If you're not ready to make a major investment but do like the flavor of smoked food, you might consider an indoor smoker. These smokers are designed for use on the stovetop or in the oven, and most are similar in design. Stovetop smokers resemble large, round cooking pots or rectangular pans enclosed in foil; meat is placed on a rack above the wood chips. With oven smoking bags, chips are entirely contained within the perforated walls of the bag, which serves as the cooking vessel.
Indoor smokers are a breeze to use, and reviewers say they turn out smoky food much faster than it would take on an outdoor smoker. The downside, they say, is that many indoor smokers leak, allowing smoke to permeate carpeting, draperies, clothing and furniture. Ultimately, though, if you're an apartment dweller, an indoor smoker is likely the only solution for you.
Reviewers say Finnish-made Savu Smoker Bags (*Est. $10 for three) give meat and fish a nice smokiness and don't release smoke into the air. Food won't brown in them, but opening one and placing the meat under the broiler will put a nice crust on steak or chops. Savu bags come filled with either hickory, which imparts stronger flavor; or alder, which is lighter. What's more, they're entirely chemical-free. Cleanup is simple -- just throw the bag away. Editors at TheNibble.com say, "For ribs, the smoker bag was a fabulous, time-saving method with pit-quality results." Chicken and fish turn out nearly as well, they say. According to editors at both TheNibble.com and The New York Times, though, you may need to tweak cooking times with the Savu bags because the included recipes aren't comprehensive. While Savu bags are difficult to find in stores, they're readily available on Amazon.com. Note, however, that the Savu Smoker Bags cost around $3.50 each and cannot be reused.