Kitchen hacks: Smoking food without a smoker

smoked food

Smoking is a simple yet great way to prepare food. There is always something on smoked foods that make our mouths water relentlessly. Maybe, it was already engraved on our genes that we are going to love these delicacies. After all, smoking food is one of the oldest cooking methods known to humanity.

Things have turned modern these days. All of the cooking wares and gears in our kitchen have been touched with technology. But despite this, traditions do persist. And most of the time, they prove that they can provide enriching and flavorful dishes.

Today, you smoke food through grills or smokers. The convivial output that these machines can create wonderful bonds and unforgettable memories. But can you smoke food without these gears? More importantly, can smoke food inside your kitchen? Well, I am going to answer all these curious questions in the next section. Grab on!

Smoking Without Grills or Smokers

If your grills or smokers are currently unavailable, there is still one route that you can take to get those irresistible and aromatic flavors. This is by building a stovetop smoker. Hey, don’t back down easily. Despite its complicated name, a stovetop smoker is simple to create. You don’t need extra tools either. All you need are the following items:

  • Large pot
  • Steamer insert
  • Aluminum foil

Before I forget, I have to answer the first question I have thrown earlier. Yes. Smoking without grills or smokers is possible. I have already divulged the necessary tools to acquire a smoking hot delicacy. Therefore, there is no need for you to doubt.

smoked food

Now, I am going to show you how to build this DIY smoker.

Step 1: Creating the “Smoker”

I am just calling this DIY gear a “smoker” because it can produce the ideal smoke and steam to cook your food. But technically, this is really not a smoker (obviously).

You can create the smoke by lining the pot with a sheet of aluminum foil. Next, put some wood chips on it. You can purchase smoker chips on the market, but they are quite difficult to find. My advice to you is to use wood chips instead because they are very accessible.

Step 2: Building the Cooking Area

Once done with the preliminary step, you can already put another layer of foil. Cover the previous layer properly so that the oil won’t drip down to the wood chips. Next, place the steamer insert on the top of the foil. This is where you are going to place your food for smoking. Of course, the general rule of smoking still applies here: do not let the food touch each other. Otherwise, the smoke won’t be able to cover the entire area.

Step 3: Covering the Smoker

The more the smoke, the tastier the food gets. This is another unwritten rule in smoking. You don’t want your DIY smoker to let some smoke escape, as this could mean a disaster on your part. If you want to optimize the smoking process, wrap a layer of aluminum foil on the edge of the lid of the pot. In this way, you can cover all of the seams. If your pot comes with ventilation hole, cover them with foil as well. Place the pot cover snugly.

Step 4: Let the Show Begin

If the preparations are all complete, you can already start smoking food. You can heat up the chips to medium-high setting. Crank down to low-heat when the chips start smoking. Now, you are ready to smoke food.

Here is a guideline on how long you should smoke some common kitchen ingredients:

  • Fish – 10 to 15 minutes
  • Chicken – 30 to 45 minutes
  • Meat – 30 to 45 minutes

Take note that large cuts can still be smoked under the same period, but you should let your oven do some finishing touches.

If you are done smoking, don’t remove the food yet. Open the pot so that the remaining smoke can still envelop your food.


Smoking is really a fun and tasty way to create food. Fortunately, there is no need for you to start with modern smokers from the get-go. You can do this DIY smoker that I have shown to learn the fundamentals of smoking. Although sooner or later, you will definitely need to invest in smoking devices for convenience and efficiency.



Hello. It is Rose. I love to cook as much as you do. My life on the kitchen has always been an adventure. Of course, you can join me in discovering new flavors and recipes on my site! See you there!