Smoking is a great way to enjoy many of our tablefish. From trout in the south to mackerel and tailor in the north, smoked fish is a popular treat for many.
At the recent tackle trade show on the Gold Coast I was shown the Anuka Stove from New Zealand. Tacspo Distributing imports the stove and it makes smoking fish an absolute breeze. Unlike my old, home-made stainless steel box that needed a separate heat source (usually volatile spirits), the Anuka Stove runs on 240V power. You just plug it in and you’re away.
Even better, the stove is an all-in-one package. From the heat source to the wood chip plate and onto the non-stick base that cleans up easily, the Anuka Stove makes smoking fish easy.
The Anuka Stove comes with a lot of standard features in an all-in-one kit. The unit is presented neatly in its own cover and the two racks are large enough hold a decent amount of fish. In the kit you get a power adaptor and timing device, a smoke-dust measuring cup and a sensational instruction and recipe book that has some delicious recipes to try.
The unit sells for around $300 which is great value for money, especially when you consider the great meals you can produce in it.
The biggest test for any smoker is whether it delivers nice food, and the Anuka stove does this extremely well.
This easiest method is to place some fish fillets on the trays, put a cup full of smoker dust on the element (trivet) and pop the lid on. Plug it in, set the timer for about 20 minutes and get ready for some great tasting smoked fish.
Because the Anuka stove cooks while it smokes, the fish can be eaten straight away. The same goes for cheese, mussels, chicken, ham or any of the other foods that taste better smoked.
If you find that you’ve ou can undercook the fish, making for a great tasting treat that gets interrupted as you work your way through the fillets and into the thickest meat. This is an easy problem to overcome with the Anuka stove because it runs on power. You can simply turn the unit back on and it will continue to cook the fish – even if the smoke dust has run out the heat generated by the unit will cook the fish through. With a conventional smoker you have to wait for the burner to cool down, pour in some more shellite or methylated spirits or whatever your using to heat the box, then wait for the box to heat up again and the fish to cook through. The Anuka stove is simple.
And how exactly do you judge if the end product is good? Give it to a bunch of your workmates and see how fast the fish disappears. The result – seven spotty mackerel tails, some basted in soy and honey, the others left plain, all gone in about half an hour. So quick that we didn’t have time to take the finished product shot. That is the best recommendation I can think of for a product.
The Anuka stove has so many good points it’s hard to know where to start. The overall clean design was the first thing I noticed, and after six months of use – the last couple of months being heavy use as the mackerel entered Moreton Bay – this appearance has not dulled. Having two trays allowed me to stack a heap of fillets on at once and that meant that the seagulls (hungry mates) who hang around every time the smoker gets used, could all get a feed and there was still enough for me to have a sliver or two.
The timer set-up was invaluable. Having the ability to ‘set and forget’ wasn’t something I was used to when smoking fish. When using the Anuka I just set everything set up, flick the switch, spin the dial to about 20 minutes and come back when I felt like it. Timer turns off the power to the trivet, stopping the cooking and smoking. I think smoked fish is beautiful cold, so forgetting about the cooking for an hour wasn’t a problem.
Cleaning up was a breeze too. The non-stick surface was a breeze to wipe down and with the ability to stick it in a sink full of warm water, keeping the Anuka clean was easy. If you use a piece of aluminium foil to cover the triviet, you can even keep the element clean from burnt smoker dust. I didn’t cotton on to this trick until I got around to reading the instruction book fully one rainy and windy Sunday afternoon, and I can tell you it make a hell of a lot of difference when it comes to cleaning time. Simply fold up the aluminium foil with the burnt dust inside and pop it in the bin. Then a quick wipe down of the non-stick surface, a quick clean of the trays and you’re done until next time.
After you’ve finished cleaning you can store the unit in it’s own dust cover, which is just perfect for when it’s not used for a month or two. This means every time you go to use the stove it’s ready to go.
While the handles do not transmit any heat, the lid gets very hot, so be careful with your forearms and fingers. Also, if you lift the lid while the cooking is still going on (something you should never do) a big puff of hot and often steamy, smoke-filled air comes rushing straight up. Kids and even adults could get into trouble with this, so be careful.
The timer unit also gets hot. Not so hot that you can’t turn the smoker off or adjust the timer, but hot enough to mean you shouldn’t unplug the timer and power until everything has had a chance to cool down a bit.
With these simple precautions I am sure you’ll have trouble-free smoking for years to come with the Anuka stove. It really is one of the best little inventions I have come across in a while and with my passion for smoked fish colliding head on with New Zealand bred smoking devices, my neighbours, mates and family will all be enjoying great feeds of smoked product for years.
220-240V AC power
Cast aluminium base with non-stick coating
Phenolic Plastic handles that don’t transmit heat
60 minute graduated timer
560mm x 260mm x 260mm
12-month warranty from manufacturer