Do you want to prepare smoked bacon and cheese that taste better than commercial brands?
Turn your culinary dreams into reality with a cold smoke generator. This accessory can expand your cooking repertoire by allowing you to produce restaurant-quality treats at home.
Here’s a list of the 5 best cold smoke generators on the market. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced cook, you’re sure to find a machine that will match your needs.
But first, let’s take a closer look at this clever contraption.
What is a Cold Smoke Generator?
Cold smoke generators are mesh devices that are made from stainless steel or aluminum. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from narrow cylinders and wide discs to bulky boxes. You can use them with most conventional grills or smokers.
Some cold smoke generators require an electric power source, but most need traditional fuel. A cold smoke generator is usually filled with small wooden chunks, BBQ pellets, or sawdust. This fuel is burned for several hours.
With a cold smoke generator, you can prepare a variety of ready-to-eat items like:
Sounds complicated? It takes a little practice, but you’re in for a treat once you get the hang of your cold smoke generator.
Our Top 5 Best Cold Smoke Generators of 2021
1. Smoke Daddy Big Kahuna Cold Smoke Generator
One of the biggest names in cold smoke generators, the Smoke Daddy Big Kahuna has 5-star ratings from 70% of customers on Amazon.
This compact cold smoker from Smoke Daddy can be attached to most barbecue grills. It has a narrow firebox that burns wood chunks or chips. Since it is made of top-grade aluminum, this product will stand the test of time.
This versatile accessory can be used for both hot and cold smoking. You can easily adjust the smoke settings to match any item. It lets you smoke a large quantity of food, making it a great option for cookouts and parties.
Clogging is not a problem, thanks to its clever design. The outlet tube is located high on the container, plus there’s enough room for excess ash.
The best part? Its safety design means you can smoke food overnight unattended.
Mounting Smoke Daddy’s Big Kahuna is easy with the right tools. Simply drill or punch a hole on one side of the smoker. Then, attach the pipe with the washers and seals provided in the package. Make sure the cylinder is positioned vertically.
Take note that pellets and sawdust are not suitable for this product. You will not get enough smoke if you use either option as fuel.
2. Smokehouse Products Smoke Chief Cold Smoke Generator
The Smoke Chief produces smoke worth three hours on a single serving of BBQ wood pellets.
The superior quality of this product makes it a great choice for experienced cooks. This is an electrical device, so all you have to do is plug it into a 12-volt DC outlet. It doesn’t require matchsticks, lighters, or torches.
This appliance from Smokehouse can utilize wood pellets, unlike other smoke generators that only work with wood chunks and chips. These pellets are more convenient to use, another plus for the Smoke Chief.
The Smoke Chief is compatible with most smoking cabinets or grills. All you need is a ⅜-hole to accommodate a 2-inch pipe. You may not even have to do any drilling if your grill already has a rotisserie hole.
If you’re a newbie, you may want to look at other options. Since it requires electricity, the Smoke Chief is more high maintenance compared to other products. You also need to watch it closely during operation.
Take note that the narrow pipe can quickly clog up because of extra ash. The amount of ash that can accumulate depends on the kind of wood you’re using.
If you want a no-fuss cold smoke generator, choose the Amaze-N Pellet Tube Smoker.
At first glance, this device looks more like an industrial tool rather than a cold smoker. It may seem plain in comparison with the other products on this list. Don’t worry, it gets the job done.
What sets this product apart is its simple design and portability. Since it is only 12 inches long and 2 inches in diameter, you can pack it away in a small tote. This makes it an ideal choice for camping trips and tailgate cookouts.
Even amateur cooks can learn to use it within minutes. All you have to do is fill the chamber with wood pellets, then set it on fire. Smoke issues evenly from evenly spaced rectangular holes for maximum flavor.
This Amaze-N Pellet model is made of sturdy stainless steel for durability. Plus, customers get a 30-day guarantee.
The Amaze-N Pellet is pretty straightforward to use. It doesn’t require the user to drill any extra holes in your grill. All you need to do is place it beside the food on top of the grill. While it’s a cylinder, it has a clever design that prevents it from rolling off flat surfaces.
The small size of this tube smoker allows you to smoke only a small amount of food. The smoke only lasts for about 4 hours.
If you want to go high-tech, choose the Masterbuilt Slow Smoker Accessory Attachment.
This product is designed exclusively for Masterbuilt electric smokers. This accessory can be used with ease by both professionals and amateurs. If you have a minimalist kitchen, you’ll love the classic matte black scheme and smooth exterior.
With a push of a button, you can smoke jerky, cheese, bacon, fish, or cheese. The Slow Smoker Accessory is designed for slow smoking at lower temperatures. It can provide non-stop smoke for 6 hours.
The smoking duration would depend on the kind of wood you use. For example, soaked chips can last anywhere between 4 and 6 hours, while dry chips will only last 2 to 3 hours. The Masterbuilt Slow Smoker can also burn wood pellets.
