Among the most ardent and manliest of pit masters and even amateur backyard cooks alike, cold smoking is on an upward trend as a barbecuing method due to lending all of that natural smoke flavor to meat without ever actually cooking it at all. Using a cold smoker is far different from hot smoking and has its own benefits and applications.
Below we will mention a few very good options for the best cold smoke generator and eventually, we will crown the best cold smoker at the end of this article.
1. Smokehouse Smoke Chief Cold Smoker – Best Cold Smoker For Salmon
- Made in United States
- Operates on 110VAC or 12Vdc power
One of the highly sought after cold smoker units on the market is this Smokehouse Chief Cold Smoker. It’s recommended by many because of how easy it is to connect it to any grill or smoker. It also burns through fuel slowly and smokes your meat with the utmost ease. With this smoker, you get a measuring cup for your BBQ pellets, a plunger, an AC/DC adapter and a cleaning tool.
Here’s What You Should Know About Cold Smokers
What is the Best Wood for Cold Smoking?
Most things when burned make smoke but that doesn’t mean you can just toss yesterdays laundry into your smoker for a brisket. Seriously though some wood can even ruin your meat so knowing your wood is important when going into the smoking game.
Nice pure clean-burning wood is what you want for the best results. We recommend cherry, mesquite, apple, beech, and oak. Each of these has a different flavor profile and it is important to remember that the flavor of your wood will change the flavor of your food. Much like mixing spices when cooking, mixing woods can also create interesting combinations of flavors. Experimentation is part of the fun when it comes to any type of smoking!
When it comes to COLD smoking you want to always make sure you are generating far more smoke than heat. It is important to make sure your wood is more of a pile of smoldering embers than a pile of flames. Also never use chips for cold smoking, these are made for hot smoking due to their flat and wider surface area.
Is Cold Smoke Bad for You?
Yes, cold smokers are generally safe in most cases when used at home and you will fall in love with yours. Just make sure to get enough oxygen and never expose your lungs to prolonged bouts of smoke inhalation of any kind as a rule of thumb.
Can You Cold Smoke in an Electric Smoker?
Yes, electric smokers work just as well if not better than any homemade or not electric smoker. The goal is to preserve the natural flavor of your meat without cooking it and to infuse every inch of it with a great smokey flavor, electronically it can be done so do it.
What is a Cold Smoker Attachment?
This is a peripheral attachment that holds the wood in a chamber so you can keep the temperature of the meat chamber low. The Masterbuild cold smoker attachment is a good example and is compatible with all of their digital electronic smokers. Don’t forget the amazing wood-feeding system, temperature control, and the super-cool phone app.
Can You Cold Smoke in a Big Green Egg?
The famous Big Green Egg charcoal grill maybe your prized backyard cooker at the moment. The answer is YES. Many of the smokers in this list can attach to any grill and that includes the big green egg.
However, we recommend passing on the Big Green Egg if you have not yet bought one and instead go for the cheaper and just as good Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic II. It is better than the big green egg and is one of the best grills out there!
Let Your Cold Smoking Dreams Run Wild
So whether you plan to open the next neighborhood smoked meats business out of your backyard or just want a nice treat for the family, cold smoking is unique and specialized which makes you seem sophisticated even though we all know you are not.
If you love cheese you will love smoked cheese. And once you smoke one kind of cheese you will be smoking every cheese you can think of. Ever think of making your own homemade bacon? Welp cold smoking is your path to bacon you can call all yours. The possibilities are truly endless.
Here is a small list of things that you can consider cold smoking: Quality cuts of beef, Country hams, Bacon, Sausages, Salmon, Roe, and Fruits & Veggies
What is Cold Smoking?
When you are hot smoking you are placing the food in the same contained area as the heating element in most cases. The basic idea of hot smoking is that as the name implies you will be heating and cooking your food as you infuse it with smoke. To sum it up, hot smoking smokes your meat and cooks it too.
Now when it comes to the purpose of this article, cold smoking, we are speaking of a completely different concept from hot smoking. In this case, you will be separating the food from the heating element or source of heat. In most cases, this means a separate compartment where smoke is being generated and pumped into a separate container that holds the target food. This allows you to both keep meat raw but smoke it completely and or you can even smoke already cooked meats.
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Best Cold Smoker For Salmon Reviews
Below, we’ve reviewed a handful of cold smokers for smoking a variety of items, including salmon. The fact that we tagged it “for salmon”, doesn’t mean we cannot use it for smoking other items.
1. Best Cold Smoker For Salmon – Smokehouse Smoke Chief Cold Smoker
We selected this cold smoker as the best overall due to its amazing innovation factor and versatility. The smokehouse smoke generator can be easily attached to virtually any outdoor cooking device. If you wanted to be super silly you could attach this thing to a cardboard box! If you just have an average barbecue grill that takes charcoal or even gas you can transform any model into a full-fledged top-notch smoker using the smokehouse smoke chief cold smoker. You can use it for cold and hot smoke alike as well which is great for those of you looking for a complete solution.
Fill this bad boy up with your favorite pellets and stick the output into any grills rotisseries hole or any hole for that matter plug it in and sit back while your meat is smoked to perfection. Don’t worry about having to get up and down to refill the fuel source for this smoker since you will easily get a full 3 hours on just a cup of pellets. As long as you have a 110AC or 12DVC power source nearby you will have no issue powering it up. Use the smoke chief with most smokers, charcoal grills, pellet grills, gas grills, and other outdoor cooking devices.
