Not only did I receive a salad spinner from CSN Stores this week, but I also nabbed a smoker too. It was a random purchase, and quite frankly, I don’t know what had inspired the decision. I wouldn’t call myself someone who yearns for smokey cuisine on the regular, but the deed was done, and now I had a smoker.
Well, last night my friend Derrik was over, and after having enjoyed some wine at a neighbor’s place, it became evident that we needed to eat. What better way to enjoy a buzz than by lighting up the smoker and tossing in somDerrike shrimp and peppers? That’s exactly what we did. And so Derrik manned the camera while I attempted my first ever smoker experience.
Photos after the jump…
The smoker comes with two varieties of wood chips: hickory and alder. We decide to go alder for the shrimp, as per the recommendation of the user manual.
About a tablespoon and a half of chips go in the base of the smoker. Yes, this looks not unlike the floor of a hamster cage.
A drip pan covered in tin foil and then a rack go on top of the chips.
I slice up a pepper to add some color and variety to the dish. I contemplated adding an onion too, but I just didn’t feel like it. Besides, my onions are huge, and there would have been way too much on hand.
I drop the defrosted shrimp in a bowl and ready them for a brief (ie. 90 second) marinade.
It’s less a marinade than it is a seasoning: olive oil, salt, and pepper.
A little tossing action.
Next I place the shrimp on the rack. The peppers will go on top.
It fits just perfectly; although, I do kind of wish I’d purchased the larger smoker.
STOP: pepper time!
The rule is you keep the smoker lid ajar until the first wisps of smoke appear. I think this will take five minutes. More like ten seconds.
I gingerly close the lid. Cooking time starts… NOW.
Almost immediately, my kitchen smells sensational. It’s smokey bliss.
It’s hard to see in the pic, but there are faint traces of smoke coming out of the device.
Waiting with anticipation.
After fifteen minutes exactly, I remove the smoker from the heat and open the lid. You can see my shock at how amazing everything looks.
Plating up dishes for me and Derrik. I wasn’t going for appearance, clearly.
I also served the shrimp with a side of mango chutney, which was wholly unnecessary. It was about this time that we regretted the decision to not include onions.
The Verdict: um… amazing. It was shocking how smokey and flavorful the shrimp and the peppers were. Big flavors for such a simple dish. Who would have thought it was possible to achieve campfire flavors on a stovetop? And not only that, the peppers and shrimp actually blackened in areas. Major win here. Major. Plus, it was so simple. And healthy too. I didn’t even need the olive oil (won’t use it next time). And did I mention the shrimp came out cooked perfectly? This smoker is going to get a whole lot of use. Can’t wait to play with it some more.
Added bonus: my apartment still smells wonderful.
If anyone has any recipe recommendations, send them my way!