Stovetop Smoking

By on 29 May, 2018 in Cooking, Food, Kate and Stephen with 0 Comments

I’m not much for kitchen gadgets. We don’t have a ton of storage in our old Cloverdale-Idlewild home, so there’s not a lot of places to put things. And although I love to cook, I find that most gadgets just end up getting in the way and taking up space. But I recently got something new that I’m in love with – a stovetop smoker. It’s a pretty simple thing, really – a metal box with a lid that slides on and a rack inside. It came with a small container of finely ground hickory wood chips and an instruction manual. And it’s kind of amazing.

Regular readers of this blog will know that we’re vegetarian. And part of being vegetarian means that you miss certain kinds of flavors that usually come with meat. Smoky taste is one of those flavors. I had been reading a favorite food blog and they talked about smoking tofu on the stove, and I figured that I’d give it a try. I pressed the water out of the tofu, sliced it and put it into a quick marinade. Then I laid it out on the grill. Underneath I put about a tablespoon and a half of these weird wood chips. Then it went on the stovetop on medium heat. You could see a little whisp of smoke escape from the lid, but it was hardly even enough for the fan to pick up. And that was that. Twenty minutes later we had tofu for tacos with an incredible smoked flavor. Next time I’ll bake it first to firm it up a little more, but it was pretty great served with a chipotle coleslaw.

I also tried to smoke some seitan. I wrote a while back about making vegetarian “barbecue” out of seitan, and I used this same recipe, but piled some slices in the smoker and set it to about 50 minutes. I had to refill the wood chips once. Then I finished the smoky seitan in the wok to get it a little crispy. It was completely delicious with some Stubb’s spicy sauce.

Even not withstanding the limited vegetarian options at local restaurants, this thing is pretty great. I’m going to try smoking some mozzarella next, and maybe some tomatoes. Sure, this technology isn’t revolutionary to those well-versed in the ways of backyard barbecues and tailgating. Many people probably have a smoker rigged up on a patio, but this little device gives you lots of flavor without the pain in the butt of having to build and tend a fire. It’s nice for just two people, and it’s a great find for folks who love that smoky flavor but don’t want to eat meat to get it.

Kate and Stephen are Midtown residents with two cats, a dog, ten fish, a garden, an old house and a sense of adventure. They write about life in Midtown here and about life in Montgomery at their blog Lost in Montgomery.

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