1. To avoid burning the wood chips, soak them in a bowl of water for at least 30 minutes prior to using. Line the bottom of a large pot over medium heat with aluminum foil. Place a handful of soaked wood chips onto a separate sheet of aluminum foil. Fold the sides in so that the wood chips are contained in an aluminum foil packet. Make sure not to close the sides off so that the smoke can escape when heated. Place the packet at the bottom of the large pot. 00:13
2. Place a metal colander over the packet. Increase the heat to high. Cover the pot with a lid and wait until smoke builds inside of the pot. This should take approximately 10 minutes. 01:53
3. Place the desired protein at the bottom of the colander. Cover the pot with a lid. To smoke salmon, cook for five minutes at high heat, five minutes at low heat, and five minutes without any heat at all. Uncover the pot, remove the salmon and serve. Cooking times for vegetables or for other types of proteins will vary. 02:42
What You'll Need
- Large bowl
- Large pot with lid
- Aluminum foil
- Metal colander
- Hickory chips (2 to 4 cups)
- Preferred protein
- Brine (optional)*
*For instructions on how to brine, see Chef Notes.
Smoking with different types of wood chips will yield different flavors. Due to its versatility, hickory is the most common type of smoking wood. Cherry wood imparts a sweet flavor that works well with all types of meats, while mesquite imparts a strong smoky flavor that works best with red meats.
Small chips of wood will smoke faster than larger pieces. Chef David recommends using small chips whenever possible.
Soaking the wood chips prior to smoking not only prevents them from burning, but allows them to produce smoke for longer.
To brine your protein, soak it for approximately 30 minutes in a mixture of sugar, salt, and water. Brining helps to keep proteins juicy throughout the smoking process. For more information on brining, visit Chef Brandon Boudet's "How to Make a Brine" tutorial located at the bottom of the page.
Smoking adds rich flavor to all types of proteins. In this tutorial, Chef David smokes salmon. Experiment by smoking other types of fish, beef, chicken and pork, or your favorite types of vegetables. Cooking times may vary.
To ensure that your protein does not stick to the bottom of the colander while smoking, brush the bottom of the colander with oil prior to cooking.