Cameron Stove Top Smokers

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DawnT
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Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Thu, 09/24/09 12:16 PM
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I've been noticing on several of the cooking shows that these stove top smokers are seeing increasing use during the preparation of meals as a legitimate utensil. I only noticed them about a year or two ago and none of the retailers seemed to bother carrying them. My initial reaction to something like this is another as seen on TV gimmick even though I've used the smoker bags and this is sort of the same conceptual idea in a piece of cookware. Amazon surprised me with 132 reveiws on this item alone, most favorable. I already have a Smokin Tex (Cookshack clone) in the garage, but this seems to be a nice alternative to doing a meal's worth and not having to bother with the larger smoker. Has anyone used or own one of these. I would imagine due to the size it can be limiting. What about flat top stoves. Every demo that I've seen on the cooking shows is over gas burners. There's a few clones out there that are even cheaper, it's hard to judge how robust these are if you've never seen one.
 
dwt

Michael Hoffman
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Thu, 09/24/09 12:41 PM
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The Cameron smoker is not a TV gimmick. It's been around for years -- I know I bought mine more that 15 years ago -- at J.C. Penney, by the way. I know that Lazarus stores -- now Macy's -- had them, as did Sur La Table. Amazon sells them, and ...

http://www.cameronscookware.com/Smokers.aspx

mbrookes
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Thu, 09/24/09 1:35 PM
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That looks (the Cameron) great. Mr. Hoffman, what kind of chips do you use? Do you have to order from Cameron or can you buy them anywhere?

Michael Hoffman
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Thu, 09/24/09 3:30 PM
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mbrookes


That looks (the Cameron) great. Mr. Hoffman, what kind of chips do you use? Do you have to order from Cameron or can you buy them anywhere?


In fact, I haven't used mine in quite a while. But I've used hickory, apple, alder and mesquite among other woods. I don't know whether Penney still stocks them, but I do know that Amazon has them.
 
http://www.amazon.com/Cameron-Cookware-Stainless-Stovetop-Smoker/dp/B00004SZ9D

DawnT
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Fri, 09/25/09 7:34 PM
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I've been looking over the websites and it looks like Amazon has the best deal w/free shipping figured in. Two questions before I buy something sight unseen. Does the pan seal adequately for use on an unvented stovetop? The chips are mentioned in some reviews as like a proprietary sawdust product and specially made for the smoker. Do you have to use theirs or can anything work? There's a few brands of chips that are quite fine and look like they can be put in a food processor and reduced to a finer chaff. My preference for smoking has been scrub oak, which a piece can be ripped for sawdust on a table saw.  I'd hate to be locked into a product that requires a proprietary expendable to get proper results.

None of the local retailers that I've visited over the past few years has had any of these or the special chips. Target only carries some sort of red kettle with a thermometer and vent as a stove top smoker that requires a vented hood. Our Macy's/Burdine's doesn't carry these, nor does BBB or did LNT when they were still around. I've seen them in catalogs, but not locally in brick and mortars.

Interesting product that I can also see used as an oven steamer.

Michael Hoffman
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Fri, 09/25/09 7:48 PM
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You can use any wood from any source. As to using the Cameron smoker on an unvented stove top -- sure.

DawnT
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Fri, 09/25/09 8:40 PM
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Thanks Michael. Looks like I'll be an an owner now.

DawnT
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Thu, 10/15/09 12:13 AM
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I received my smoker last week and had my first chance to look over the docs and give it a first go sometime this weekend. The smoker comes with 4, 1 oz. samples of wood chips. They're not chips or sawdust, but about 1/8 x 1/8 squares with a thickness liken  to cardstock. None of the local chains that I've been to including Macy's has these smokers or chips. Cameron's sells the chips for a reasonable $4 for a pint container. That seems reasonable until you figure $8.50 for shipping which is absurd for something that weighs just a few ounces. My preference has been scrub oak that I've used with my smokers. I see a few possibilities getting my dad to rip pieces of wood very closely on a radial saw to make sawdust and try that. I can't see paying this kind of money for a proprietary product. I can't find a reference for Penney wood chips as noted above. For those of you that use these smokers, is there an inexpensive alternative? I see some vendors are selling the pints for around $4 and around $4 for shipping. That's still pretty high considering the amount compared to what I'm used to paying or cutting pieces for my Cookshack clone from logs or using commerical packaged wood chunks. Does anyone have a better idea?

