The barbecue smoker is a device designed to quickly cure salmon and other meats without requiring very much technology. While you can buy barbecue smokers, it is possible to build your own.
Once you have the smoker up and running, there are a variety of objects that you can cook on the barbecue smoker: meats and salmon being the most obvious, but also peppers, tomatoes, and other vegetables. If you are feeling particularly brave, then pizza and bread can also be made on the barbecue smoker.
Putting Seals on a Barbecue Smoker
When converting a barbecue into a smoker, it is important to get the seals right; the best thing to do is to buy a few pieces of steel, and weld this inside the door or lid portions of the smoker; about one or two inches of steel should be perfect for the seal. Bend or cut the pieces of steel to fit around the openings in the door or lid, so that they can be fully closed, but the steel forms an air-tight barrier. As well as inside the door openings, it is also possible to weld the steel to the outside of any gaps, although this will look more unsightly.
As an alternative to welding, then you can choose to either seal the edges of the smoker with fire-resistant tape, or even use a suitable mortar to seal the gaps between the smoker, the heat source, and gaps in lids, doors, etc. Before trying to smoke any foods, check that the door fits well, and that there are no obvious gaps.
Cooking Salmon on the Barbecue steamer
Firstly, ensure that the salmon is thoroughly washed and dried. Put the salmon in a polythene or cooking bag (available from most supermarkets), add salt and other seasoning to taste. Seal the bag tightly, and shake the bag firmly. Then, take to the barbeque; there, you will need to ensure that your smoker has a solid seal which does not leak – a tight seal keeps air away from the food being smoked.
Vegetables such as corn on the cob can also be cooked in the steamer. It is best to soak tough vegetables in water for around half an hour before steaming. Next, wrap the vegetables in foil, or put in a foil tray and cover with foil; do this by cutting the vegetables to size, and placing them on one half of a square piece of foil. Add seasoning, and then wrap the foil around the vegetables – scrunch the ends together to seal the pack.
Alternatively, you can choose a smoker bag – these are essentially foil ‘packets’, large enough to take salmon and all the major vegetables, which have wood chips and other aromas between two layers of foil; the food goes between these and another layer of foil, and can simply been placed on top of the BBQ, forming an effective barbecue smoker. The bag is also recyclable.