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Cameron Stove-top Smoker: An Indoor Alternative

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Cameron Smoker

Cameron Smoker

Photo Courtesy of PriceGrabber
I live in a third-floor condo and local fire regulations prohibit any grills or smokers within 20 feet of the building (this includes gas grills). So despite having a large outdoor porch, outdoor cooking isn't an option for me. When that hunger for the taste of real smoke overcomes me, I pull out my stove-top smoker, marinate a pork loin or season a salmon steak and satiate my atavistic longing for fire.

At a Glance

Manufacturers Site

Description:

  • Dimensions: 11" x 15" x 3"
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Consists of body (with handle), drip pan, rack, and lid

Pros

  • Produces a distinctively smoky flavor
  • Multiple woods available (apple, alder, hickory,…)
  • Non-stick grilling rack
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Works on both gas and electric stoves

Cons

  • Food chopper attachment is wimpy
  • Doesn't sear meat
  • Awkward to move when hot

Price: $49.50 MSRP, $40 - $50 online

In Depth

Smoked Salmon

Smoked Salmon

Kevin D Weeks

Several years ago my mother gave me a Cameron Stove-top Smoker for Christmas. I dutifully thanked her, stuck it in the back of a closet, and promptly forgot about it. At the time I owned a house in Sacramento, California. I had two grills and a dome smoker and using them year-round was practical. Then my life took a turn and I ended up moving back to Tennessee and living first in an apartment that didn't permit charcoal grills, and then purchased this third-floor condo. Grilling and smoking became a thing of the past.

I pulled out the stove-top smoker and gave it a shot. Not bad, not bad at all. At this point I've cooked pork tenderloins, salmon, chicken breasts, duck breasts, steaks, tomatoes, potatoes, and even used it to make my own bacon. It has done all of these things beautifully.

Although it produces a deep smoky flavor, no more than wisps of smoke escape from the device: as long as your exhaust fan is going there's no problem with the smoke. It's slower than grilling, taking about 45 minutes from start to finish for a pork tenderloin, but not unreasonably so, but it's not intended for barbequing (long, slow indirect cooking).

The smoke itself is provided by coarse sawdust that you can buy from Cameron. Varieties include apple, alderwood, hickory, oak, cherry, maple, mesquite, and pecan and the smoker uses no more than a couple of tablespoons for a smoking session.

The biggest drawback to the device is that unlike with a grill or smoker, you don't get that deeply flavored sear on the outside so something like a pork chop or steak seems more like it was steamed than grilled. However, you can get around this by smoking the meat, then searing it in a skillet over high heat for a couple of minutes after you've smoked it. Also, because you don't want to open the smoker until the meat is done I recommend using a digital probe thermometer (compare prices).

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