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Cold smoking adds a unique flavor to your cooking. It is the latest barbequing technique that offers food a natural smoky flavor without actually cooking it. Most people try to understand what cold smoking is. But one thing you can be sure of is that it’s different from hot smoking.
Hot smoking demands you place the food in the same place as the heating element. If you are using a wood smoker, the food should be placed in the burning wood chips chunks. It allows the food to heat up and, at the same time, absorb the smoke, developing a unique taste. Mostly, it smokes and cooks food in one go.
On the other hand, cold smoking separates your food from the heating element. The part that produces smoke is separate from the food storage unit. It explains why food absorbs smoke without heating up.
Top 5 Cold Smoking Generators
Cold smoking is more convenient than hot smoking, which explains the high demand for cold smoker generators over the past few months. If you want to buy the best cold smoke generator, you should choose to buy the best there is. The market has so many brands to offer, choosing the right one becomes a daunting task. To simplify your job, we spent time reviewing the best models available on the market. We took the time to read reviews from professionals and members of the public who have used them before. You can read on to see our in-depth reviews on the five best cold smoker generators and a buying guide to help you make the right choice.
#1. Smoke Daddy Big Kahuna Cold Smoke Generator
The Smoke Daddy Big Kahuna has a well-balanced design, meaning it does not require much oversight during preparation. This unit is suitable for cold or hot smoking, making it worth considering if you want both options. One of the prominent characteristics of this model is the air pump that comes with an adaptable airflow. Not all smoker models come with an air pump. This smoker generator is perfect if you have enough space in your home.
Also, if you are looking for a unit that is built to last and leak-proof, this is the right product for you. Customer reviews confirm that it’s secure and can withstand pressure in different circumstances. Once fuel starts smoking, there is an adjustable air pump to help blow smoke out of the exit pipe to the food chamber.
If you have set aside free space in your backyard, the Big Kahuna is a worthy investment. The adjustable airflow on the air pump allows you to regulate how much smoke you need. This unit and the air pump are stable and do not allow any smoke leaks. To install it, you’ll need to drill holes for installation. It is a long term investment as you will not require replacing it any time soon.
If you have plans to take up cold smoking as a hobby, the Big Kahuna is a great pick that will deliver results.
- Generates an impressive amount of smoke
- Ideal for hot or cold preparation
- Adjustable air flow
- Easy to install and operate
- Requires a place for the air pump to rest
- It’s not portable
- You need to ignite your fuel
#2. Smoke Daddy Magnum P.I.G. Cold Smoke Generator
If you are a grill enthusiast who enjoys the extended smoking time, the Smoke Daddy Magnum P.I.G. Cold Smoke Generator has got you covered. The manufacturers of this model designed it to have a significant smoking container. The container can hold up to six wood chips chunks, which can burn up to four hours. This makes it possible to cold smoke food before going to bed and has it ready by morning.
Known for its ability to hold significant fuel and produce high smoke volume, this unit is best where you have a grill as the smoking container or a large smoker. This model is also ideal for preparing a large quantity of food at a time. Another feature worth noting about this model is that it’s perfect for both hot or cold preparation.
The Smoke Daddy Magnum P.I.G. Cold Smoke Generator is made of heavy gauge machine aluminum for a proper seal and long product life. We also discovered it has a smoke outlet tube above the fuel chamber to prevent clogging. Nothing irritates more than a clogged smoker generator when you want to smoke food. The manufacturers also added a removable end cap for natural lighting.
There are plenty of ashes and smoke produced, and the fear is that the smoke will interfere with the air flow without the use of an air pump. With this unit, there is plenty of room for hot ash that is specially designed not to interfere with the air flow. Each purchase comes with an adjustable air pump, thread outlet tube, spring baffle, and stainless steel cleaning brush, and a chute across the tube. The model weighs 6.95 pounds, including the air pump. Based on available online customer reviews, the Smoke Daddy Magnum P.I.G. Cold Smoke Generator is easy to install and operate.
