My Husband likes food.  He loves to go to new restaurants and try new things.  He really loves things that are smoked.  Now, we live in an apartment with no outdoor access, so smoking food is not the easiest thing for us, but one day we were out and saw an indoor, stovetop smoker, and an idea was born:  Husband said, next time I needed to buy him a gift, that was what he wanted.

Now, when Husband says that he wants something material, I usually get it, because he really doesn’t covet much.  But an indoor, stovetop smoker?  I smell more than cedar chips.  See, Husband is not great at reading directions, and putting those directions into actions.

I told him “Here’s the deal.  I don’t want to smoke meats.  I don’t really like smoked meats.  This is not a hobby I want to pursue.  So if I get you a smoker, it’s all on you.  You learn how to do it, and you’re responsible for it.”  He said “of course.”

So I bought him a smoker for the December holiday season.  And January rolled around and he kept saying “We should break out the smoker” and I would ignore the use of the word “we”, and tell him he was free to use it anytime he wished.  And the smoker sat untouched for January.

February strolled in and he said, “Let’s smoke salmon today.”  And I went into the cabinet where I had put the box containing the smoker and handed it to him.  “Have Fun” I said.

“Can you help?”

“When I bought this for you, I specifically told you that this was not a hobby I chose to pursue.”

“But I don’t know what to do?” (he was whining by now)

“Guess what?  Neither do I.”

“Yeah, but you know how to read instructions”

And all I could think was , yup, this man has two masters degrees.  “I have faith in you.” I said.

Which led to more whining.  So I said, “Here’s the deal.  I will stand next to you while you do it.”

“If you do it once, I’ll get how it’s done.”

My frustration level was at about 1000.  This is not something I had any interest in doing, but how much of a fight was this worth?

I read over the really simple instructions for making smoked salmon.  I told him how easy the process was.

Whining by him.

So I stood next to him in the kitchen, reading him the instructions as if he was a three year old with finger paints (because yes, that is the level of complexity- finger painting)

And the meal turned out fine, if you like smoked salmon, which I don’t.  But anyway.

The other day he wanted to make smoked chicken thighs.  I said optimistically “You remember how to do it?”

”Just help me one more time.  Then I’ll know it.” He said.

”Place wood chips in small pile in center of smoker.  Place piece of Tin foil on top.  Put rack atop that.  Add chicken thighs.  Close cover.  Put on stove on medium”  I said, from memory.

”Wait, what?” He said.

The smoker may end up in the donation pile.

69 thoughts on “The Stovetop Smoker

  1. We don’t have a smoker, but we do have an ice cream maker the husband badly wanted and insists he will use. He used it once and it has sat on a shelf for 15 years. I am not kidding. 15 years! He won’t give it up at a garage sale either.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bwaahahaha, this is so predictable and soo funny. I am convinced that men are genetically unable to read manuals. Men are emperical by nature. 🙂 I once met a guy who admitted that he read manuals. The first thing that popped into my head was: Really? I did not know you were gay? Thoroughly engrained these thoughts are.

    Also: if a guy said women are genetically unable to operate a machine I would explode. So I do wonder what makes think I can get away with the above. (Cause it’s true!) It IS true that men have a more difficult time finding ‘stuff’ like keys or glasses, specifically if the environment is messy ‘because they are men’ – has something to do with they way guys look at things, more general, less detail. You know, the mammoth versus berries thing.

    If your husband has a lot of cramps in his calfs or other bodyparts, tingling or dead finger tips or headaches because of having worked too much you might want to visit a homeopathic doctor because an extreme liking for smoked foods could be (could be! does not have to) be a sign of issues with Calcium uptake. Also very useful during pregnancies, but I’m guessing he does not have that. 😀

    Thank you for a lovely story.
    xx, Feeling

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Though pregnancy would explain his hormonal mood swings…..but seriously, he does get calf cramps but he attributes it to not stretching enough post running. But, instruction reading…..yeah…..it boggles my mind….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ghegheghe….. thanks for another good laugh.
        If he were to eat a spoon full of sesame seeds before running and he has no cramps after – this could be calcium related. Sesame seeds have a lot of calcium. Need to chew it really fine to paste though, otherwise there is use. Eating this half an hour before bedtime helps me sleep better.
        xx, Feeling

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Isn’t it frustrating when our “men” with degrees, and experience enough to run million dollar budgets act like such babies when they don’t want to do something? I feel your frustration sister. Don’t even get me started on how they are when they’re sick 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow, so funny. We’ve got a fryer because…french fries. It sits in the cabinet taking up valuable space because it is too hard to use/to big to keep out and he uses a regular pot instead. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have told my husband that he can learn how to cook soon. As my mother used to say if you can read you can cook. It might be a little more complicated for him, but yea he wants me to stand next to him and tell him what to do. I am tired after work and just want to get it over with so it is easier to do it myself. I guess I am my own worst enemy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. At our house, it’s his cell phone. He says he has fat fingers and can’t swipe things. The question about how to cut off an app pops up constantly. He can’t understand why something didn’t get sent. Why does the camera come on when he doesn’t touch anything? If there were new questions once in a while, it wouldn’t be so bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m not familiar with a stovetop smoker, but have heard many a story about whining husbands. Does the man not make the connection between saying and doing? About eating and preparing? Apparently not. At least you make the connection between clutter and the donation pile. 👍

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Ain’t it always that way. My ex husband was a bit like that. One year, he decided he wanted some venison so he went and got Bambi. He then proceeded to clean and dress it in my shower in the middle of the night because it wasn’t exactly hunting season yet. And I wake up to a bathroom that looks like someone was murdered in my bathroom. I was 8 months pregnant, which is why I didn’t hear him with his adventures. And he had the nerve to tell me he couldn’t clean the bathroom because he had been up all night and was too tired. How do you call your friend who has been helping with the housework because you’re 8 months pregnant to ask if she’ll help you clean up an illegal murder in the bathroom?

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Ha! I had almost the exact same experience! I hate smoked meats, and yet despite knowing this, my mom bought my husband a smoker. (He’s come quite far in learning how to boil water, the once every 3 years he tries, so I suppose she thought he was ready). I got stuck assembling it and showed him how to use it several times via getting stuck cooking icky smoked things. Now, ours is an outdoor smoker, and said husband claims to love the freezing cold and snow, so when he decided he wanted to smoke a rack of ribs in single digit temperatures with snow falling, he was on his own. Six hours later I brought the raw ribs inside and tried to turn them into something we could eat. He hasn’t touched the smoker since (this was 2016). Good times!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. OMG! That’s my husband too! Couldn’t they have warned us before we married these seemingly intelligent men? My husband was an engineer before he retired for gosh sakes. I’m pretty sure that career required some reading and a bit of following logical steps. Fortunately, we don’t have a smoker – inside or out – and he’s not getting one.

    Liked by 1 person

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