- Made in United States
- Operates on 110VAC or 12Vdc power
The A-MAZE-N is a passive cold smoke generator and if versatility is your goal as well as ease of use this may be worth your time. The smoker is built like a maze and you simply fill it up with your desired pellets or material and fire the bad boy up. It is very easy to get it started and going and it is super portable so you can experiment with different indirect smoking methods. Also, keep in mind this baby is for dual-use.
So if you plan on doing both hot and cold smoking and want one solution that fits both needs then why look any further than this highly rated product? The unique maze-like structure of this smoker is said to allow your sawdust or pellets to burn for hours longer than usual allowing you to save money on fuel and smoke all day long on pennies. The main desire and allure of this one is the ease of use, simplicity, and incredible efficiency of this well-designed col smoker.
- FULL SMOKE - Get a full-bodied smoke for up to 12 hours using a-maze-n pellets. Smoke time will vary depending on what chips or pellets you are using
- PERFECT FOR ANYTHING – Great for use on salt, cheese, poultry, fish, pork & steak. Add a mouthwatering smoky flavor to anything you can fit in your smoker
If you are looking for a great beginner cold smoker and plan to use it with a covered grill then the Smokemeister is what you need. You should expect maximum flavor due to the unique design allowing the heat to leak out keeping the smoke even cooler. This one works best with covered grills and smokehouse setups due to the heat leak technology which prevents clogging of the outlet tube and allows the smoke to circulate openly and freely.
If durability is one of your requirements then you mind as well stop here because nothing is stronger than the powder-coated iron this big daddy is made from. Powder-coated iron can withstand incredibly hot and is also super attractive to the eye. The key is the lower lid which is what controls the flow of smoke from the unit itself yet keeps the heat in. Being able to use wood chips or pellets is also another plus for those of you who want options for flavor.
- Installs in minutes to covered grills, smokehouses, wine barrels, etc. No Air Pump, or Power Required. For pellet grills works for pre-smoking and cold smoking only
- Takes NO Grill Space, Ready to smoke in 5 minutes or less, precise smoke control, Laser Cut
There has been one name in the game that those who are in the know can rely on and that name is Masterbuilt. This Masterbuilt cold smoker, in particular, is known for longevity allowing you to smoke for up to continuous 6 hours with one load of fuel. If you already own a Masterbuilt smokehouse, grill, or other electronic smokers from Masterbuilt you will be glad to know that this kit will be fully compatible.
Speaking of the digital electronic nature of this item the temperature control is so precise you will always be confident that your hour’s long project is going to infuse your meat with awesome big flavor the way you want it without cooking the end product. This feature makes this an ideal option specifically for cold smoking. Again though, this bad boy can hot smoke as well for your dual-purpose aficionados.
Users also fell in love with the included water pan that acts as a reservoir for any liquid you desire. the goal of this is to impart moisture into your meat if you are not seeking a dry product in the end.
Don’t be scared to load up your smoker with an entire brontosaurus worth of meat as this badass smoker can handle up to 50 pounds of meat at one time. Also, no need to open the doors to your smoker to add more wood or fuel because this product features a dedicated wood-feeding system. Never open it up and let out all of that precious smoke and flavor unless you are ready to do so. Also make things even more amazing by using a masterbuilt cold smoker attachment, many of which are available to expand the functionality.
This smoker is so cutting edge you can even connect wirelessly via WIFI or Bluetooth to your smartphone and the Masterbuilt app. using this app you can turn on the smoker and turn off the smoker, adjust and monitor the temperatures, and much more. You can lean back on your deck in a comfy chair in the shade away from the heat sipping a cocktail using your phone for almost the whole smoking process.
- Continuous smoke when cold smoking or hot smoking up to 275˚F
- Ideal for smoking cheese, fish, bacon, and jerky
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If you apply a flame to any food you can make it taste smokey. And sure some applications work best with heat, but when it comes to injecting true pure smokey flavor into your food without cooking it nothing beats a good cold smoking set up. Ever want to try homemade smoked gouda cheese? Ever want to try and smoke your own salmon filets for those morning bagels? Cold smoke is the key and you will impress your neighbors and friends with your creations.
Cold smoking is an artisan hobby that harkens back thousands of years to ancient man. If you are looking for something that gets you in touch with your caveman roots then why not load a couple of hundred oysters into your smoker and cold smoke those bad boys. Throw them in a jar and have an ultimate bar snack for your backyard parties!
But, we cannot stress enough the importance of using the right cold smoker to get the perfect flavor. We’ve made the selection process that much easier for you by reviewing the best products in this category, but as with anything, there can only be one winner.
All of these ideas are great but without the right cold smoker, you may wonder why you can’t seem to get anything right. This buyer’s guide contains only products that are known to be effective. It is only really a matter of your budget and specific needs when it comes to making your final decision on which one of these 4 smokers is right for you.
If you already have a decent grill we recommend going with one of the items that can work with most existing grills and barbecues.
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Last Look At Our Cold Smoker Picks
Take a quick peek below at all of the cold smokers in this list and compare the features closely to make the right decision. If you have been hot smoking now for years and always had cold smoking in the back of your mind as something you would like to try one day, make one day TODAY. There is no better time than now to fulfill your dreams and extend your hobbies and passions. Cold smoking will open a pandora’s box of projects and experiments that the whole family can even get into.
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