Which cocktail smoker kit is best?
Smoking your cocktails will give you the wow factor that ensures every get-together will be memorable. Cocktail smoker kits can imbue your cocktails and meals with a burning wood smoke scent, adding flavor and complexity to crafted concoctions. These smoking tools are a simple accessory that will boost your bartending skills and impress your friends, family and potential dates. The Polyscience Breville Gun Pro Smoke Infuser is a commercial-grade smoker that can smoke fish, meat, vegetables, and most importantly, your cocktails.
What to know before you buy a cocktail smoker kit
The key to mastering cocktail smoking is thoroughly understanding the process and what factors play into making a smoky drink. You will want to know what accessories to look out for, and which ones you will need to purchase if they do not come with the cocktail smoker kit you choose.
Scientifically, smoke molecules bind more easily to cold molecules and a cocktail smoker is best used on cold drinks. Do not try to smoke a cocktail then warm it up; heating the cocktail will dissipate the smoked flavor, making the process a wasted effort. In short, a chilled cocktail will better hold the smoky essence.
Technically the only tool you need to smoke a cocktail is the smoking gun itself. However, if you want to keep the process safe and your house smoke-free, you will want to invest in additional accessories.
The most popular cocktail smoking guns come with a dome to fit over the beverage being smoked. This contains the smoke and keeps it from wafting throughout your entire home. Some domes also come with a wooden board to protect your countertops.
If without a dome, a cocktail smoker kit may come in a box form. Cocktail smoking boxes usually have a stainless steel frame and clear paneling for a more dramatic smoked beverage experience.
Wood chips are the standard fuel of cocktail smokers, and their flavors will impact a meticulously crafted cocktail. There are many wood chip flavors on the market, but the most popular varieties are apple, cherry, hickory, mesquite and pecan.
- Apple has a mild, slightly sweet flavor.
- Cherry is mild with hints of contrasting sweet and tart flavors.
- Hickory wood chips are the most popular choice and have a strong sweet flavor.
- Mesquite is stronger and sweeter than hickory.
- Pecan has a nuttier smokey flavor.
What to look for in a quality cocktail smoker kit
A top-tier cocktail smoker kit will give you control over the smoke output and have a reliable power source. It will be made for convenience with portability and easily cleaned parts.
The amount of smoke emitted by a cocktail smoker is usually controllable by a dial on the side of the device. Smokers with fast and slow fan speeds are exemplary since a fast speed is useful for igniting the wood chips and a slow speed is ideal for the actual smoking process.
AA batteries are the common power source of standard cocktail smokers. If you want a smoker that will last longer before needing to be charged or have its batteries replaced, look for one with a USB connection cord and lithium-ion batteries. The USB connection cord allows for easy recharging so you don’t have to worry about keeping the battery full.
Many cocktail smokers are compact and lightweight for portability and easy storage. Look for a model with a removable chamber and replaceable filters that make cleaning the device an easy task. The detachable pieces of a smoker will sometimes be made dishwasher safe.
How much you can expect to spend on a cocktail smoker kit
Most cocktail smoker kits are priced at $100 and up. Kits with additional accessories will cost more than standalone smoking tools.
Cocktail smoker kit FAQ
When should I smoke a cocktail while making a drink?
A. Add all the ingredients of your drink into one glass and either shake or stir according to the recipe instructions. Once your drink is well mixed you should begin smoking your cocktail. Top your drink with a garnish after you have finished using your smoker.
How long do you smoke a cocktail?
A. Most bartenders agree that you should smoke the cocktail for 1-4 minutes, depending on how smoky you want your drink to be.
What are the best cocktail smoker kits to buy?
Top cocktail smoker kit
What you need to know: This smoking gun is sold either individually with wood chips or as a set with wood chips and a glass chamber.
What you’ll love: This cocktail smoker kit comes with a smoking gun, an extender hose, batteries, wood chips and extra smoke screens. The smoke output is customizable with a convenient dial and several pieces of the gun are dishwasher-safe.
What you should consider: This product is commercial grade and is pricier than other smoking gun options.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top cocktail smoker kit for the money
What you need to know: This is a seven-piece bartending kit that includes a carrying case, white oak smoke board, three flavors of wood chips, handheld kitchen torch and mason jar.
What you’ll love: The smoker set is portable and comes with apple, pecan and cherry chips for customizing a variety of drinks with different wood-smoked scents. The kit includes all the necessary accessories for smoking cocktails, making it an easy one-time purchase.
What you should consider: Butane, a flammable gas, cannot be shipped and is the only item omitted from this kit. The handheld kitchen torch will need to be filled with butane before use.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This smoker kit comes with a smoking gun, replacement screens, applewood and hickory wood chips, batteries, instructions and list of recipes.
What you’ll love: The smoking gun itself has an integrated stand, configurable smoke output, and a removable hose and burn chamber for easy washing. The cold smoke system is portable and battery operated.
What you should consider: It is difficult to clean parts of the gun aside from the removable hose and burn chamber.
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Gwen Swanson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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