In Melbourne, a city full of food and obsessed by coffee, I cook, I eat, I share the good news and the bad. essjay eats


So, today I took up smoking. I’ve wanted to for at least a year now; I’ve been researching the hows and whys and wherefores, and finally today I took the plunge.
Hot Smoking at Home.
Smoked tomatoes and smoked mozzarella.
First I skinned the tomatoes, by nicking them at the base and pouring boiling water over them, then after a minute removing them and placing them in icy water. Then I peeled the skins off.
I placed them on a plate with the bufallo mozzarella I bought at La Latteria.
Next I mixed the smoking mix, 1 cup rice,  ½ cup tea and ¼ cup of brown sugar.
I placed about half a cup of this mix into a small foil pan which I placed at the bottom of my cast iron wok and turned on the heat.
After about 4 minutes the smoke gently started and I placed a steamer basket on top, put the plate in and put the steamer lid on.  Then I placed the wok lid on top. It didn’t close, but that didn’t seem to matter.
I smoked the tomatoes and cheese for 15mins.
The tomatoes were just about right, smokey and delicious.  They had firmed up a little, and lost a bit of juice.  The mozzarella however changed colour like it should but it melted a bit.  Next time I’ll leave it for less time, probably about 8 minutes. The mozzarella is quite strongly smokey.
As there was still some smoke around a put a small about of butter in a ramekin and placed it in the steamer, and a couple more slices of mozzarella. Then I turned off the heat and left them to it.
Both melted!  The butter will be fine, but I think mozarella needs to be cold smoked perhaps?
Both the tomatoes and the mozzarella will be used in a little experiment tomorrow.
Have you smoked anything? How did it turn out?

6 thoughts on “Smokin’

  • @malissa actually – not so much smoke – it kinda swirled around the steamer, but didn’t go much further. The mozzarella firmed up as it cooled and we stuffed tomatoes with it today (with olives and basil). Hmm smoked cheese fondue perhaps?

    @Agnes I think I will try salt myself next, but without the bonus fish flavour (still I guess if you use the smokey fishy salt on fish it should be OK?)

    @kat Not as scary as it looks. might be easier to do with mini Kat Spat at this age rather than when she’s crawling? (is that motivation?)

    Comment from: essjayeats

  • This is much awesome. I think I’m going to have a go too.
    Although I’m sure I won’t get it done until next year just like you
    did but you’ve inspired me! 🙂

    Comment from: Kat (Spatula, Spoon and Saturday)

  • I bought a portable smoking box a couple of months ago and
    have only smoked fish so far with wood chips. The results have been
    delicious! I thought about smoking cheese, but was worried that it
    would melt. Last time I used the smoker I put a bag of salt in with
    the fish. I haven’t tried it yet, but I think it also picked up
    fish flavour as well as smoke. Whoops.

    Comment from: Agnes

  • How much smoke was produced? Did you have to open doors and
    windows? The mozzarella looks like a yummy dip.

    Comment from: Malissa

  • Thanks Dave, those mackerel sound amazing, though I find it difficult to imagine you fishing from a tinny! I really want to smoke a leg of pork one day … I blame Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall.

    Comment from: essjayeats

  • Nice article! I think I’ll try it myself. We have a Swedish
    friend that’s obsessed with smoking things. He does these great
    burgers basted with Liquid Smoke (a US product, I think) and
    placing wet chicory wood chips on charcoal embers in a kettle
    barbecue. We stayed on an island in Sweden called Eijdholmen with
    him and caught mackerel in a little tinny motorboat. My first time
    fishing, too! We cooked some of the mackerels on the kettle BBQ
    normally, and after letting the coals die down a bit, we took the
    grill off and lay down a layer of juniper bush branches. These were
    growing on the island, for some reason. Put the grill back on, put
    the rest of the fish on, then placed the cover back on, with (I
    think) just a little bit of ventilation going through. Left them
    like that for the rest of the day. They were pretty

    Comment from: David Parrt

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL


Leave a comment

Please do not paste links to websites or your comment will be deleted.