Have you ever tasted smoked meat? Smoked salmon or bacon perhaps? I’m sure you have and I’m sure you’d agree they’re delicious. The depth of flavour that smoke adds to food is amazing and it begs the question, why do we not smoke everything we eat? The common answer given is that it’s really hard to do, it requires a large and expensive smoker set up in your garden and a whole afternoon to properly smoke your ingredients. That answer is wrong however, the reality is that adding smoke to anything doesn’t have to cost very much time or money at all. The solution is a smoking gun.
To understand what the smoking gun does and why it’s a must-have for every culinary wizard we must first understand why smoking things makes them so much more delicious. The answer lies in our evolution. We have been cooking food over smoky fires for over a hundred thousand years. Historically, it’s a flavour we associate with the very act of cooking and the two are hard to separate in our minds. More than that, the power of smoke lies in the smells of wood and earth and a million other things that stir in us beautiful memories and feelings from our past. Smoke is a part of our heritage and we shouldn’t ignore just how much it can improve a culinary experience!
So how does it work? Well the handheld device generates smoke through the burning of woodchips in the main chamber and releases smoke through a nozzle on the front. All you have to do is point that nozzle in the right direction and watch as the smoke infuses into the food of your choice. Longer exposure will increase the smoky intensity allowing you to control the subtlety and punch of the flavour. It’s more than just a flavour enhancer though, for the showman in all of us, the smoke offers the perfect show-stopping experience for parties and dinners. By trapping the smoke under a dish, you can reveal the plate at the table and wow people with the smell and spectacle.
But beyond just meat and fish? What else can a smoking gun do? The answer is simple. Anything you can imagine. I decided to explore the possibilities after I purchased mine and as an ex-mixologist I knew the first area of intrigue would be cocktails. I love a cocktail, there’s nothing sexier nor more satisfying then a perfectly crafted concoction of booze on ice. I’ve always preferred my cocktails to be darker and smokier so I was curious to see what a smoking gun would add to an old fashioned or black Russian. The results were impressive, not only was the effect stunning but the drink revealed hidden notes and flavours I hadn’t noticed before.
The smoking gun brings elegance and authenticity to any gastronomical experience without costing an arm and a leg. I’ve yet to add smoke to a dish without it offering improvement and quite frankly I smoke all the salt I buy now without even having to think about it. ‘Smoked’ is just a synonym for ‘better’. But don’t take my word for it, let the woodchips do the talking by obtaining your own smoking gun and discovering what you’ve been missing out on for all this time.