Hello from Osaka, Japan

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by lav25, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. lav25

    lav25 Fire Starter

    HI all, new to the forum and completely new to smoking food.  I live in a 5th floor apartment with a very small balcony (about a meter deep!), so I'm reading as much as I can on indoor/small scale and cold smoking.  So far, I've twice smoked things in the oven in a disposable alder smoking bag (not so good), and in a couple of hours I'm going to try and stovetop smoke a couple of chicken breasts in a wok.  We'll see.

  2. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    [​IMG]    Glad to have you with us!
  4. sounds like you have room for a small MES.  Welcome!
  5. If looking for a small smoker you might try making a flower pot smoker. Welcome
  6. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Welcome to the SMF....you'll figure out a way....somebody on here has to have pics of a small rig that would work for you
  7. bluebombersfan

    bluebombersfan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  8. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Welcome and there is always a way to do outside smokeing...the flower pot thing sounds good...
  9. tyotrain

    tyotrain Master of the Pit

  10. Welcome to the group!

    For your situation, a small electric smoker would work well.

    This Little Chief is 27" tall by 12.5" wide by 12.5" deep.

    Small but effective. Costs around $100USD.


    Best of luck!
  11. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    A viable option, if electrical service is the correct voltage...don't know if it's 110/120 VAC there or not.

    I was thinking that very thing, myself. Order a charcoal starter, cooking grate and charcoal grate online, if not available locally...clay pots are available almost anywhere. A micro/mini UDS would be another possibility, made from a tall stock pot or turkey fryer pot...thought about building one like that myself, but I rarely smoke that small of an amount of meat for a meal.

    Don't know what the fire codes entail there regarding solid fuel fired cookers in/near multi-family dwellings...may not be feasible.

    If an electric heat source were incorporated into the smoker, the above issue would go away.
    Welcome to the family, Val!

    I have wondered about those smoking bags...not that I have a use for them, but now, I am even more sceptacle of them.

    The wok could very well be a good set-up...small contact area with the heat source on the bottom where the smoke wood will be, while the cooking heat can be built up as needed, and the smoke wood moved partially up the sides to regulate the amount of smoke generation. I can see this working with some patience and a bit of trial and error.

    Another option for hot smoking would be a metallic steamer basket to hold the food inside a covered pot, with the smoke wood on the bottom of the pot. If you can elevate the steamer basket far enough off the bottom of the pot, you could also place a small container of water for wet smoke. It would also need to be elevated off the bottom a bit so it doesn't boil, but this would add lots of humidity to keep everything moist. If the cover for the pot fits air-tight would cause a problem with stale smoke/bitter flavor, but a slightly loose fitting cover would do the trick.

    Sounds like you're being creative in finding good options for the craft of smoking in your particular environment. Don't give up...you will be rewarded with great eats.

    Interesting situation for sure...please, do let us know how the wok works out, and anything else you try.

    Again, welcome, and enjoy the wealth of knowledge!


    EDIT: the little-chief doguitar mentioned would be a very good option as well.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011

  12. I checked and Little Chief makes a 220V export model.
  13. Or...... a Mini-Chief!

    Also available in a 220V export model.

  14. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    yep, these don't take alot of room. Good luck and welcome aboard.
  15. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome aboard.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  16. lav25

    lav25 Fire Starter

    Thanks for the welcome and all the suggestions!  Japan is on 100v AC, so pretty much everything from the US works.  I've had a couple problems with a sensored battery charger, but things that just require electricity to make heat will do just fine. 

    The wok worked pretty well!  There's still room for improvement, but as a first effort, I'm pretty happy.


    Wok with woodchips (cherry)  This is morning after, last night I did soak the chips in water for an hour or so.


    a small screen:


    a steamer plate to catch drips (the small screen may not have been necessary)


    and a larger grill, to put the food on:


    with a loose lid, on my little gas ring:


    30 minutes of cooking, and two chicken breasts are done!


    Things that went well:

    I got smoked chicken out of it, and cherry tastes great with the chicken.  I only used salt and pepper beforehand as a sort of a control, I didn't want to confuse my impressions with rubs or marinades. 

    Things that could have gone better:

    I started off cooking on my main kitchen gas stove.  Unfortunately, it is "smart," and turns itself down to avoid getting the food too hot.  Like, hot enough to generate smoke.  I realized this when I wasn't seeing any smoke, thought I had burned through my woodchips, and opened it to find out they were mostly unburnt.  That's why I switched to the portable gas ring. 

    The chicken was a little bit dry, 35 minutes could probably have been shortened to 20 or so, but since I; a)didn't know exactly what I was doing, and b) have had salmonella from chicken before, I went a little on the long side.  I know, cook to temp not time, but I didn't want to keep opening the lid.  Next time I'll have more smoke taste and juicier chicken, since I'll actually be able to control the heat, rather than having some engineer for Sharp decide it for me.

    Anyway, back to my reading and studying, tons of good information here!

    Thanks again all

  17. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    There ya go, Val...

    Looks like it's coming together for you. First run is always a learning experience...well, really, even after a few years, you keep learning better ways and new tricks. Anyway, you're covering the basics pretty well, so with consecutive smokes, you will know more of what to expect and be able to decide the best course of action.

    I know how you feel about salmonella...got sick from sliced deli turkey breast once about 13 years ago. Not my idea of a good time.

    Have fun with the new addiction...er, uh...hobby? Ha-ha!!!

  18. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Or a DIY flower pot smoker, this will break down nicely for storage





    our play ground your play ground. lots and lots of info here for you

    as for your situation i remember some other member had a similar issue

    about smoking he (if i remember right got an mes) but the days he smokes

    he informs his neighbors about not calling the fire dept. but i would agree with

    bigbob about the mes. i personally dislike the big cheif due to the heat retention

    and the removeal of the door just not my game. i found the mes is great for small places and you get a better smoke.

    but this is all my opinion. hope you get what you need, and you may have to talk to management about the smoker

    assure them there is no open flame, they may not let you smoke on your balcony.

    cheers  see you around
  20. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Chicken is one of the easiest things to dry out when smoking it.

     You might try laying a few strips of bacon on top of each piece to keep some fat on it.

     Will change your flaor profile a bit,but a lil bacon never hurt anyone.

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