Smoking food outdoors is a great cooking method that produces tender results and deep, rich flavors that only happen when food is cooked at low temperatures over wood. Although the process is long and slow, you can cheat a little and replicate those smoky flavors on your stovetop. All you need is a Dutch oven, wood chips, a steamer basket, and a disposable aluminum foil pan.
Dutch ovens are designed for outdoor and indoor use. Whether grilling, smoking, braising, or roasting, these versatile pots do it all. Traditionally, they are made of cast iron, but there are now enamel-coated versions that work just as well. It's important to note that enameled cast iron is prone to staining, which makes using tin foil on the bottom essential. If the food is fatty, a steamer basket can be used on top of the wood chips to catch drippings.
Like all cast iron pans, Dutch ovens are great conductors of heat, which makes them ideal for indoor smoking. They also distribute heat evenly and maintain a consistent temperature throughout cooking, even if removed from the heat source. Constant temperature is critical so the wood chips don't burn and the food cooks to the correct internal temperature.
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How To Use A Dutch Oven For Indoor Smoking
Smoking indoors using a Dutch oven is a quick and simple way to capture the smoky essence in food generally reserved for outdoor grills or smokers. The key is to not overheat the wood chips. Otherwise, they will impart a bitter flavor to the food. You can prevent this by placing more wood chips halfway through cooking or removing the Dutch oven from the high heat after 10 or 15 minutes, allowing the food to finish cooking with the residual heat.
To smoke food in a Dutch oven, place a small square of tin foil on the bottom and place about a quarter of a cup of unsoaked wood chips on the foil. The wood chips must be dry so that they start smoking quickly. Place a disposable aluminum pan on top of the wood chips, and place the steamer basket on top. Make an aluminum foil tent for the steamer basket and close the lid. If the lid doesn't fit tightly, you can cover the diameter of the pot with aluminum foil before placing the lid over it.
Let the Dutch oven cook over high heat for five to eight minutes or until smoke develops. Pull the pot off of the heat when the food is five minutes from its finish time or halfway through the cooking cycle, and place it on a cool burner. If the food is not at the proper internal temperature, place it in the oven to finish cooking.
Read the original article on Mashed.