Did you just try out the lavish and fancy smoked cheese and salmon meal your neighbor cooked up last week? Surely, they must’ve spent a fortune on that, and no one regularly buys things like smoked cheese, or chips, or even smoked hard-boiled eggs? Do they even exist?
Turns out they do, and there’s no need to go to fancy supermarkets and buy specialized smoked cheeses with up charges put on them. If a smoky flavor in food is your thing, then something called cold smoking will surely pique your interest. Cold smoking is the process of imparting the signature smoky flavor to a portion of food without actually cooking it.
It’s done at cool ambient temperatures. A cold smoke generator can be used for the purpose where food can be kept in ventilated conditions for some time, only for it to acquire the nice, smoky flavor to spice up your next bbq. Here are some of the best cold smoke generators we’ve seen:
1. Smoke Daddy Big Kahuna
Smoke Daddy Big Kahuna, as its name suggests, makes some pretty big promises and delivers on them effectively. It’s surely a product for pro BBQ users where it lets out a humongous amount of smoke pretty easily. This medium-size device can be used for cold as well as hot smoking pursuits, which makes it so versatile. There is also a plethora of airflow settings, so you can choose the perfect airflow for the best smoky beef jerky there is! Newbies for this art may face a slight learning curve, but if they start with this, they will learn in no time.
The Big Daddy Kahuna needs to be fixed to your grill. It trades portability for being an absolute monster at what it does, specializing well and becoming your BBQ night’s highlight.
2. A-MAZE-N Oval Expanding Pellet Tube Smoker
Another offering from Amazon is a small but sleek offering, a simple tubular structure that can easily fit into purses and bags. The construction is quality as well since it is made from corrosion-resistant stainless steel; its biggest advantage is that it’s one of the smallest and most effective passive smoke generators here. It can easily be taken to any BBQ party where the host doesn’t have a cold smoke generator for their food.
This device is capable of cold and hot smoking, and I’m spite of its size, it can support a whopping 4-6 hours of burn time! That’s pretty impressive if you ask us. The design is simple as well, or as simple as it can get for an effective smoke generator; it is a long tube that runs on wood pellets. The size can be switched from 12 inches to 18 inches since the design is just two tubes within each other. This allows some degree of control over the amount of smoke produced, which was almost impossible with passive cold smoke generators.
The quality matches the company’s larger products in a small form factor.
3. Amaze-N Pellet Tube Smoker
This is one of the passive cold smoke generating models on the list- that means it doesn’t take up electricity and is comparatively simpler to use. This also comes with ease of use and affordability, making it just the right pick for a Jew at cold smoking or who wants to practice some before moving on to the more advanced machines. The design is pretty simple, and one just needs to fill in a chamber with the fuel of choice (wood powder, chips, or pellets) and light it up. Viola!
Now you are the proud owner of a simple and quick cold smoker that can spice up anything that can be smoked! It is portable as well, meaning you can just pick it up and plop it on the top of any grill- at your home or a friend’s home… absolutely anywhere! The food capacity is easily enough for one batch of food to be produced,
4. Smokehouse Products Smoke Chief Cold Smoke Generator
This is an active cold smoke generator offered by Smokehouse Products, a brand famous for…well, its BBQ solutions as seen in the name. It’s the perfect treat for those who want to try their hand at smoking food – either hot or cold since this machine is capable of both, after a bit of experience at the grill. It is comparatively easy to use than other active cold smoke generators,
The Smoke Chief is lighter than other active cold smoke generators, and even though a hole needs to be drilled on the grill, it doesn’t need to be permanently bound to the thing, so that’s a plus. Its mechanism relies on a smoke chamber and an air pump that pumps air into the beautiful salmon that will make everyone sepal with joy because of how beautifully smoked it is. All components are housed within a beautiful metal body, making it appear much less intimidating.
Buyer’s Guide To Buy The Best Cold Smoke Generator
If you’re a BBQ enthusiast, it’s no surprise that you’re wanting to delve into the world of cold smoking at any instant. However, there are many brands offering cold smoke generators. You cannot just pick one random generator off the market and purchase it; that would pretty obviously lend itself to a myriad of issues.
Some factors to consider are the space the smoke generator takes up, the mode of operation, and the size of the grill you want to use the cold smoker with. If you choose a product with all these factors in mind, you’ll undoubtedly end up with a product that helps you come to a pro cold smoke chef in no time! What kind of wood chips the smoker is designed to run on is also vital since the wood type used for the smoke is another dimension to making the ideal smoked meat or cheese. Some products are multi-purpose or require altering your existing grill, so it’s best to check up on those requirements as well.
