Cold smoking is the slow process of flavoring foods, meat, or fish while maintaining their freshness and taste. Cold smoking, also known as cold-curing, can preserve food for a long period of time.
The method was invented way back when there were no meat freezers in stores. Even today, some fast-food chains have cold smoke generators to obtain the distinct smoked flavor in their foods.
Cold smoking is also popular due to the low equipment and cost requirements involved compared to hot smoking methods.
Cold smoking is done with a smoke generator because outdoor grills can’t produce enough heat.
In this article, we will discuss the different types of cold smoke generators on the market today and how they work. We will also touch base on why certain smoke generators are better than others.
Top 3 Best Cold Smoke Generator Reviews
- Dimensions: 10 x 7.99 x 5 inches
- Weight: 5 pounds
- Fuel type: wood
The working of the Smoke Daddy Big Kahuna Cold Smoke Generator is great, as it performs in both hot and cold temperatures. This enables you to smoke different types of food.
You can attach it to anything such as grills or pellet smokers to expose your food to high-quality smoke to get the perfect flavor. It is made with precision machined aluminum for proper seal and durability.
For high-volume cooking, this is the right choice for you. You can use it with a standard grill size. Your smoking is made easier as you can refill it at any time without the need to relight or opening your smoker.
A single fill will offer continuous smoking for 3-4 hours. Use it for overnight unattended smoking. It is best for smokehouses or large barbecues.
The product comes with a top-bottom cap, threaded outlet tube, spring baffle, adjustable air pump, stainless steel cleaning brush, and shoot across tube with 3 feet silicone hose.
It has room for hot ash and is made in a way it does not interrupt the airflow.
- Dimensions: 9.5 x 4 x 12.13 inches
- Weight: 6.94 pounds
- Power: 110AC to 12VDC
Smokehouse Smoke Chief Cold Smoke Generator works by filling up the tube with wood pellets and connect it to a power source. Mostly it sits next to the grill and channels the smoke in through the available rotisserie hole.
Its versatility is evident as it can be used with pellet grills, gas grills, smokers, charcoal grills, and other outdoor cooking devices. You can attach it to each of these devices with ease.
Smoke Chief is a cold smoke generator and used to smoke different types of food. Smoking foods such as eggs, salts, beans, and various types of meat is made easy.
With one cup of pellets and operating on 110AC or 12VDC power, it will take you three to four hours of smoking. An electric heating element heats and burns the fuel hence producing smoke.
You do not need to keep blowing the fuel throughout the cold smoking process. The cold smoke generator is portable, and you can easily carry it anywhere and grill provided you have a power source of 110AC or 12VDC.
It makes a perfect choice for tailgating and camping in case you need a cold smoke generator.
- Dimensions: 12 x 2 x 2 inches
- Weight: 0.5 pounds
- Fuel type: Electric or charcoal
Turn any grill into a BBQ smoker with the LIZZQ Premium Pellet Smoker Tube. The cold smoke generator can be used for both hot and cold smoke.
Different types of meat, fish, and others can be cold or hot smoke with this smoke generator. It is made from stainless steel making it light for easy transportation. You can use it on your tailgate even, camping or outdoor barbeque party.
Simplicity is all that this cold smoker is all about. You do not need any heating element or a plug-in, blowers, or fans.
Put the tube with pellets in the smokebox, and light it up. With a single fill, you will have four hours of cold smoking your food.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Cold Smoke Generator
Smoke Generator Type
Passive and active cold smokers are the two existing types of cold smoke generators.
Passive smoke generators are the traditional food preservation form used by people. It is a small container with a small number of wood pellets or powder smoldering.
They can be used in any smoker, grill, or box to smoke without producing a lot of heat.
Active cold smoke generators are the latest invention in smoking technology. They use the same fuel as passive generators in addition to an active air pump system or fan to spread the smoke.
The advantage of these smoke generators is that you can set everything up and leave it to work. No constant supervision is needed. However, they are more expensive than passive smoke generators, and the setting is complex.
Different types of fuel are used in various types of cold smoke generators. Wood pellets, wood chunks, and wood powder are the common sources of fuel. Wood powder is considered the best in smoldering but is expensive and hard to find.
Wood chunks are cheap, widely available, and provide more smoke. However, it burns at high temperatures.
Previously, the wood pellet was hard to find just like the wood powder, but the rise of pellet grills has made them available. They are affordable, available, and perform well.
Ease of Use
Basic cold smoke generators are easy to use. All you need to do is put some fuel into the chamber and light them up. When they start to smolder, you are good to go and few checking in.
Advanced cold smoke generators have a complicated setup process and consume time to mount. Some smokers require a permanent attachment on the smoker or grill with the help of an electric hookup to boost.
After the initial setup, they are the easiest to use.
Smoking Run Time
You should smoke your food for about two hours. If you want to smoke multiple batches of food, you need an advanced active cold smoke generator for longer run times.
Depending on your budget, get the cold smoker that you can afford. Basic cold smoke models cost less and offer the smoky goodness that you need.
