Published January 1, 2006. From Cook's Illustrated.
Do smoker bags perform, or are they just 'smoke and mirrors'?
Although we came up with an indoor method to produce great smoky ribs (see Oven-Barbecued Spareribs under Related Content), we wondered whether smoker bags on the market were worth an extra trip to the store.
The SAVU Smoker Bag wowed us with a simple system in which a mixture of ground wood chips, hardwood syrup, and natural sugars are contained within the walls of a large foil bag. This allowed the smoke to pass through small perforations in the foil to get to the food contained within. The ribs emerged juicy, tender, and—after a quick run under the broiler—nicely crusted.