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I’ve been reviewing grills and cooking products for the home cook for a very long time. I’ve tested probably a dozen outdoor grills, smokers, and pizza ovens over the years. All of them have one thing in common: OUTDOOR. Recently, I was sent the new GE Profile Indoor Smoker to try out, which was unveiled at CES in January, and I got to try out it out in my home kitchen!

As you might imagine, I had many questions about making a smoker for indoor use (my wife possibly had even more than me), but I was excited to try it out and see if it could A) Actually smoke decently and B) not turn my house into a smoke bomb.

Good news! It worked!

Read on to learn more about this new tech, see my test cooks, and read the FAQ!

How do you make an Indoor Smoker?

As you might guess, there are SO many issues you have to address if you want to bring a smoker indoors. Just for starters, outdoor smokers that burn wood create a lot of Carbon Monoxide so… that’s kind of a problem for indoor applications.

But, also, the smell. Nobody wants to run a smoker indoors for obvious reasons.

Somehow, with some very smart engineering, GE Profile has solved these basic problems for this appliance.

No need to get into the science specifics (I’m not a scientist), but the appliance does filter out any dangerous gases with really advanced filtration technology.

Check out the FAQ for more info on the smoke smell but it does have a slight smoke smell, but actually less than if I was smoking something in my outdoor smoker!

So, in short. How do you make an indoor smoker? I have no idea. Is it cool? Very.

The indoor smoker.

My overall REVIEW

I would say my overall review of this appliance (read more details below in my test cooks and the FAQ) is a qualified WOW. As someone who has smoked a lot of food and tried a variety of appliances, I found this one to be exceptionally well-designed.

Unboxing: The indoor smoker was pretty easy to unbox. It comes basically assembled minus a few of the trays with you have to put in (you can also remove them to make room for taller smoke items).

Two notes on unboxing:

  • It is heavy. Not like ceramic grill heavy, but it weighs in around 45 pounds out of the box so you might need some help lifting it and if you aren’t planning on keeping it on your counter, you might need some help moving it.
  • Read the instructions. I’m the guy that frequently just pushes go on appliances, but this is a really new technology and it helps to read the brief information book on things like priming the auger and how to best insure you get a good cook with the appliance.

Style and Size: I love the design and footprint of the indoor smoker. It’s a sleek design that goes well in most kitchens. It also is designed to fit under most standard cabinets so it can slide onto most countertops (you should give some clearance on the sides though). Even my wife was impressed by the overall small footprint of the appliance given what you can cook in it.

Cooking: The indoor smoker has pre-set options of many popular smoking items (chicken, salmon, brisket, etc.) but I immediately found the custom option best as many recipes (even the ones included with the smoker) require a little tweaking from the presets. You can fit a good amount of food in the smoker including a full brisket if you cut it in half (probably a smaller one though like around 14-15 pounds).

I found the cooking to be really easy and straightforward. The indoor smoker comes with a probe as well that is smartly designed and works well to make sure you don’t overcook the food.

I felt really good about the cooking and even felt confident leaving the unit running while I ran some errands.

Smoke: It worth noting that at least for me, in my smaller downtown Denver home lot, even if I’m smoking outside my house smells like a smoker. I find this wonderful, but my wife doesn’t love it. The indoor smoker does make your house smell like something is smoking, but it doesn’t smell like smoke exactly. It just smells like cooking with a slight smokiness to it. Hard to explain, but it’s NOT bad. Also, just to be clear, it didn’t set off any of my smoke alarms or CO alarms in my house.

Cleaning: This unit was pretty easy to clean if you clean it while it’s still warm. I took out the trays and tossed them in the dishwasher and then gently wiped down the inside of the smoker and emptied the drip tray and the water tray. Cleaned up WAY easier than an outdoor smoker!

Cost: Make no rib bones about it, this appliance is pretty pricy for a countertop appliance. It retails for $999. This will solidly put it out of range for many consumers and I wouldn’t recommend it for home cooks just getting started cooking. But for the cooking enthusiast, you’ll probably note that it’s actually cheaper than many outdoor smoker units. So, cost is all relative. It is a lot, but it’s cutting edge tech and produces really solid smoked food.

Test #1: Smoked Salmon

I ran the smoker through two tests. These are the very first things I made in the smoker and I guarantee I would get even better after cooking more in the smoker.