CCinNJ
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Thu, 10/15/09 7:08 AM
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I bet the lumber yards have had these questions since smoking has become so popular and most of them provide a variety of wood options. You can try some out and if you find something that works...see if it is possible to do it yourself. It may be cheaper to have them do it in the end if it is scrap. Depends on the local demand.

bartl
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Fri, 10/23/09 7:53 PM
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OK, I've had my smoker for about 8 years. There's a place in northern New Jersey called Chef Central which carries the smokers and the chips, and has occasional demos of them. Their shipping fees (http://www.chefcentral.com) are kind of high if you are only ordering like one bucket of chips, but if you order a bunch of them, the price becomes pretty reasonable.

A few things:

1) Forget about their "two tablespoons of chips". I typically use 3-4.
2) HEAVY DUTY aluminum foil. Around the drip tray, and around the top when putting oversized items into the smoker. I had a near-disaster using regular aluminum foil; it ended up fusing to the drip tray, and I had to scrub hard with copper wool to get it off.
3) There WILL be smoke smell, but, in a small apartment, it's kind of like having just had a fire in a fireplace.
4) The results are not as good as those in a full-fledged smoker, but superior to those in a covered barbecue with a smoke pot.
5) You can't make lox or cold cuts in it.
6) I just did a 3.5 pound boneless leg of lamb in it a week or two ago. Marinated for about 3 hours (olive oil, red wine, rosemary, garlic) Two tablespoons apple, one of mesquite. 2 hours, 165 degrees (internal), perfectly medium, nice smoky taste.
7) In spite of what your wives say, IT IS AN OVEN. You do not need to make it sparkling clean every time you use it; just the grill and the top of the drip tray, and get rid of all the grease.
8) MAKE SURE YOU GET A NEW MODEL. The drip tray in the old model is a BITCH to lift up without spilling out all the grease; the new model has grip rings on the drip tray and a couple of other low-tech but very nice improvements.

Bart

DawnT
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Fri, 10/23/09 8:12 PM
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Tnx Bart. Haven't a need for cold smoking. I have an electric smoker in the garage with a baffle for that if I ever do it. I have a tiny kitchen in a very small house, so that's good to know about the smoke output. Heavy duty foil is all that I ever use for lining. I found my dad's old wood plane and wanted to give it a go on some scrub oak this weekend. Thanks for the tip on the amount of chips.

agnesrob
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Fri, 12/25/09 9:48 AM
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I'm bumping this thread because this was my Christmas gift today from my husband. He also gave me Camerons cookbook and assorted woodchips.
I'm anxious to try it out. I'm really looking forward to doing salmon. Dawn, how have you been doing with yours?

DawnT
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Fri, 12/25/09 4:54 PM
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Never got around to using it yet. It's still sitting in the box. Life's been a bit frenetic the past few months. Finding some unfettered, spare time that I still have while not totally exhausted is getting to be a rarity. Things generally settle after the first of the year and with the cooler weather I usually get a bit ambitious in the kitchen.

UncleVic
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Fri, 12/25/09 6:14 PM
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Dawn... I moved down from Michigan back in January.. Smoking meat, fish, and primarily making jerky was a big time hobby for me..  The sawdust woodchips where available at my local Ace Hardware Stores, Meijers, and probably Wally World if you check out their sporting good section. Luckily I had a backyard filled with hickory trees (my favorite smoke).. But when they started to produce hickory nuts, and still in the green oily stage was the best! I could throw 5 or 6 of these nuts in my weber grill, and the smoky flavor was intense! But for the smoker, I'd cut a branch down, then sliver it (thick potato chips) for use in the smoker..  Worked great!



sizz
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Sun, 12/27/09 12:43 PM
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not all wood is good for smoking fish/meat ....you sure would not want to use pine or eucalyptus or even redwood ..yuck!


Here is a web site that has a list of wood suitable for back yard smoking.... I smoke beef,pork,chicken,and fish and use apple for all smoking ........... any fruit wood is a good choice.  I have messed up a lot of fine meat using oak .... it's very strong on smoke flavor and a roast chicken turns out to taste like the bottom of a cigarette ash tray


http://bbq.about.com/cs/c..ngtips/a/aa051097_2.htm
<message edited by sizz on Sun, 12/27/09 12:46 PM>

DawnT
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Sun, 12/27/09 2:00 PM
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Scrub oak is typical down here for smoking, so are citrus woods. On my first shot w/ the Cameron, I'm going to try an Asian recipe that uses tea leaves when I get the chance.

love2bake
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Mon, 02/4/13 9:18 PM
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I'm contemplating purchasing a Cameron now, and wondering if anyone has any updated information to share before I take the plunge on it.
 
