Smoking Is For Everyone…

At Home Meat Smoking

Home cooks can smoke their own food, but results depend on the equipment. You can certainly smoke on your stovetop with a pot or roasting pan, a rack to fit inside, and some sort of cover—and an excellent exhaust system.

smoking at home with weber
Weber Grill

 (You could even use a pot with a steamer insert.) You can smoke on a covered grill by adding hardwood to low coals and keeping the food off to the side, away from direct heat. All kinds of stovetop and outdoor smokers are available today, and these are all hot-smoking devices. They cook while they smoke, which limits the time you can keep the food in the smoke.

top used home Smokers

Smokers that enable you to smoke at low temperatures generate the smoke outside the smoke box. Most smokers that allow you to adjust the heat are expensive, in the thousands of dollars range, and commercial smokers that allow for cold-smoking cost even more.

There are many different smoking options, as you can see from our featured list of smokers above. From big box smokers that provide continuous smoke, such as the Bradley Smoker, to Weber grill smoker inserts, to Kamado-style earthenware grills, such as the Big Green Egg, which is pricey but a fabulous way to smoke bacon and pastrami and other big whole muscles.

Final Take

So smoking for the home cook without professional equipment takes some work and often ingenuity. It’s possible to smoke for long periods on a grill with a little effort. Bruce Aidells, the San Francisco–area sausage king, writing in Gourmetmagazine (“Making Bacon,” June 2002, p. 72), describes a method whereby he puts a few burning coals into a pie pan filled with wood chips or dust and sets it in a kettle grill. He then places a brine-cured pork loin inside the grill and smokes the pork for six to eight hours. This requires continual maintenance of the smoke as the coals burn out, but the resulting Canadian bacon is very good. If you brine a pork loin using the All-Purpose Brine, including 2 teaspoons/12 grams of pink salt in the brine, and then smoke it, you’ll have Canadian bacon. This method of smoking is also a perfectly acceptable way to smoke your own pork belly for traditional bacon. In the same way that a pork loin (or a pork shoulder, for that matter) takes on a dark color and a rich smoky flavor, so too does cured pork belly. Also, an item can be smoked on a grill then finished in a low oven.