- Easy to operate
- Can be used as a hot smoker when attached to a grill
- Up to 4 hours of smoking
- Adjustable air pump
$3. Smoke Chief Cold Smoke Generator
Designed by Smoke Chief, the Smoke Chief Cold Smoke Generator is designed to offer efficiency. It’s capable of producing three hours of smoke from one cup of wood pellets. Another advantage is that it accepts wood pellets rather than wood chips chunks, wood chips, or wood chunks. Pellets are readily available in the market at lower prices. It’s small for seamless fitting into the smoke and grilling cabinet through a 3/8-inch hole; you do not have to drill a hole in your B.B.Q. frame. Due to its small size, you can mount the product on a grill, and it’s suitable for hot and cold preparation.
To get it working, you only need to fill it up with pellets and plug it in. The compact model does not take much space, and you can easily place it next to the grill to allow the smoke to travel through the rotisserie hole. The unit runs on a 110V A.C. or 12V D.C. power.
The Smoke Chief is compatible with pellet grills, gas grills, charcoal grills, among other outdoor cooking devices. It’s suitable for smoking all types of foods, from chicken to beef, ribs, beans, and eggs.
- Easy to mount on a smoker or grill
- Can run on 110V A.C. or 12V D.C. power
- Can generate up to 3 hours of smoking on 1 cup of pellets
- Easy to incorporate a smoky flavor into different types of food
- The small pipe tends to clog easily
- No air pump
#4. Realcook 8″ Cold Smoke Generator
If you are a smoked food lover, you must know the perfect way of preparing it is low and slow. The Realcook 8″ Cold Smoke Generator offers you that with the round shape design, which allows you to put more wood sawdust and save on space. This generator provides more than 7 hours of smoking time, which is longer than what is being provided by other pellet smoker tubes. It’s worth noting the time varies depending on the type of sawdust you are using.
The generator is portable and easy to transport with two handles. It makes the process easy and accessible when needed. The manufacturers understand the importance of enough smoke during barbecue time, and that is why it’s specially designed to generate a lot of smoke. The cold smoke generator is made of stainless steel, which makes it safe and durable. This generator is also simple to set up and use.
The smoker accessory is perfect for cold and hot preparation. It’s compatible with a gas grill, pellet grill, electric grill, or charcoal grill, among other smokers. It’s also worth noting this cold smoker uses wood sawdust rather than wood chips, wood pellets, or wood chunks. You can generate a unique smoky flavor depending on the sawdust you use. You can opt for apple, hickory, mesquite, or oak sawdust depending on your preference.
- Can supply up to 7 hours of smoke
- Small, light and portable
- Suitable for both hot and cold preparation
- Sawdust holder has a small capacity
- Difficult to keep the sawdust lit
- No air pump
#5. Nak Cold Smoke Generator For B.B.Q. Cold Smoking
The next cold smoke generator we deemed necessary to include in this review is the Nak Cold Smoke Generator. This model is more intuitive, and you require wood chips. You can choose to go with hickory, pecan, oak or a mixture packed tight in the combustion chamber. Once you light the wood chunks, wood chips, or wood pellets, you are guaranteed up to 6-7 hours of smoking.
What makes this Nak model a good pick is that it’s way cheaper and affordable when compared to other alternatives. The low price is due to the fact the generator does not use any electric parts; it’s mechanical. The product could be a bit old school but among our top picks as it gets the job done correctly.
The Nak cold smoker is also built to last long despite the low cost. The stainless steel used during manufacture ensures the generator lasts long, even after continued use. To receive the best results with this model, make sure you use dry chips all the time. You are likely to have trouble maintaining the wood chips lit when they moist. The model weighs 0.7 pounds with a diameter of 18.5 cm. The dimensions are 8.3 x 7.3 x 1.6 inches making it highly portable.
- Smokes up to 7 hours
- Easy to operate
- Durable; made of stainless steel
- Trouble keeping chips lit
- No air pump
If you have plans underway to buy a cold smoking generator, it’s essential to understand your needs to choose the right cold smoke generator. With the various types of generators available on sale, you need to understand what features to look for before parting with your money. Below is our buying guide to help you know everything you need to know before buying a generator.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Cold Smoke Generator
A cold smoker operates by creating low-temperature smoke, which is at times accompanied by little heat depending on the design used.
There are numerous questions you must answer before taking a buying decision, especially the design features. Below we cover significant features you should take note of before buying, as they significantly affect the cooking process.
Smoke Generator Type
Cold smoke generators occur in two types; electric and non-electric.
The electric cold smoker uses electric heating elements to produce enough heat to cause the fuel in the heating chamber to produce smoke. Electric cold smokers are simple to operate. They also do not require matches to ignite and are compatible with all containers.