Thanks!!

EdSails
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Mon, 02/4/13 9:35 PM
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Not much updated on it, just watch what you smoke, idtdoes better with certain things than others. My favorite in my Cameron is smoking shrimp. Yum!

Foodbme
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Tue, 02/5/13 2:04 AM
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love2bake

I'm contemplating purchasing a Cameron now, and wondering if anyone has any updated information to share before I take the plunge on it.
Thanks!!

Any updates can be found here:

http://www.cameronscookware.com/Smokers.aspx

rneiner
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Tue, 02/5/13 8:23 AM
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I do not know much about the Cameron but sounds like it would be nice for small items so I think i will stick with my Berkley smoker.

love2bake
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Tue, 02/5/13 9:17 AM
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Thanks, everyone!  I'm gonna do it.  Smoked shrimp sounds amazing, btw. :)

EdSails
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Tue, 02/5/13 3:44 PM
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Simple. Make a marinade with some oil, spice-wise depending on my mood (I have a ton of different Penzey's spices and mixes). I will make it with sate spice, Cajun, jerk (works great), or a basically lemon/oil vinegarette. I prefer unpeeled shrimp, since it keeps them more moist and then do them about 20 minutes over alder. Dee-lish!
love2bake


Thanks, everyone!  I'm gonna do it.  Smoked shrimp sounds amazing, btw. :)



love2bake
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Tue, 02/5/13 4:56 PM
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EdSails


Simple. Make a marinade with some oil, spice-wise depending on my mood (I have a ton of different Penzey's spices and mixes). I will make it with sate spice, Cajun, jerk (works great), or a basically lemon/oil vinegarette. I prefer unpeeled shrimp, since it keeps them more moist and then do them about 20 minutes over alder. Dee-lish!

Thanks, everyone!  I'm gonna do it.  Smoked shrimp sounds amazing, btw. :)


Awesome!  Thanks for those ideas.  How long do you marinate the shrimp?

3 Olives
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Tue, 02/5/13 5:49 PM
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It's a waste of time if you are only using chips in that manner. Use either a grill , smoker, or Liquid Smoke.
BTW, I would never use Liquid Smoke.
<message edited by 3 Olives on Tue, 02/5/13 5:50 PM>

EdSails
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Tue, 02/5/13 7:18 PM
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15 minutes or so, even a little less. You don't want the lemon to start "cooking" the shrimp. You'll be amazed how moist the shrimp stay this way.
love2bake


EdSails


Simple. Make a marinade with some oil, spice-wise depending on my mood (I have a ton of different Penzey's spices and mixes). I will make it with sate spice, Cajun, jerk (works great), or a basically lemon/oil vinegarette. I prefer unpeeled shrimp, since it keeps them more moist and then do them about 20 minutes over alder. Dee-lish!

Thanks, everyone!  I'm gonna do it.  Smoked shrimp sounds amazing, btw. :)


Awesome!  Thanks for those ideas.  How long do you marinate the shrimp?



love2bake
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Wed, 02/6/13 12:38 AM
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Thanks, Ed!
 
3 Olives, I guess I'll have to figure out for myself if it's a waste of time.  Thanks, though.

EdSails
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Wed, 02/6/13 1:18 AM
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love2bake,
 
I do recommend the largest shrimp you can get, preferably 16-20 or even the U12's if you can find them, which shouldn't be a problem if you are in the Bay area. BTW, I was there last weekend. Breakfast at Sear's. Lunch at the Hog Island Oyster Company. Dinner at Scala's Bistro. I love that area!

bartl
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Wed, 02/6/13 11:02 PM
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Well, I wrote quite a bit 3 years ago, but there is one new thing. I got it out of my library, and then bought a copy: Smokin'. It has more than recipes; it has basic techniques. For example, my grandkids will not eat chicken with any bones; it tells you how to smoke boneless chicken breasts. I'm about to hot smoke fish fillets in a week or two.
 
Bart

love2bake
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Thu, 02/7/13 10:33 AM
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Ed:  Thanks for the recommendations on shrimp.  Sear's is on my list.  I live just 25 miles south of the city, but don't get up there as often as I should.
 
