Demeyere Stovetop Smoker
Every so often, you notice that a new kitchen tool has changed the way you think about home cooking. Instead of putting it in the pantry and forgetting about it, you realize you have left it displayed in a prominent place (perhaps on the stove, waiting for your next meal). It has become an essential player in your kitchen orchestra. How do you know that moment has come?
A few weeks ago, I turned to my husband and said, “You know what? Let’s smoke some salmon instead of going out to eat.”
That wasn’t the moment. My husband, who’s a diehard fan of smoked food, dismissed our plans to go out to our favorite local smokehouse with a wave of his hand. And we sat down to a home-smoked meal.
Yes, folks. That was the moment.
When he smokes food, my husband uses a large outdoor ceramic oven. It’s an extensive process requiring large chunks of soaked wood and a unique “smoking sweatshirt.” When he heard I was going to be reviewing a Demeyere Stovetop Smoker, he was pleased…yet unimpressed. No stovetop tool would ever replace his beloved ceramic smoker.
Yet, here we are weeks later and the Demeyere has seen 10 times more use than the outdoor smoker. Best of all? While I’ve never used the outdoor smoker due to time required — and possibly to intimidation (although if you ask me, I’ll deny it) — I’ve enjoyed the ease of using the Demeyere many times.
The instructions for the stovetop smoker are short and painless to follow: add a small amount of wood shavings to the hot pan, place rack and food over smoke, and cover. The smoker gives off a slight smoke smell if the lid isn’t immediately replaced, but it quickly disappears. There’s no need to open a window or turn off your smoke detectors.
The instruction booklet includes a recipe for hot smoked salmon. Other than salmon, I’ve smoked chicken, beef, Cornish hens and sweet potatoes. The longer smoking times for poultry and meat allow more room for error, while delicate foods like fish are easy to overcook (so watch your timer!).
Two additions to the instructions would have been helpful: (1) smoking times and (2) the types of wood to use for different foods. For example, it would have been nice to know alder wood is best for enhancing the flavor of salmon without overwhelming it. A final usage note: an indoor smoker is not a good option for food requiring more than two hours of smoking time. The wood shavings are difficult to replace once they have been used up.
Using a stovetop smoker can shake up a stale weekly menu and add new flavor dimensions to favorite dishes. Nutritionally, smoked foods are packed with flavor without the addition of extra salt and fat. Anyone seeking to try something new in the kitchen without investing a lot of time and money would benefit from trying the Demeyere.
Excuse me. I hear some ready-to-be smoked kebabs calling to me.
Smoked Cornish Hens
Recipe by Jessie Erwin, RD, LDN
2 Cornish hens, patted dry with giblets removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons hickory wood shavings
- Heat bottom pan of stovetop smoker over medium-high heat.
- Drizzle olive oil over hens, then sprinkle on brown sugar and salt.
- Once a drop of water skates over the bottom of smoker, add wood shavings. Immediately place smoking tray and rack over the shavings. Place hens on rack and cover. Lower heat to medium-low and smoke for one-and-a-half hours.
- Hens are done when thermometer inserted into thigh reads 165°F. Remove hens from smoker and allow to rest for 20 minutes before serving.