To get the best results, switch off the unit after the chips or pellets are lit. Keeping the unit on will result in extra smoke and heat. Your food may end up getting burnt or over-smoked.
Cleanup is a breeze, thanks to a detachable ashtray.
No need to get a drill or extra pipe with this product. It attaches seamlessly to the side of all Masterbuilt smokers. Look for the wood chip loader on your Masterbuilt appliance.
Remember that this accessory is made specifically for Masterbuilt appliances. It won’t work with other grills or smokers.
Skip this product if you have a small cooking area. If you factor in the main smoker, this option can take up as much space as a small refrigerator.
The Realcook 8” has a unique spiral design that accommodates more fuel and maximizes smoke production.
You can smoke a variety of foods like fish, pork, turkey, cheese, and ribs on the Realcook. This accessory is ideal for both hot and cold smoking. It fits on most grills, including electric, charcoal, gas and pellet grills.
For best results, use fine sawdust with the Realcook. Its circular design allows the user to add extra sawdust and save space. You can use it to smoke food for 4-7 hours, depending on the kind of sawdust you’re using.
The Realcook is made of lightweight and durable materials. Despite its unconventional shape, you can easily take the Realcook with you wherever you’re going. It has handles on either side so you can safely lift it from the grill.
By far, this is the simplest cold smoke generator to install. All you need to do is place it on top of your grill. No drilling or extra pipes are required.
It requires a blowtorch to use. Avoid using wood chunks or pellets with this device.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Cold Smoking?
Cold smoking is the process of preserving food. Instead of heating food directly, you expose it to smoke. This method produces a distinct smoky flavor without any charred or burnt bits. Usually, you don’t need to cook items that have been cold smoked.
This traditional method of preserving food was practiced before refrigerators were invented. Cold smoking allowed meats to stay fresh longer, allowing people to have more nutrition during the winter. Before smoking, food will usually be cured or salted to further prevent spoilage.
Nowadays, cold smoking has evolved into a method of adding subtle flavor to meats and other kinds of foods. Since the smoke dries out the food, this process kills bacteria that thrive in moist conditions.
Cold smoking can last anywhere from 3 hours to 2 days. This long period allows rich flavors to permeate multiple layers of the meat. With time, people have developed more efficient methods that bolster these smoky flavors.
Previously, cold smoking was done in a special room with racks for hanging meats. New inventions now allow people to do this process in a small kitchen, backyard, or campsite.
What is the Best Wood for Cold Smoking?
The best wood for cold smoking is hardwood like mesquite, Applewood, and cherry. Always base your decision on the kind of meat you want to smoke. Different meats require different kinds of wood.
- If you want to cold smoke pork, choose Applewood for a sweet and fruity profile.
- Meats like beef and venison are best smoked with intense woods like hickory and mesquite.
- Cheeses require woods that have milder aromas like oak, maple, or pecan.
- Complement the natural flavor of fish with cedar, alder, orangewood, or peach.
Choose wood that tends to smolder. You want long-lasting embers for the cold smoking process.
Similar to grills, you can use wood pellets, chunks, or sawdust in your cold smoker. Read the instruction manual to guide your selection.
Not all kinds of woods are good for cold smoking meat and other foods. Some can produce poisonous smoke or bitter residue that will make your food inedible. Never use elm, spruce, fir, and redwood for cold smoking.
What is the Best Temperature for Cold Smoking?
As a rule, you should always cold smoke at the lowest temperature possible. The ideal temperature for cold smoking meats is between 50-68 degrees Fahrenheit or 10-20 degrees Celsius. This temperature also works for dairy and seafood.
If you opt for a higher temperature, you will end up with cooked, not smoked, food. You won’t get the flavor and texture that cold smoking can provide.
Take note that the exact temperature can vary depending on the humidity and airflow. You should take these factors into account before setting the temperature. Make sure you keep a consistent temperature to avoid spoilage or botulism.
What Type of Foods Can I Cold Smoke?
Deli staples like salami or bacon come to mind when you think of cold smoking. However, a surprising variety of foods can be cold smoked.
The best options are usually fatty or oily foods that won’t dry out completely when smoked. Given the high-fat content, they are more likely to retain their texture even after being preserved.
Here is a list of other foods you can safely cold smoke.
- Boiled eggs
- Olive oil
Are you a beginner at cold smoking? A safe option is to start with hard cheese. You’ll be amazed at the results.
Have we whetted your appetite for a savory treat? If you love food with a hint of smoke, we recommend purchasing a cold smoke generator.
You may find it more time-consuming than buying from the deli. But with patience and practice, you can enjoy delicious cold smoked foods at home. Not only that, but you will also reap some health benefits. You get all that yummy flavor minus the preservatives and additives of store-bought products.
Hopefully, this comprehensive guide will help you select the best cold smoke generator for your kitchen.