I wanna be able to slow smoke things like boston butt, tri tip etc, but unfortunately, living in NYC in a studio apartment, i dont have access to anywhere outdoors that i can use a real barbecue. Yesterday i experimented with a stovetop / oven smoker, made from 2 aluminum pans of different depths, hickory chips, and layers of aluminum foil as drip pans and covers. It took me a while to get the wood smoking, and by the time i hit 6 hours and thought to check the temp, it was already at 211 degrees. It was actually still pretty tender and juicy, but i know it could be better.
I tried getting it smoking by leaving the oven door open, and sitting it on the lowest rack, directly above the heating element, the idea being to get the chips smoking while leaving the temp around 200 degrees. (I was afraid of melting the aluminum foil by putting it directly on the stove.) After 2 hours, i realized i wasn't getting smoke, just a little steam from the wet chips, so i carefully put it on the electric burner, and i got it smoking, then put it back in the oven at 250 for a while, repeating the process every so often to generate more smoke. It seemed to be working great, other than the fact it reached 211 degrees after 6 hours.
My idea to achieve the smoking effect at a lower temperature, is to use a tall stock pot, chips on the bottom, and elevated racks, and just crank up the heat on the burner every hour or so to generate the smoke, then turn it back down to low. I'm not sure how low the temp would be inside the pot, but i could experiment with heat sinks towards the top of the pot, to keep the temp down, but allow the smoke to generate at the bottom. Maybe put a towel soaked in ice water on the lid, and change it every time i turn up the heat.
What does everyone think?