Bartl:  I'll find that book.  I usually buy boneless chicken, myself.  Hot smoked fish is my favorite, so I'm definitely going to experiment with that.  Please post pics when you do it!

jcheese
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Thu, 02/7/13 1:30 PM
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Seems like something you could throw together pretty easily with a cake pan, a rack and foil.

love2bake
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Thu, 02/7/13 8:10 PM
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That's true!  There are videos online about that.  However, I'm hoping this will be easier to use and stronger than anything I'd make myself.

EdSails
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Thu, 02/7/13 11:50 PM
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Believe it or not, one of the other things I make in my Cameron is pastrami. I smoke it for about a half hour and then move it to a pot for steaming. Works great!

love2bake
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Fri, 02/8/13 7:44 AM
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That's awesome!  Wouldn't have thought of that. This is gonna be fun.

love2bake
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Sun, 03/3/13 4:19 PM
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Inaugurated my new Cameron smoker with salmon, simply seasoned with mixed peppercorns and Meyer lemon juice, and smoked over alderwood (Cameron's recommendation):

 
It came out looking kind of anemic, but the flavor had light smoke and it was ridiculously moist and tender. 

 
Does anyone know whether smoking it over a lower flame for a longer time, will dry it out a bit more like what they make in PNW?  I love that on bagels with cream cheese.
 
Next experiment is going to be the shrimp!!

love2bake
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Tue, 03/12/13 6:17 PM
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EdSails


Believe it or not, one of the other things I make in my Cameron is pastrami. I smoke it for about a half hour and then move it to a pot for steaming. Works great!

Ed!!!  I did it!  It's fabulous.  Thank you for the inspiration!


mar52
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Tue, 03/12/13 7:12 PM
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love2bake:  Are you using wood chips or wood dust in that thing?
 
if you're using chips, The 99¢ Only store  (think pink place) usually carries bags of hickory and mesquite.

love2bake
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Tue, 03/12/13 11:42 PM
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They call them chips, but they're pretty dern small.  Hey--I needed an excuse to go the 99 Cents Only store.  I love that place!

EdSails
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Tue, 03/12/13 11:47 PM
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You are most welcome! I wish I could taste yours! It looks delicious.
 
love2bake


EdSails


Believe it or not, one of the other things I make in my Cameron is pastrami. I smoke it for about a half hour and then move it to a pot for steaming. Works great!

Ed!!!  I did it!  It's fabulous.  Thank you for the inspiration!




CCinNJ
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Wed, 03/13/13 9:21 AM
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Smoked mushrooms look good...

http://www.deliciouscoma..../smoked_mushrooms.html

love2bake
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Thu, 03/14/13 12:53 PM
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Ahhh--I'll definitely try that, CC.  I love my little smoker already.

CCinNJ
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Thu, 03/14/13 1:21 PM
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Your little smoker is the best & most fun way for me to stay on the "good neighbor" list. I'll pick one up tomorrow from Bed Bath & Beyond.

Kenji from Serious Eats smoked chicken wings in a wok using sugar & tea. I'll have to ask him for some more creative options that can be done in the Cameron.

cjucoder
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Thu, 03/14/13 4:03 PM
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I love my Cameron smoker too!  You'll find that after a while the lid will become looser and start to lose more and more smoke. Just use a little muscle to squeeze it back tight helps a lot.
 
bartl

Well, I wrote quite a bit 3 years ago, but there is one new thing. I got it out of my library, and then bought a copy: Smokin'. It has more than recipes; it has basic techniques. For example, my grandkids will not eat chicken with any bones; it tells you how to smoke boneless chicken breasts. I'm about to hot smoke fish fillets in a week or two.

Bart

 
My favorite thing to smoke is fish, but I also made a turkey breast that was excellent using that Smokin' book.  You can smoke larger things by using a very tightly sealed foil tent.  That book is well worth it in my opinion.

EdSails
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Fri, 03/15/13 2:34 AM
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One thing I was thinking about----has any one ever tried smoking a good hot dog like Sabrett's or Hebrew National in the Cameron? How did it turn out if you did?

CCinNJ
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Fri, 03/15/13 10:18 AM
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If anyone is considering a Cameron and would like to know more....here's the user manual...

http://cameronsproducts.c...vetop-Smoker-Guide.pdf

love2bake
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Fri, 03/15/13 2:40 PM
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Here's the technique I used for pastrami via Michael Ruhlman.  He even acknowledges the Cameron smoker in the article.
 
