Sometimes you find yourself craving the taste of smoked brisket when you don't have the outdoor space for a charcoal smoker or the time to set up your grill. Fortunately, all is not lost, no matter the weather or your yard situation. Indoor smokers are the indoor alternative to classic smokers, allowing you to enjoy the deliciously smoky flavor you're craving from the comfort of your own home.
Specifically designed to be used inside, indoor smokers input smoky flavor into your favorite meals safely, with none of the hassle involved in getting out an outdoor smoker. The most popular model of indoor smokers are stovetop smokers which use the heat from your stove to heat up the wood chips which then infuse a smoke flavor into your food. This way, you can enjoy perfectly smoked food from your stovetop, transporting you right to a summer cookout no matter the time off year.
Is It Safe to Use a Smoker Indoors?
We definitely don't recommend bringing your outdoor smoker inside to use, as it's not made for the indoors and can be dangerous. However, the beauty of indoor smokers is that they're made for inside use, so you can get all the smoky flavor you're craving without worrying about safety. Some stovetop models can even be used in the oven!
As always, keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and always use the equipment as intended.
The Three Types of Indoor Smokers
Just like outdoor smokers and grills, there are many different types of smokers, each made for different dishes and purposes. The first type is a stovetop smoker, which works by using the stovetop as your heat source. This efficient usage of your stovetop is a genius way to get all the heat you need for smoking without actually using a smoker or grill. It also means that you have temperature control of this meat smoker. To add to the convenience, this model also comes with a drip tray or drip pan, making clean-up pretty painless. Smoke your food on your stovetop as you prep your sides or unwind with a drink.
The second type of indoor smoker is a handheld smoker, also known as a cold smoker or a smoking gun. This likely isn't what you picture when you think of a smoker, but it does the trick in a unique way by adding cold smoke to food with battery power. This device is used for cold-smoking food and drinks to add a hint of smokey flavor. Although you wouldn't use this smoker for a whole chicken, brisket or prime rib, it's perfect for a classy smoked cocktail.
Another option for an indoor smoker is a digital electric smoker, which is ideal for many kinds of meat, from poultry to pork to beef. These are much smaller than their outdoor counterparts, allowing you to smoke your meats inside without taking up too much space. Digital electric smokers are perfect for hot temperatures. To use one inside, just make sure that it is specifically made for indoor use.
The Best Indoor Smokers For Your Cooking Space
1. Camerons Stovetop Smoker
Made of stainless steel, this hot smoke indoor stovetop smoker using the heating element from the stove to cook your food. Simply put two tablespoons of wood chips at the bottom (hickory and mesquite are good choices!) and place the food on the rack. The cooking time depends on the food.
Smoke meat to anything from tofu and cheese to chicken, vegetables, and fish! And when you are finished simply wash the ash down the sink and clean the smoker in the dishwasher.
2. Nordic Ware - 36550 - NW Stovetop Kettle Smoker
Big enough to hold a whole chicken, this roaster smoker add wood flavor using wet or dry smoking methods. Make sure to use the exhaust fan when using this smoker. The smoker also gets very hot, so use oven mitts to remove lid.
3. Camerons Smoker Bags
Grilling but want to add a smoky flavor? What about cooking a turkey in the oven? The versatility is endless! Use these pre-seasoned smoker bags to add a small amount of smoke to your dishes.
Simply add your food to the bags and cook in the oven. The smoke will penetrate the meat without having to worry about using a propane or charcoal grill. And once it's finished, simply toss! It's a win-win!
4. Smoke Infuser (Stainless Steel) - Cocktail and Food Smoker with Wood Chips
Smoke isn't just for food! Infuse your cocktails with smokey flavor using this handheld smoker complete with digital controls. Wrap foods in aluminum foil and add smoke or place it under a bowl to harness all the flavor.
Products featured on Wide Open Eats are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
This post was originally published on August 26, 2021.
READ MORE: BBQ Expert "Grill Girl'"s Take on the Perks of Pellet Smokers, Kamado Grills, and Pit Barrel Smokers
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