When my wife and I decided to downsize and move into an apartment, I knew I was going to need some way to smoke meats. I didn’t want to rely on liquid smoke, and after doing lots of research, I settled on the Presto Indoor Electric Smoker.
The smoker comes with a tempered glass cover with a seal-tight gasket to minimize odor and a three-tiered rack with handles that make it easy to get food in and out of the smoker.
Most importantly, I’ve been able to infuse authentic smoke flavor into meats, poultry, fish, seafood, and vegetables by placing a small number of wood chips in the stainless steel charring cup.
I’ve used Cold Smoke for some salts and fish, but mostly use Combo Smoke for ribs and chuck roasts.
The digital touchpad has settings for cold smoke, hot smoke, or combo smoke, a combination of the two. Combo smoke starts low and slow to infuse the maximum smoky flavor. It then raises the temp to cook the meat and has resulted in some delicious ribs, roasts, and brisket points.
Now, the smoker measures 19 by 11.5 inches, limiting the size of the cuts of meat you place in it. Even though it comes with a three-tier rack, honestly, you can only use the top two. The lowest tier sits right on top of the charring cup, and I’ve found that any meat set on that tier tends to burn on the bottom.
I recently bought a Nordic Ware 8 Inch Heat Tamer and Burner Plate to use as a deflector to distribute heat more evenly.
I usually have to cut my slabs of ribs in half and cook each half on a tier. When smoking chuck or a brisket point, I place it on the second tier and remove the top one.
However, I can use readily available wood chips to smoke meats, spices, and vegetables inside my apartment, so I’m not complaining. I usually cook on a small scale because I’m always tinkering with rubs and marinades, so smoking one slab of ribs or roast works for me.
I will also mention that this smoker can double as a slow cooker. However, I’ve never used it as one and recycled the slow cooking pot because I didn’t have room to store it. So there’s that.
I looked at several other options before deciding on the Presto. I considered the KitchenQue and Nordic Ware Stove Top smokers but decided against them because I wanted a stand-alone device. They both use super-fine wood “dust” for smoking that I would have to order all the time. The Presto uses wood chips I can pick-up at any grocery or home improvement store.
I gave the Gourmia a good look but didn’t like how I would need to cut up meat or place ribs vertically to fit around the heating element. Even though it’s on a smaller scale, I’m still able to use most of my outdoor techniques with the Presto smoker. Because I’m smoking on horizontal tiers, I still wrap my meats in foil or paper and use meat probes through the vent plug to monitor my cooks.
Overall, the Presto Indoor Electric Smoker is an excellent bang for my buck as far as indoor smokers go. The smoker gives the food a smoky flavor, and the surrounding air a very subtle smoky ambiance without smoking up our apartment.