I had the fun opportunity to try out a Smoker Bag as we did not have our own personal smoker yet to smoke beef or fish with. I love smoked foods and always have. I was always fond of my dad bringing home smoked beef, AKA beef jerky, from Alaska and the out of this world smoked fish we’d get in Seattle, so “heck” I said, “let’s try using a smoker bag in the oven”.
Since I adore paleo and a very plant, fat and protein based diet, the history of smoking sort of fascinates me. It actually originated in prehistory. Talk about a caveman diet! The purpose then was to preserve protein-rich foods for a long time, which would otherwise spoil quickly if not. The two mechanisms for this food preservation used back then and even now are the use of dehydration and the antibacterial properties of absorbed smoke.
I later started to learn a bit about smoking while traveling and getting more involved in cooking and my interests grew far and wide. Smoking was a given interest due to the flavors I had loved as a child. In Florida there are numerous men who will open road-side smokers. I’ve witnessed many lines going around the block into oblivion with hopefuls that are standing there patiently waiting for their ribs or brisket. I had no idea how popular it really was until I saw smokers everywhere, especially all over the South.
To put it simply, smoking is flavoring, cooking, or preserving a food by exposing “the food” to smoke from some type of burning or smoldering material, often wood like wood chips. This is how I did it in my little smoker in the oven. In North America the popular woods seem to be hickory, mesquite, oak, pecan, alder and maple. Some fruit-tree woods, like apple, cherry and plum, are used for smoking as well.
So, my little home bag smoker is called an Alder Smoker Bag. I actually brought it back from Alaska to try. Not to worry, I have since found all types of Smoker Bags on the internet, but I did use this one imported from Finland, the Savu Smoker Bag. It was really simple to use, no mess at all and it definitely worked!
You simply preheat your oven and season your protein as desired. Then you open the large “envelope” and stuff your protein inside and seal up the end by folding it over. The inside of the bag contains all of the smoking material and you can smell it once you open the bag. I placed my bag on a tray in to catch any leakage, but there was none. It took about 6 hours and that was it. The house smelled divine. I’m now dreaming of using this to create all kinds of paleo meals like a baked brisket. Paleo Acorn Squash for dessert? Yes, please!
Once I opened the bag I felt like I should have used a sweeter marinade than the sauce I used, realizing that when I have tried smoked food in the past there was often a wet, sweet taste; along the lines of brown sugar or some honey.
These bags are so versatile and they contain instructions that show how to easily use them on any type of grill as well as the oven, like I did.
Check them out. If you like smoked foods and want to try an easy home method like this, I think you will have fun. It is pretty rewarding. Guests loved it! Let me know if you try them out. This company offers hickory as well.
I am off to the next step of my “in home kitchen” smoking research. I bought three Stove Top Smokers as my next trial. So stay tuned for my findings. And in the meantime, enjoy these salmon fillet recipes that I’ve put together. I think you will enjoy them.