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Smoked foods rule, 'nuff said. I love anything that is cooked with hot smoke, but I am particularly enamored of hot smoked salmon. Once I realized that commercial hot smokers were priced prohibitively, I set about to make one myself. Following these instructions, you can too!

  1. Buy a used electric stove, one that has good racks and a big drawer that is easy to clean.
  2. Remove all the burners and their covers from within the oven and the stove top, take out everything that is electrical. The goal is to make an empty steel container.
  3. Drill a hole in the front of the drawer that is big enough to fit the extension cord that will be used to power the hot plate.
  4. Cut a hole about 7 inches in diameter through the floor of the oven compartment, thus linking the oven compartment with the drawer.
  5. Place a cylinder of metal duct work or something similar within this hole, in order to create a chimney of sorts, to keep nasties from dripping down on your hot plate.
  6. The smoker requires a position of honor in your backyard. Find it a home upon a rock steady and moisture-free base.

That is it. To use the smoker, first place a hot plate in the drawer beneath the oven chamber, centered under the chimney. Thread the hot plate's power cord through the hole that was drilled in the front of the drawer. Then place a large cast iron pan on the hot plate and fill it with wood chips, I prefer hickory chips for pork,alder for fish, and applewood or mesquite chips for poultry. Put the meat ( be sure to brine it first) on the racks in the oven chamber. Turn the hot plate on to medium high and wait for the chips to start smoking. Experiment with the heat of your hot plate to produce a slow steady smoke. Smoke the meat until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 F or find your own recipe.

disclaimer, if you jury-rig your own smoker like I did, its up to you to make sure it is safe.

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