Cameron Stove Top Smokers

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DawnT
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2009/09/24 12:16:38 (permalink)

Cameron Stove Top Smokers

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.
 
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    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2009/09/24 12:41:33 (permalink)
    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
    #2
    mbrookes
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2009/09/24 13:35:28 (permalink)
    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?
    #3
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2009/09/24 15:30:32 (permalink)
    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
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    DawnT
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2009/09/25 19:34:55 (permalink)
    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.
    #5
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2009/09/25 19:48:55 (permalink)
    You can use any wood from any source. As to using the Cameron smoker on an unvented stove top -- sure.
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    DawnT
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2009/09/25 20:40:34 (permalink)
    Thanks Michael. Looks like I'll be an an owner now.
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    DawnT
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2009/10/15 00:13:24 (permalink)
    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?
    #8
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2009/10/15 07:08:47 (permalink)
    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.
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    bartl
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2009/10/23 19:53:57 (permalink)
    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
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    DawnT
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2009/10/23 20:12:17 (permalink)
    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.
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    agnesrob
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2009/12/25 09:48:38 (permalink)
    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?
    #12
    DawnT
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2009/12/25 16:54:10 (permalink)
    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.
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    UncleVic
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2009/12/25 18:14:02 (permalink)
    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!


    #14
    sizz
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2009/12/27 12:43:22 (permalink)
    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
    post edited by sizz - 2009/12/27 12:46:21
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    DawnT
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2009/12/27 14:00:51 (permalink)
    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.
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    love2bake
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2013/02/04 21:18:22 (permalink)
    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!!
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    EdSails
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2013/02/04 21:35:49 (permalink)
    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!
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    Foodbme
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2013/02/05 02:04:00 (permalink)
    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
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    rneiner
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2013/02/05 08:23:22 (permalink)
    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.
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    love2bake
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2013/02/05 09:17:49 (permalink)
    Thanks, everyone!  I'm gonna do it.  Smoked shrimp sounds amazing, btw. :)
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    EdSails
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2013/02/05 15:44:06 (permalink)
    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. :)


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    love2bake
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2013/02/05 16:56:15 (permalink)
    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?
    #23
    3 Olives
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2013/02/05 17:49:07 (permalink)
    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.
    post edited by 3 Olives - 2013/02/05 17:50:24
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    EdSails
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2013/02/05 19:18:11 (permalink)
    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?


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    love2bake
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2013/02/06 00:38:11 (permalink)
    Thanks, Ed!
     
    3 Olives, I guess I'll have to figure out for myself if it's a waste of time.  Thanks, though.
    #26
    EdSails
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2013/02/06 01:18:28 (permalink)
    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!
    #27
    bartl
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2013/02/06 23:02:24 (permalink)
    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
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    love2bake
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2013/02/07 10:33:10 (permalink)
    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!
    #29
    jcheese
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    Re:Cameron Stove Top Smokers 2013/02/07 13:30:05 (permalink)
    Seems like something you could throw together pretty easily with a cake pan, a rack and foil.
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