These can be really useful; I’ve had a lot of fun and success using my portable smoker with all sorts of foods.

Smoked salmon from portable smoker
Hot Smoked Cajun Salmon from the Portable Smoker, perfectly moist – poor photo sorry

Easy things like sausage, fillets of fish or corn – are simple and get an extra layer of flavor.

Portable smoker on gas grill large
It is not essential, but a temp probe can help too

I would sum it up as high-heat direct smoking, which is great for food that will be cooked/smoked in a shorter period of time – generally under 20-30 minutes.

The smoking wood is below the meat/food on a small rack. So, the chamber is compact. When I started using these with a propane burner or gas grill burner, it was just as simple as, putting the heat on low, wait until it started smoking.

Then put the food in, I have got slightly more precise these days and use a thermometer for the meat or chamber.

It gets used for:

  • Fish fillet smoking
  • sausages at the beach
  • cob of corn
  • seafood – mussels, scallops, etc
  • chicken smoking
  • pastrami smoking (probe was useful for this)

I had a few, and some that aren’t one-piece designs can take on a burnt taste. What I mean but this is they are pop-riveted together rather than 1 solid piece of metal, like a rectangular bowl with a slide-on lid.

Key Tip – use small amounts of wood, sometimes a tablespoon of strong hardwood is enough.

Too much wood and the food will go bitter. Less is more, for sure.

So here are some decent ones.

(Note: if you buy through one of these links – it’s doesn’t cost you anything, but I get a small kickback to support the site)

Camerons Large Stove Top Smoker

I have had a few of these, and some aren’t one piece, on the sides and bottom. This can let in flames and all sorts through the seals.

I have used a burner underneath, which can work for thin fillets of trout.

This smoker is heavy-duty, with an inside tray on which you put the wood and then a rack to sit the food on.

So that’s two layers of metal between the food and the heat.

Portable smoker
Portable Smoker from the inside

The 11 x 7 inch could only do a chicken leg, so it might be a bit small for most folks. This is a more heavy-grade metal, so expect it to last some time.

You don’t need much wood for this style of hot smoking, 1/4 of a handful is plenty I find. Best to stick to lighter fruit woods, too, I find. Mesquite and alder should be used very cautiously!

Smoked salmon in portable smoker large

I would suggest getting the large one. – link here.

Nordic Kettle Smoker – USA made

Now, this is a piece of art, really; you can do either dry or wet hot smoking since it has a water pan system. Having a temperature probe at the top is also a nice feature.

A bit more of an investment, but it does look more suited to a kitchen or porch setup, not so much for camping. Check it out on Amazon here.

BBQ Box Smokers – for inside Gas Grill BBQ

You get a bit of smoke from these, and you can just stick it over the heat in the gas grill and put the hold down.

One key thing is you want one which has a hinge, its a pain in the butt to try and remove a lid from an ultra-hot BBQ smoking box, trust me, I know.

Simple device, Cave Tools do a hinged type, check it out here on Amazon.