Are you salivating at the thought of cold-smoked foods like smoked salmon and sardines? Fancy some Porcini mushrooms? Few things compare with the smell and taste of a smoked meal!
For the uninitiated, cold smoking is a form of food preservation after the meat is cured. The process adds a distinct smoky aroma to your meat or veggies. In the early days, Westerners purposely built a smokehouse where they smoked and stored their meats.
If you want to savor the taste of delicious cold-smoked food, the first thing you need is a quality smoker. Let’s have a look at the best cold smokers on the market in 2020 so that you can choose the best one for you.
The Best Cold Smokers Reviewed
Cold smoking can be a delicious alternative to hot-smoked BBQ, and even the best cold smokers are surprisingly affordable. These days, most can be used as an accessory for your existing grill, are compact, and durable. All the options covered here would make excellent options to enjoy your overnight camping, BBQ parties, family reunions, and other fun events.
Are you looking for a smoker that you can use for both cold and hot smoking? You can try this model from Masterbuilt.
With this equipment, you can cold smoke your food at a temperature of up to 275˚F.
One excellent feature of this model is its continuous wood feed system that can supply smoke to the chamber for up to six hours. You can attach a Masterbuilt digital electric smoker through the side wood chip loader, too. It also features a removable ashtray for faster cleaning.
Masterbuilt designed this smoker to allow you to achieve a perfectly smoked entrée. You can operate it effortlessly.
By just pushing a button, the smoker heats wood chips automatically to generate the smoke you need. According to the company, the model is ideal for smoking jerky, bacon, cheese, and fish.
If you want a versatile and user-friendly smoker, this pellet tube smoker from A-MAZE-N offers the best value for your money. It features an oval design to prevent movement on the grill surface. It also stops the smoker tube from rolling.
The best thing about this smoker is its versatility. You can use it for both cold and hot smoke processing. During cold smoking, it can produce smoke continuously for up to four hours and reach a temperature of more than 225°F. It can also be used in any grill.
Another great feature of this model is its portability. You can easily take it anywhere you want due to its compact construction, and with a durable stainless-steel build, it will take the bumps and lumps of the trip no problem.
It’s perfect for a camping adventure - enjoy eating delicious smoked food while discovering the beauty of nature.
You can also use this smoker at your BBQ party or any tailgate event. According to the company, this model is ideal for cold smoking foods like nuts, fish, meat, and cheese.
Because of this, you can get the best smoking results for your meat, veggies, and other delicious foods.
According to the manufacturer, this smoker can generate a continuous flow of smoke for up to five hours. You can perfectly cold or hot smoke your cured meat, hot dogs, sausages, fruits, and nuts, during that span. After your cooking, you can easily clean the smoker, too, because it is made of stainless steel.
You can also quickly generate a tasteful smoldering wood smoke from the smoker thanks to the ability to use various wood pellets like Apple, Pecan, Hickory, and Cherry as fuel.
Achieve mouth-watering smoked flavors in your meat, fish, nuts, vegetables, and other edibles with this fantastic tube smoker from LIZZQ.
It even comes with a free e-book of recipe ideas to get you started!
Cold smoke your favorite foods with this smoke generator from Smoke Daddy Inc, a family-owned company. This versatile accessory can be attached to any smoker and grill to produce high-quality BBQ low and slow like it should be.
Whether you will be cold smoking or hot smoking your food, you can depend on this sturdy smoke generator.
It is built to last a lifetime with heavy-duty aluminum construction and a unique design that prevents fuel clogs. A single fill will burn for up to 45 minutes and produce an impressive 3 to 4 hours of smoke, ensuring you can kick back and enjoy your day.
To produce the best smoke, use wood chips and larger woodchucks on this generator.
What is a cold smoking
It’s a pretty old method that is characterized by the food not being served hot.
The temperature around the food is usually below 140 degrees F, that is the key information here.
During cold smoking it is necessary to maintain perfect conditions, proportions and specified temperature, or else you’re posing quite a hazard to your health.
It is nearly impossible to achieve on a regular grill/smoker, which makes it necessary to purchase the right accessories or build an adequate cold smoker by yourself.
Such configuration usually consists of a single smoke making container and a very low amount of heat plus the second container where the food is located (in many cases there are also pipes between the two containers).
When it comes to cheeses, nuts or tofu, the hazard is low, although the problem arises when it comes to meats.
Personally I advise against smoking meat with the cold method in household conditions, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. It’s very easy to make a mistake and at the same time it’s very hard to achieve perfect conditions, which makes it better to buy tested products at a store.
This type of solution is better because you can be sure that the meat goes through appropriate tests and is kept in perfect conditions where professionals watch over the entire process.
Why is cold smoking dangerous
What kind of danger am I talking about? I mean different types of pathogens that pose a very huge threat to your health. Especially for people with lower immunity, pregnant women, children, elders etc.
The risk of poisoning is different depending on the type of pathogen, in certain cases it is pretty high. It’s the worst for ground meat, or sausage. Meat that has been exposed to different tools is at a much higher risk of pollutions and microorganisms.
In case of hot cooking, they all die at high temperature, but with cold smoking the situation is quite the opposite.
You can learn more in detail on safety and risks in the amazing ribs article.
Cold Smoking vs Hot Smoking
First and foremost, the key difference is the temperature the meat is smoked in.
When it comes to hot smoking, as the name implies, it takes place in a higher temperature (usually within the range of 225-250 degrees F).
Such temperature kills all pathogens, which means you don’t have to worry about any problems or the risk of poisoning and diseases.
For that reason it is not necessary to cure the meat for hot smoking as well.
You may use marinade, but it’s only there to enrich the flavor and aroma.
Hot smoking is much easier than cold smoking, it’s easier to provide adequate conditions.
You don’t need precise equipment, you can actually even use the simplest charcoal grill. A kettle grill from weber for example, but to get the best results I recommend a dedicated smoker.