On the other hand, the non-electric counterparts require matches to ignite. These cold smokers force flames to move through the maze of fuel, which produces smoke. Depending on the amount of fuel in the heating chamber, the smoke can last for more than four hours.
The non-electric variants are a bit more complicated than their counterparts though they are inexpensive.
Both electric and non-electric cold smoke generators rely on wood as their fuel source. You have to pay attention to the type of wood the cold smoker accepts.
For instance, some generators require small wood chips or sawdust while other work best with fine wood chunks or pellets. Here you need to consider what type of wood is readily available (wood chips, wood pellets, wood chunks, etc.) before making a buying decision.
The time refers to the smoldering time a particular generator is designed to produce for every full load of fuel. Most smokers deliver between 4 to 7 hours from a single amount of wood chips chunks, wood pellets, or wood chips. This is optimal for smoking different types of foods, but your choice should be based on your needs.
Note the time depends on the design of the generator.
The other feature you should look at when selecting a cold smoker is the dimensions, especially if you intend to smoke your food while in a container. This should, however, not be a significant concern if you opt for the electric cold smoker on our list.
Most of the electric cold smoke generators come with a mounting system that channels the smoke to the container.
If you choose a non-electric model, select a model that can fit different smoking containers with your food. If you do not take care of this, you may end up buying a cold smoker with limited dimensions.
Tips for Cold Smoking Safely
Cold smoking can be a bit risky, but you can do it safely with precision and patience. The whole exercise requires substantial investment to have the correct setup.
If you are keen on cold smoking, here are a few safety tips.
Follow expert recipes
Despite a few friends claiming to be cold smoking experts, this is not enough as you could be putting your health at stake.
Luckily, there are a few bona fide experts who willingly share their recipes through books or online websites. Make an effort to find such recipes online and follow them to the letter to be safe.
Opt for the highest quality meat or fish
There are so many risks involved if you opt for fish or meat infected with parasites. Look for a trustworthy butcher or fishmonger who knows how to distinguish products with parasitic infection. To be sure you buy high-quality meat or fish, ask how the products were sourced.
You are safe when preparing food free from infection.
Combine cold smoking with salting
Note that cold smoking does not cure meat, and this is where salting comes in. Unless you are using meat products that have been fermented, salted, or cured, make sure you salt the food before cold smoking to be safe.
Use cold smoking followed by another method
To be 100% sure, you should cure the meat, cold smoke it, and later cook it before eating. Cold smoking adds flavor to your meat but does not cook it in any way.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a cold smoke generator?
These are additions to grills, and smokers meant to add an extra smoky flavor to your food, mainly meat products. They occur in two types; electric and non-electric cold smokers.
Can you smoke in an electric smoker?
Yes, you can. Cold smoking is unique as you get to smoke food without cooking it like in hot smoking. This way, you can preserve the natural texture and flavor of the food. It is possible to cold smoke food with an electric smoker. The good news is that it’s even faster and easy to carry out.
What is the best cold smoke generator?
Different cold smoking generators function differently, and it’s up to you to decide which one will best serve your needs. However, the mentioned products in this review fall among the best cold smoke generators available and the top picks. Still, there can be one champ, and in this case, it’s the Smoke Daddy Big Kahuna based on its unique features such as using aluminum for a proper seal and long life.
How does cold smoking work?
Cold smoking involves preparing food without heating it as the food is kept separate from the heating element. The part that produces smoke, the generator, is different from where the food is stored.
Cold smoking is a great way to add a smoky flavor to your food without cooking or heating it. To get great results, one is expected to have a high-quality cold smoke generator with an air pump and the right wood pellets, wood chips, or wood chips chunks in place. We’ve simplified the selection process and made buying easier through this review. The Smoke Daddy Big Kahuna is the best pick considering it’s easy to control smoke with ease, and customers claim it has elevated the experience to another level.
If you’re looking for a model that will offer prolonged smoking hours, the Smoke Daddy Magnum P.I.G. Cold Smoke Generator with its air pump and aluminum for a proper seal and long service is a perfect pick. Finally, if you prefer wood pellets to logs and wood chips chunks, the Smoke Chief Cold Smoke Generator has you covered. Before buying one, make sure you go through this review to see what will best suit your needs.
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