Make Hot Smoked Salmon In A Camerons Mini Stovetop Smoker from Sous Chef

My kitchen is quite well stocked with the usual gadgets and appliances but there are a few more unusual items I have always wanted to add to my collection. An all in one soup maker, a dehydrator and a stove top smoker.

Camerons Mini Stovetop Smoker

 This week I acquired one of my dream gadgets- a Camerons Mini Stovetop Smoker from the Sous Chef website  complete with wood chips -and I quite literally could not wait to smoke my first item.

Camerons Mini Stovetop Smoker

Luckily I'd picked up a cut-price side of salmon at the supermarket a week or so ago and so I whipped that out of the freezer, defrosted it and cut it into portions. I decided to smoke some and poach some, thinking that maybe the children might not share my enthusiasm for smoked fish.

If I'm honest, although I've always wanted a home smoker after sampling yummy smoked goodies from a friend's smoker, I hadn't put an awful lot of thought into the actual process. I was worried it might be time-consuming, messy and laborious.

I needn't have worried. Turns out you can use the Camerons Mini Stovetop Smoker within minutes of unpacking it with four easy steps.

I gave my new smoker a quick wash then you added wood chips in the bottom of the tray, popped the drip tray on top of that, then added the wire rack and then all I had to do was add food to smoke.

I took the advice in the comprehensive instruction booklet and lined the drip tray with foil which makes cleaning up quicker and easier.

I'd prepared two of the pieces of salmon for smoking by rubbing 50g of sugar and 50g of salt into both sides and left it in the fridge for 30 minutes. I'd then rinsed off the rub and given the salmon an hour in the fridge (uncovered) then patted it dry and popped the first piece into the smoker.

fresh salmon in stovetop smoker

For the first portion I used hickory wood chips. I say wood chips - the wood looks more like coarse sawdust. You only need 1 1/2 TBSP in the bottom so the amount provided in the kit would allow you to really experiment before having to source more wood chips.

adding hickory wood chips to stovetop smoker

Following the clear instructions I put the smoker on one of the gas rings on my range cooker on a medium heat, leaving the sliding lid slightly ajar until the first wisps of smoke appeared.

I then slid the lid closed and started a 20 minute timer then removed the beautifully smoked fish from the smoker.
hot smoked salmon and hickory wood chips

I tipped out the charred wood dust, added fresh wood chips (maple this time) and repeated the process.

What can I say. The smoked fish was beautiful. Moist and tasty and prefect to be served flaked with creme fraiche into pasta, with new potatoes, on top of a salad, as canapés, alongside couscous or, the way my family ate it, standing at the counter with forks doing a great impression of a plague of locusts. Meanwhile the poached salmon they usually love sat lonely and ignored.

hot smoked salmon recipe

The flavour differences between the two salmon pieces was subtle but definitely tangible and I'm looking forward to experimenting more with different fishes and meats. I fancy smoking sausages, whole garlic cloves and pheasant and chicken breasts.

My top tip however would be to NOT smoke items in your kitchen where your freshly laundered clothes are waiting to be ironed. The smoke smell is gorgeous but my children were not keen on wearing smoked school uniform the following day. Luckily I twigged that it might be an issue just as I started to smell the beautiful aroma and I grabbed the pile and dashed out of the room with it.

Likewise although the smell is more BBQ than bonfire, I'd recommend shutting the kitchen door if you don't want it throughout the house. Don't imagine you will be peering through a smoke filled room though - the lid does a good job of keeping most of the smoke in.

You can use the smoker outdoors on a camp stove or BBQ or even a bonfire and if you want to smoke larger items like whole chickens or hams you can tent foil over the items instead of using the sliding lid.

You can also use the kit to poach, bake or roast food which makes it very versatile as a gadget to take camping. The Cameron's mini stovetop smoker comes with a ten year guarantee - the only thing I'd say is if you have a flat topped oven or hob you might want to check manufacturers instructions as the stainless steel tray may not work on some hobs.

If you think the mini smoker might not be big enough, you can get one twice the size for not much more outlay. Another top tip - the mini smoker I have is on sale for £39.99 reduced from £49.99 at the moment on the Sous Chef website.

It's so fast and simple  to smoke food I think it's fine even for my large family as I will just smoke stuff in batches if I need to. Certainly I made enough hot smoked salmon to feed them in under an hour (2 1/2 hours if you include marinading time).

hot smoked salmon in stovetop smoker from Sous Chef

I'm delighted that the gadget of my dreams turned out to be a dream to use and I am certain it will be in use throughout the seasons from making canapés for Christmas to smoking ribs for summer suppers.

It would make an amazing gift for the foodie in your life. Take some time to browse the Sous Chef website as there are lots more fab gift ideas too.

Disclaimer: I received the Cameron's Mini Stovetop Smoker free from Sous Chef for the purpose of this honest review.

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