weather approaches 80 degrees here, it’s time to talk about indoor smoking.
I’ve been reading up on a couple of different styles and techniques, but they all have the same basic principles: throw some wood chips in a roasting pan, suspend some meat above said chips, cover with foil, add heat and time, enjoy.
Since I can now open the windows without fear of frostbite, I really want to try to make bacon with this technique. Chow.com has a good primer on this, and how to smoke pastrami. I took a little from those guys, and a little from one of my favorite cook books, “Home Made.”
Unfortunately, I don’t get to my local butcher enough to have some pork belly to smoke. So instead I went with what I like to think of as the pork of the sea, salmon.
I used mesquite wood chips and dill seeds in the bottom of our roasting pan, though I just got my hands on some pecan chips that I’m going to use next time.
Next I covered the wood chips with aluminum foil.
Everyone says to use a rack of some kind to set your meat on. I didn’t have a rack that would work, so I improvised. I had some foil muffin pans that I just flipped upside down. I put the salmon on them, no flavoring whatsoever.
I turned on the oven fan and the burners on the stove. It took about 5 minutes for smoke to start to rise from under the foil. I covered the whole pan with aluminum foil, turned down the heat, and set the timer for 20 minutes.
I also put a window fan in my kitchen window to help suck out the smoke. This is definitely a warm-weather cooking technique, unless you enjoy having a haze of smoke in your closed up home.
Once the fish were cooked through (it actually took a little bit less than 20 minutes) I took the whole contraption outside to open it up. Smoke rolled off. I brought the pan back inside and sprinkled salt, pepper and lemon juice on the fish.
The fish was so good and we ate it so fast I forgot to get the obligatory “look at how well this turned out” shot, which I think is just as good as the food porn picture you usually see accompanying recipes, including on this site. A little mystery every now and again isn’t a bad thing.