Today the new Oster Smoker Roaster arrived in the mail. At $67 including shipping (Amazon), it was a great value. But after unpacking it, the roaster didn’t excite me at first. How can something so simple be expected to work so well? It really does!It is simple to use. You season the meat, set it on the included rack in the roaster pan, add any desired liquid (water, broth, or wine), fill one or both of the chip baskets with wood, put the lid on, and set the temperature. It’s that easy. If you wanted, you could even pre-load the chip baskets with wood before leaving on a camping trip.
The first batch that was run through the new appliance consisted of “country-style pork ribs.” I seasoned them with a rib rub and a touch of brown sugar. They were smoked up with mesquite chips for about two hours at 200 degrees. Barbecue sauce was added 20 minutes before removing the meat. I gave samples to the buddies from the coffee drinking group at the local HyVee grocery store. (We tend to loiter there off-and-on throughout the day.) Everyone liked how the ribs turned out. My buddy Stanley had a helpful suggestion about pre-boiling the ribs for 30 minutes to keep them tender.
In the meantime, at home there were five trout soaking in a brine made of 2 quarts of water and 2/3 cup of kosher salt. (Start with hot water, dissolve the salt, let the brine cool before adding the fish.) Once the fish had been added and soaked in the brine for a few hours, I lightly rinsed and patted them dry, and then placed the trout on the rack in the oven. The temperature was set to 200 degrees F (The Oster manual recommends 225 but it seems like the oven runs just a bit hotter than the temperature markings). About 90 minutes later, here is what came out – apple wood smoked trout.
The taste was exquisite. The trout had taken on a mild saltiness from the brine; the smoke from the apple wood gave it a lovely woody flavor. I called the buddies and we re-convened at the local HyVee – this time trying the fish. The trout were even more popular than the ribs. The buddies and I are talking about meeting up tomorrow and eating more smoked trout but with slices of smoked cheddar cheese and Ritz crackers.
The next project will be to try smoking salmon with a touch of soy in the brine. Smoked chicken or turkey legs sound like a pretty good experiment, too!
As much as I like it already, there are some things to keep in mind when using the Oster Smoker Roaster. Only use the smoking function outdoors or the alarms will go off and you’ll have to open windows and doors. It also consumes a lot of current – you’ll need an electrical hook up or generator if using the smoker while camping. The smoker roaster is pretty large, especially for those of us who camp. (though you can use it like a picnic basket during transport)
So far, the Oster seems to live up to its stellar reviews on Amazon. It’s easy to use and quick to clean up (using soap and water). Everyone appeared to like the food it cooked, including the big boss pictured below. (He had both ribs and fish today) I would recommend the Oster Smoker Roaster to anyone who wants tasty smoked food with a minimal investment of time, money, and effort. It certainly exceeded the expectations in all areas – especially taste!
Take care and thanks for visiting. Have a great weekend!
Bradford, the “Van Trekker”
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