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Nov 29, 2010 08:21 AM

Smoking Gun

I just read about a hand-held smoker called The Smoking Gun. Has anyone used one of these or at least seen a demo? I'm really curious about it.

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    1. I saw it at either the Restaurant or Housewares show. It doesn't generate a lot of smoke and is intended for use with more delicate items. For example, you wouldn't want to smoke a salmon with it but it's fine for adding smoke to a slice of sushi salmon or salad greens (adding real smoke to either by conventional methods would kill the texture).

      1. I have one; it's designed to apply smoke as a finish or to smoke small items. What do you want to know about it?

        2 Replies
        1. re: wattacetti

          Do you like it - would you buy it again? What sort of things have you done with it? If the flavor good suble - barely perceptable subtle? thanks very much.

          1. re: RRobertaR

            Not a bad purchase but with a limited burn due to a small capacity holder for the wood chips and the plastic fan. It does leak smoke so a good exhaust fan is a necessity. Polyscience sells a set of chips but you should be able to get cheaper elsewhere (and you can also burn coffee).

            I have smoked primarily fish and shellfish, avocado and foie gras. Going from subtle to overly intense is really easy to do and is essentially a matter of seconds. It's easier to control with larger portions than smaller ones. Flavor also depends on which wood you want to use; I liked apple and cherry better than mesquite and hickory.

        2. I dont understand, why not just sprinkle on a few drops of liquid smoke, it's real smoke just passed through water, no chemicals.

          13 Replies
          1. re: malibumike

            Because the quality of the liquid smoke is variable depending on source.

            Because you can`t choose the type of smoke that you want to apply to your product: liquid smoke is generally hickory or mesquite so you`re SOL if you want spice, pine, coffee and other aromatics.

            Because you can't evenly "smoke" a food with liquid smoke by attempting to sprinkle it on: you`ll get patches with too intense a smoke flavor and other bits with no smoke flavor.

            Liquid smoke would have to be painted on (you will have to dilute it and then water down your product) or added to something that would then coat the product evenly (e.g. a rub of some type). That doesn't work for raw applications (e.g. you tint the scallop) nor if you`re trying to add smoke to finish a dish.

            1. re: wattacetti

              You are right about the type of smoke. You could put some in a spray bottle for more even coverage.

              1. re: malibumike

                It still gets your product wet and spray = uneven coverage (spray Windex on a window to see).

                1. re: wattacetti

                  The sprayers I use put out a very fine and evenly distributed spray, it just seems to me this smoke gun is another yuppie toy, and there will be some that dont want the house "stunk" up with the smoke, that forces many to use it outside, sounds very inconvient.

                  1. re: malibumike

                    Don't knock it till you try it, and most people I know who have one cook for a living.

                    I'm just not into unnecessarily soaking my food with liquid

                    1. re: wattacetti

                      If we are talking about meats I can tell you that I've been smoking meat for decades in a professional smoker and this yuppie toy is not going to do anything to something like a brisket, pork butt, etc. that can take up to 24 hours to smoke. As far as getting the meat wet one shot of a good fine spray you will not even see moisture on the product!!!

                      1. re: malibumike

                        You're on two different tracks. The smoking gun is for adding smoke flavor without impairing texture. You can add smoke to lettuce or other delicate vegetables with no discernible change in appearance. Ditto slices of cheese or raw fish for sushi.

                        Liquid smoke is for marinades, bastes, sauces or a quick spray on meat. It's simply a different animal.

                        Much like soy sauce powder can be used as an alternative to soy sauce where you don't want added moisture.

                        1. re: malibumike

                          Wow, it's been something like 20 years since I've heard the routine use of the word "yuppie". Ferret's given yet another explanation which I hope is clear for you since I've obviously not be able to be clear for you.

                          1. re: wattacetti

                            I guess I cant understand who in this world would want smoke on lettuce unless they were already smoking something else.

                            1. re: malibumike

                              malibu: "...who in this world..."

                              I think it may be kinda the same crowd who/market that marvel at oyster essence martinis and nicotine-flavored ice cream.

                              I'm more with you on this one. This is battery-powered thingy, seems to me, is for folks who don't have or want a cold smoker. Otherwise they'd just put their salad bowl or whatever in for a bit.

                              How much smoke gets blown on 4AA batteries, anyway? A possible redneck improvement?: A couple wood chips dropped in the blowdryer or heat gun?

                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                I'm not gonna call the smoking gun useless. It probably is good for quickly applying smoke to small amounts of food for a slight flavoring (as opposed to fully cold smoking, or using liquid smoke which also adds liquid and brown color). Also, some people like the presentation of something in an inverted bowl of smoke, though that seemed dated about 5 minutes after it was first dreamed up.

                                At the same time, it seems like an expensive solution for what it is. A stove top smoker is cheaper (though it typically also applies heat). I've cold smoked various things in a weber grill with a tin can full of wood shavings and a soldering iron. I imagine I could modify that set up to blow smoke into an enclosed space for a good deal less than the cost of a Smoking Gun. I'll put it on my list of projects.

                                Will my post get deleted if I mention a gravity bong? Cause the same concept should work just fine for isolating some wood smoke. And cheap.

                                1. re: cowboyardee

                                  And guys like Chadzilla have also written about DIY smoke guns. I don't think he used a bong.

                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                    cowboy: No, the SG's not useless--for a WHIFF of smoke, it makes sense if that's ALL you want to do. I can't imagine (or can't imagine a restaurant paying someone to stand for hours) smoking cheese with one of these, though.

                                    I like the bong idea.

              2. Anyone got any more views on the smoking gun? Also can you use none branded sawdust/small chips with it?