Smokin’ Good!

Get flame-kissed flavor right in your own kitchen
Smokin' Good!

Home-smoking may sound like an activity more for gung-ho meat eaters than for vegetarians, but the subtle way wood smoke kicks up the natural flavors of nuts, cheeses, vegetables——even tofu——makes the technique worth trying out. All you need is a sturdy stove-top smoker and a handful of wood chips, and you’re ready to give your favorite foods a unique fire-roasted taste that’ll be the envy of carnivores.

What You’ll Need

Stove-top smoker This heavy-gauge stainless-steel pan with a tight-fitting lid keeps smoke and heat inside. The drip pan and food rack hold the food above the heat so it gets smoked, not seared. We like the Stovetop Smoker from Camerons Products; $54.95;

Wood chips These resemble coarse cornmeal more than the large wood chips used for outdoor smoking. To smoke without wood chips, try the Chinese method of using black tea leaves.

Kitchen timer Stove-top-smoked foods can go from beautiful to burned in a matter of minutes, so it’s important to check them often and use a timer.

3 Easy Steps

1. Spread wood chips over bottom of smoker. Set drip pan over chips, and then set rack in place.

2. Place food on rack. To smoke small items, such as almonds, use a perforated foil pan.

3. Cover smoker almost totally—you’ll want to see the first sign of smoke to start your timing—and set over medium heat. At the first wisp, close smoker completely and set the timer. It may take a few batches to figure out the perfect heat level and timing for your smoker. If food is fully smoked but not quite fully cooked, transfer to a baking pan and finish in a 350°F oven to prevent scorching.

Got chips?
From mild apple and alder to heady hickory and mesquite, the right type of wood chips goes a long way toward imparting the flavor that best complements veggies. Stock up on a variety of wood chips, then follow these pairing recommendations from Chris Malone, vice president of Camerons Products in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Food: Asparagus
Wood-chip flavor: apple, cherry, or maple

Food: Beets
Wood-chip flavor: alder or apple

Food: Broccoli
Wood-chip flavor: apple or cherry for mild flavor; hickory for deep smoky taste

Food: Cheeses
Wood-chip flavor: oak

Food: Cherry tomatoes
Wood-chip flavor: apple, cherry, or pecan

Food: Corn
Wood-chip flavor: oak

Food: Fresh chiles
Wood-chip flavor: hickory or mesquite

Food: Olives
Wood-chip flavor: hickory

Food: Potatoes
Wood-chip flavor: hickory

Food: Tofu
Wood-chip flavor: alder or apple

get the recipes

Smoked Portobello Club Sandwich

Smoked Portobello Club Sandwich

These trim, elegant sandwiches make a perfect lunch or hors d’oeuvre. They aren’t hard to prepare, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind as you assemble them: shred the lettuce and slice the tomatoes and mushrooms very thin; doing so will help the sandwiches

Smoky Eggplant Spread

Smoky Eggplant Spread

Smoked eggplant and lightly caramelized onions come together for a tasty spread that’s perfect on summer sandwiches. You can also serve it as a dip with whole-wheat pita chips or chunks of bread.


Mesquite-Smoked Almonds

Not Yet Rated

Smoked almonds tend to be a guilty pleasure because of the sugar, sodium, and MSG that go into flavoring them. Lighten the guilt and heighten the pleasure by making your own. If the nuts are not lightly toasted at the end of the smoking time, bake 4 to


Smoked Tomato and Black Bean Quesadillas

Not Yet Rated

Smoky tomatoes, melty cheese, and black beans sandwiched between two crispy grilled tortillas—what’s not to like? Try the smoked tomatoes in salsa, tomato sauce, and omelet fillings too.


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Ryan - 2010-09-30 18:50:03