In case you want to smoke a lot of food, get high capacity and powerful models. Though they are expensive, they will efficiently serve the purpose.
This is a vital factor to consider if you wish to place the smoker in the cooking container with your food. If you are going for an electric cold smoke generator, the smoking dimension is a determinant factor.
For the non-electric cold smoker, they need to sit in the smoking case with your food, hence important to ensure the dimensions of the smoker fit your container.
Best Wood for Cold Smoking
Smoke is produced when the wood is burned, but not all of it is suitable for cold smoking. Evergreen wood, for example, generates a great deal of smoke, however, it also emits resins while burning, which impart an unpleasant flavor.
Wood floors are a wonderful, classic option. Stick to hardwoods such as oak, mesquite, apple, cherry, and beech for the best results. Experiment with various woods and combinations until you discover your favorite.
Remember, we want to smoke, not a lot of heat. To do so, the wood must smolder rather than burn quickly. Pellets or wood dust are the ideal methods to achieve this. Avoid wood chips since they’re small. But because they burn as hot as pieces of wood, they’re best used for grilling or smoking.
Safety Tips for Cold Smoking
Temperature controls are one of the key factors in cold smoking. There are some cold smokers with temperature controls but in others, you have to limit the temperatures on your own.
Too much heat will make the food cook rather than cold smoke. When it comes to cold smoking meat, you have to be careful.
Raw meat should never be left at room temperatures as harmful bacteria will start to grow on it and pose a danger to you when consumed.
Immediately you purchase your raw meat, cure it as soon as possible and, store it in an airtight container or bag.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Cold Smoking?
Cold smoking is the process of preserving or flavoring food or both. Smoke makes the food dry, plus adding some properties that prevent the food from going bad for a long time.
This was a method used in the early days before refrigerators came along. Besides preservation, you will enjoy a smoky taste in your food.
Smoking can be done on different scales. From a small dome enclosure to commercial operations where a whole room is set for cold smoking.
Regardless of how small or big your operation is, the process of cold smoking is the same. It involves burning in the offset chamber, and then smoke passes through the chamber where the food is spread.
The aim is to maximize smoke flow and lessen the amount of heat transfer. The results will be floured food that goes for long without spoiling.
What is a Cold Smoke Generator?
They are attachments that are fed with wood to produce cold smoke. They are used instead of using the firebox with the pallet or charcoal grill.
Cold smokers are of two types where some are small boxes that produce smoke while sat on the grill grates while others are attachments that supply cold smoke into the grill chamber.
Using a cold smoke generator will add a touch of flavor to your meat as well as vegetables. Smoke in the meat can be achieved by cooking the food in an enclosed area with wood substance.
Most people use the firebox on the grill grates or use charcoal, but for a better smoke taste, you should consider using cold smokers.
What is the Best Wood for Cold Smoking?
All types of wood produce smoke when burnt but this does not mean that all kinds of wood are good for cold smoking.
Hardwoods are the best for cold smoking and include cherry, oak, apple, mesquite, hickory, pecan, alder, and beech. You can choose the wood type depending on your preferred flavor.
You can also combine different types of wood to get your special flavor.
The key thing to note is that cold smoking aims at producing more smoke than heat. For this reason, you should smolder the wood slowly instead of lighting it up.
Wood dust or pellets are the perfect choices for this job. Never use chips because of their small size and are designed for hot smoking. Evergreen woods are known to produce a lot of smoke but should never be used in cold smoking.
They release certain resins and toxins that will completely ruin everything and are not safe for consumption.
Is Cold Smoking Bad for You?
Cold smoking is generally safe and easily done at home to give your food a tasty result. It should be done in the correct way using the right method and wood.
Cold smoking becomes dangerous when done by someone without the skill and tools required to operate the cold smoker safely.
Can you Cold Smoke in an Electric Smoker?
Yes, you can! The essence of cold smoking is only meant to smoke without cooking the food. This helps in adding a smokiness touch as well as preserving the natural texture and flavor of the food.
You can use an electric smoker to smoke the food and, it will taste as good as using a homemade smoker.
To learn more about electric smokers and which one is best suited for you, check out this post:
What is the Difference Between Cold Smoking and Hot Smoking?
By mentioning the words, you think one is the opposite of the other with the temperature being the dividing factor. This is not true.
Cold smoking is a method aimed at preserving or flavoring food, while hot smoking is a way of cooking.
In hot smoking, the wood or coal is much closer to the food and, burning hot and fast. This makes the food cook at a high temperature.
On the other hand, cold smoking operates at low temperatures, and the source of the smoke is far from the food.
What Foods Can I Cold Smoke?
You can cold smoke different types of food. Cured foods like sausage, cheeses, dried fish, nuts, boiled eggs, and vegetables are smoked. The list is endless.
Cold smoking is a special way to give your food a smoky flavor without heating or overcooking it. As discussed above, you will need to use the proper method, a quality cold smoke generator, and the correct wood.
The process is easy and requires little supervision. Consider choosing the right smoker from the above list and enjoy your meal. The buyer’s guide is a great help to making the right choice.