Test one was salmon! I used the built in probe thermometer, rubbed the salmon with a simple rub, and smoked it on level 5 smoke at 250˚F. My salmon hit the desired temperature of 145˚F after about 45-50 minutes.

Smoking salmon in indoor smoker.

The results were very good. I actually prefer smoked salmon cold on a piece of toast or bagel so that’s what I did here. The salmon wasn’t overly smoked but had a nice, subtle smoke flavor and was cooked perfectly.

I thought it was a huge success and would move on to smoking larger cuts in the smoker for breakfasts and brunches!

Smoked salmon on muffin with cream cheese.

Test #2: Ribs

For a trickier test, I tried some St. Louis style ribs I had in my freezer. I rubbed them and added them to the smoker. I did have to cut the racks into two pieces so they would fit. Not a big deal.

Smoking ribs in the indoor smoker.

I smoked them on level five smoke at 235˚F for three hours and then flipped them and cooked them for another two hours. This is when I ran out for some errands and noticed that the cooker will keep your food warm if you are gone when the time goes off.

I ended up reheating the ribs in the smoker with some sauce for dinner. I think I overcooked them slightly but they had great flavor and were really juicy still except for the end ribs which were a little crispy.

Smoked ribs done.

A DEAL for you!

This is a very limited-time deal, but if you wanted to try out this indoor smoker, you can order one with 20% off if you use the code below.

The math wizz in me says that is almost $200 off the purchase price.

Indoor Smoker FAQ

I’ll be the first to admit, I had A BUNCH of questions on this smoker before and while I was testing it. Almost all of them were answered positively. I tried to compile some of the questions I had and I heard from others below.

I’ve also left the comments open on this review so if you have questions about the cooker, leave a comment and I’ll try to source the answer if I don’t know it!

How much food can you smoke at once?

The cooker is smaller than most outdoor smokers, but it holds more than I thought it would. You can fit a full chicken in, two dozen wings at least, a few racks of ribs (cut), and even a whole brisket (probably a smaller one).

Does it smell bad while running?

I was very worried about this as my wife is very sensitive to smoke smells. She actually thought it was better than when I smoke stuff outdoors! I’ll take it.

What types of wood pellets are used?

The smoker comes with the recommended Kona brand of pellets and the smoker is very efficient. Even after running the smoker for basically an entire day, I only used about two cups of pellets. You can use any smaller pellet in the smoker though. It’s flexible.

What happens if you open the door while smoking?

Well, if you surprise the smoker and bust open the door, smoke is gonna come out the door. Obviously. But, the cooker does have a function to clear smoke out of the cooker, which runs and takes about 10 minutes. Then you can cleanly open the door. Also, if you do open the door at any point, the smoking unit turns off so it won’t continue to produce smoke.

Why no smoke ring?!

Ahhh.. the signature smoke ring of smoked meats! You will notice if you look at mine and other photos from this cooker that the smoked meat doesn’t have a traditional smoke ring. This is because that ring is produced by Nitric Oxide that occurs with outdoor wood fires. It doesn’t actually impact the flavor of the food at all. Don’t believe me? Here is an American Test Kitchen article on the subject.

How do I find recipes for the indoor smoker?

You can easily adjust most smoked recipes for this appliance I think. That said, it does come with a useful cookbook from Chef Dallas McGarity from The Fat Lamb with a great starting point for most commonly smoked items.

Who is the ideal person for this indoor smoker?

Any time I’m testing a product like this, I’m always trying to think who this is for. In short, I think this is a great product for someone who lives in a small or medium-sized place without a lot of outdoor space (think balcony). They are passionate about cooking and like smoking but you don’t need to be a smoking aficionado to make this work.

Is it hard to clean?

Any smoker can be tricky to clean. I do think that you probably want to keep this appliance cleaner than an outdoor smoker, especially if you are keeping it on your countertop. It is easy to wipe down though as long as you don’t wait too long after cooking. The grates all fit in the dishwasher. I found it very easy to clean.

Where do you store it?

This is going to be situation-specific. If you are using it weekly, there might be an argument to keep it on your countertop. It will probably fit fine and doesn’t take up much more room than a fancy coffee maker. For me, I’ll be storing mine in the basement (we don’t have a good pantry) and carrying it up when I use it.