- Check the Compatibility: Cold smoke generators are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some of them are designed to fit into your existing grill or fit into cooking vessels like baking sheets. Therefore, it is crucial to carefully evaluate your use case and choose one accordingly. Some fit into your existing grill and need drilling a hole into it, so that is a factor to consider as well if you’re looking for a large volume. These are often the more advanced models where you can have a long-running setup with an electric power supply and advanced controls. For people with smaller volume requirements, passive portable smoke generators are available that can fit into cooking trays.
- Passive Cold Smoke Generator: A passive smoke generator is the perfect one for those who’re trying their hand at cold smoking for the first time. It is a modern form of the technique used back when cold smoking was first discovered. Passive cold smoke generators have been in use for millennia by humans. It consists of nothing more than the fuel (usually a wood powder or chips) slowly burning inside an enclosed container. It doesn’t generate any heat and can be used in pretty much any grill or even cooking trays or boxes. They are incredibly easy to use and do not require much of a setup or technical knowledge to use. However, a passive cold smoke generator can usually only deal with small volumes except for some specific models. One upside is that it doesn’t use any electricity, and for most cases, there are no alterations that need to be made to the grill in question. You can plop it in and out whenever you’re in the mood to smoke some tasty Gouda.
- Active Smoke Generator: Active smoke generators are the way to go if you have much more heavy-duty uses for cold smoke generator apparatus and have a higher volume of cooking. It is better for people who like an exact temperature and duration for their smoked foods. These come with a cost, though, and often more expensive than their passive counterparts. They also often need electricity and air pumps. A permanent fixture to the grill may also be needed. But even though the initial setup might take some time, no further setup is needed, and foods can be smoked with a myriad of features; these advanced smoke generators have as per the specifications of the user to ensure the best taste possible in the most hassle-free manner.
- Fuel Types: There is a wide range of fuel that’s available for cold smoke generators. There are different types of fuel needs for different cold smoke generators. Most of the fuel is often wood-based. Wood powder is probably your best bet for quality smoking. Even though it is expensive, it is perfect for smoldering, which adds smoke to the process. Wood chunks are a widely available and inexpensive option if the wood powder is not your thing, though. But they need higher temperatures to burn, which is detrimental to cold smoking. Wood pellets used in pellet grills are an excellent middle ground between wood powder and wood chips, though, since they’re easily available and not too expensive. You might even have some lying around for your grill.
- Complexity and Attachment: There are different levels of commitment cold smoke generators come in. The basic variants are so easy to use that it’s amazing; just add fuel, light it up, and leave the generator with the food you want to smoke, and viola! Smoked Gouda is ready! These are mostly passive cold smoke generators. They prefer ease of use and cheapness over a huge degree of control. They do the job just fine for the occasional smoking needs.
However, as they get advanced, the level of commitment increases. Some of the advanced cold smoke generators need to be permanently attached to a grill, so that should play a part in consideration of the idea, cold smoke generators. They also often need some gas connections and electricity as well. However, this effort for initial setup pays off as now you have access to an unnatural amount of settings like control, duration, temperature, and much more! These also have the ability to do multiple batches of food, so if you are a high volume user, an active cold smoke generator more than making a sip for it.
- Smoking Run time: Most cold smoke generators have a run time of two hours, which is the safe limit for cold smoking. So that covers an entire batch of food. But if one needs multiple batches of food for huge parties or assembly lines, active cold smoke generators with more than two hours of run time and advanced features may be more suitable.
For BBQ novices and veterans alike, a cold smoke generator can provide a glorious addition to a household. It can be one of the most affordable tools one can find for BBQ and can enhance pretty much any good item it comes in contact with. The models for people with not very high needs in the field can be as cheap as $20, while enthusiasts can purchase active cold smoke generators with advanced features and fixtures for around $200, which are high capacity and top of the line.
If one does cold smoking with precautions and careful precision, it can be an enriching addition to BBQ dinners or general smoky cravings. Happy grilling!
What is the best temperature for cold smoking?
Ideally, cold smoking should be done when ambient temperatures are around 20 degrees Celsius, the higher range being around 30 degrees Celsius. This procedure does not cook anything, so meats and food that can be spoiled should be cured before this process.
What types of foods can be cold smoked?
The sky’s the limit when it comes to what food you can put into a cold smoke generator! Things like smoked salmon and cheeses are quite famous and posh, but with the recent trend, you can also put in things like vegetables such as cauliflower, carrots, and much more to have your veggie barbecue.