Most dining rooms might be "no smoking" these days, but we doubt if kitchens ever will be.

Using smoke to cook and add flavor to food is an ancient method--and one that shows no sign of dissipating.

We scoured the country for inventive and delicious smoked dishes, and the findings were bountiful. In Chicago, smoke is sprayed with maltodextrin to create a smoke-flavored powder that is then rubbed over fish. Northern Californians can order smoked pasta at Oakland's Haven, where flour is oven-smoked before being turned into dough (click here to see the slide show of smoked dishes).

At chef Govind Armstrong's just-opened Post & Beam in Los Angeles, applewood is used to smoke ribs on a grill; we've adapted the recipe for stovetop smoking (click here to see the recipe). For something lighter, try our recipe for soba noodles, which gain added depth from a quick smoke on the stove with hickory chips (click here to see the recipe).

If you need us, we'll be in the smoking section.