Since the corned beef brisket I bought to experiment with was just 1 lb, I shortened the smoking- and oven time a little.  It came out GREAT.
 
http://ruhlman.com/2011/09/how-to-make-pastrami/
 
I definitely plan to try smoking salmon with green tea, but it was also great with alder.
 
Has anyone used and/or have a source for corncob chips mentioned in the Smokin' book?  I looked it up but got corn chips or animal bedding listings...

CCinNJ
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Fri, 03/15/13 3:31 PM
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I read about that when I was trying to learn options for my smoking gun...

I believe it's DIY...

Or you can use corn cobs like wood chips for smoking. Dry the cobs in a low oven (175-200°F) overnight or in a dehydrator for a few hours and use them in your smoker for a light, sweet smoke that’s just awesome.

CCinNJ
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Fri, 03/15/13 3:47 PM
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Here's a chart that mentions the cobs...

http://www.deejayssmokepi...SmokingFlavorChart.pdf



This is the first time I ever saw grape vines mentioned. Hooray...I have those!
<message edited by CCinNJ on Fri, 03/15/13 3:58 PM>

love2bake
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Fri, 03/15/13 5:39 PM
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Wow--that's some chart!!!  It even has sassafras on it.  Every time I "hear" that word I imagine Yosemite Sam saying it--not sure why.
 
You have grape vines? 
 
Dried herbs sound interesting, although it might make my neighbors think I'm doing something else over here.
 
Ooh--I have a Meyer lemon tree that needs pruning and a bay shrub.
 
Big fun--thanks for finding & sharing this, and the instructions for corncobs!

CCinNJ
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Fri, 03/15/13 6:19 PM
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They look ominous enough at this time of the year... to smoke something good.
 

A Cameron "stockpile"
 

<message edited by CCinNJ on Fri, 03/15/13 6:26 PM>

CCinNJ
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Sat, 03/16/13 7:21 PM
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Smoked spiral-cut hot dogs that seem easy enough to convert to Cameron. Easier to convert than cut...for a left-handed person.

http://www.smoking-meat.c...ked-hotdogs-spiral-cut

EdSails
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Sun, 03/17/13 5:10 PM
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Thanks, CC.

love2bake
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Wed, 03/27/13 3:24 PM
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Well, I tried smoking Pillar Point Harbor shrimp using cajun spices, and while it wasn't my best adventure with the Cameron, it has potential.  It was definitely too dry/overdone, but lemon juice helped.


mar52
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Wed, 03/27/13 4:21 PM
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EdSails:  Try buying a hunk of slab bologna that will fit in your smoker and give it a try.  Notch the sides so some of the smoke gets in that way.
 
 

CCinNJ
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Wed, 03/27/13 7:05 PM
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You're welcome...Ed!

Mar...I giggled when you called the Cameron "that thing"

EdSails
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Thu, 03/28/13 12:32 AM
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love2bake


Well, I tried smoking Pillar Point Harbor shrimp using cajun spices, and while it wasn't my best adventure with the Cameron, it has potential.  It was definitely too dry/overdone, but lemon juice helped.


 
Try leaving the shell on next time and they will stay moist.

love2bake
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Thu, 03/28/13 9:57 AM
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The shells were on!    I just think I left the shrimp in the smoker too long...  Bummer

EdSails
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Thu, 03/28/13 12:21 PM
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love2bake


The shells were on!    I just think I left the shrimp in the smoker too long...  Bummer
 
Yeah, that could happen too. I did 20-25 minutes on the U12 size. The 15-25 I think I did closer to 20. I also ran the cooker at a lower heat----once I got the smoke puff and closed it I turned the heat down a touch to medium-low. 

tsores
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Thu, 03/28/13 6:12 PM
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I must be missing something.  How is it that this smoker can smoke beef in such a short time when BBQ joints need to smoke theirs for 10 to 15 + hours?  Does this device bypass the need for low and slow for successful smoked meat?  Please clue me in.  I'm interested. 

EdSails
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Thu, 03/28/13 9:45 PM
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Tsores, it is considered a hot smoker instead of a cold one. It does not do well with items that needs low and slow, but is more for foods that cook quickly. With beef, it would do a steak (although IMHO I wouldn't trust it to not overcook) but would not work with ribs or brisket. It can be used for brisket but only when you would also cook to tenderness another way such as steam, a bbq or a regular oven. It works great with fish, seafood, chicken and other items that can cook for usually 45 minutes or less.

tsores
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Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers - Thu, 03/28/13 9:47 PM
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That makes sense.
 
Thanks, EdSails.

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