Last updated: August 11, 2021

Welcome to our big smoking gun test 2021. Here we present all the smoking guns that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web. With this, we would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best smoking gun for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a smoke gun.




The most important facts in a nutshell

  • The smoke gun is a device that gives food a smoky aroma by cold smoking it in just a few minutes.
  • The smoke gun is easy to use and very easy to clean.
  • The smoke bell is suitable as an airtight bonnet to allow the smoke aromas to soak into the food.

Smoking Gun: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a smoke gun

What is a smoke gun?

The smoke gun promises to give dishes a delicious, smoky aroma in just a few minutes. Smoking has a long tradition and is estimated to date back to 4000 BC. Back then, food was smoked to preserve it and make it last longer.

It usually takes several hours to smoke food at low temperatures. Although the taste afterwards rewards patience, there is now a faster solution for this with the smoke gun. (Image source: pixabay.com / Markus Hendrich)

The smoking gun is compact and light and is therefore very mobile. Wood chips or wood pellets are inserted through a small smoking chamber in the smoking gun and lit. Through a thin long rubber hose, the smoke is led directly to the food that is to be smoked. Under a bonnet, the smoking process should take a few minutes. However, this is cold smoke.

This means that the food must already be cooked beforehand, as the smoke only brings the aroma and is not hot enough to cook the grilled food.

How does a smoke gun work?

The smoke gun is easy to use. The already cooked food that is to be smoked should be covered with a lid. The hose goes under the lid. The next step is to switch on the smoke gun and light the wood chips that have been inserted. You should make sure that the gun only produces smoke for about 20-30 seconds. It is also best to switch on the extractor bonnet directly. Then let the food stand for a few minutes so that it can absorb the smoke. The whole process of smoking only takes about 5 minutes. In this video, we show you how to use the smoke gun with a few examples:

How much does a smoke gun cost?

Depending on your requirements and the features you want, the choice is relatively straightforward. The cheapest smoke guns start at around 20-50€ and are ideal to get started with or just to try out if the smoke gun is something for you. High-quality smoke pistols are available for between €80 and €150. These are worthwhile especially if you use them often or want to smoke larger quantities of food.

What are the alternatives to a smoke gun?

Smoking tube

As an alternative to the smoking gun, there is also a practical smoking tube. This is a tube made of stainless steel with many holes.

https://www.grilltiger.de/raeucherbox-test/ The tube is approx. 15-20 cm long and the diameter is also usually between 5 and 7 cm. The smoking tube can then be filled with wood pellets or wood chips. When you then light the pellets, the smoke rises from the holes. Depending on the size of the tube, it can smoke for several hours.

The advantage of the smoking tube is that it can be used to turn any barbecue into a smoker BBQ grill.

Table smoker

A tabletop smoker is small and mobile and is therefore particularly popular with campers or anglers. The small tabletop smokers produce high temperatures. For this reason, you should always go for a tabletop smoker made of stainless steel, as they last longer. The tabletop incense burners differ in their heating method. Some are heated with an electric heating coil while others use spirit fuel paste for heating. The advantage of using spirit paste is that you are more mobile as you do not need a power source, but it is more difficult to regulate the heat. With the electric heating coil you can regulate the heat better and is therefore also very suitable for beginners to achieve good results with the smoker.

Decision: What types of smoke guns are there and which one is right for you?

If you want to get a smoke gun, there are two main options to choose between:

  • Smoking gun
  • Smoking gun with bell

The different types each come with advantages and disadvantages. Depending on what you prefer, a different type will suit you. The following section will help you decide.

What are the characteristics of a smoke gun and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

As the name suggests, the smoking gun is shaped like a small pistol and is usually made of stainless steel. There is a thin and long rubber hose under the barrel. On the pistol there is a small hole, a so-called smoking chamber, into which you can put the wood chips. https://www.grilltiger.de/raeucherchips-test/ On the back of the smoking pistol there is a small mains switch that runs on batteries. Where you would otherwise spend hours smoking food, the smoke gun manages to conjure up a wonderful smoky aroma in dishes within 5 minutes. Although the flavour is still relatively intense due to the cold smoking, the smoke only penetrates the top layers of the food. It is therefore a very gentle method for smoking delicate foods such as fruit or vegetables. The smell of smoke will be very present in the rooms, but it is still very easy to clean, as it has only a few components that need to be cleaned at all and it is easy to dismantle. You can use the smoke gun both indoors and outdoors. Outdoors, you have the advantage that the premises do not smell of smoke.

Advantages
  • Lightweight, space-saving device
  • Can be used for all kinds of food and drinks
  • Easy to clean
Disadvantages
  • Smoke only penetrates the surface of the food
  • Due to the strong smoke development, rooms can smell very strongly after use
  • Only cold smoking possible

What are the characteristics of a smoking gun with a bell and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Some incense guns are complemented by a glass bell. Some incense bells are equipped with a valve that is intended for the rubber hose. Other incense bells do not have a valve. The smoking bell ensures that as many aromas as possible remain in the bell, which give the food a great taste. As a rule, the smoking bells are made of borosilicate glass. This material is very robust and extremely heat-resistant. The principle of the smoking gun is the same here. It is constructed in the same way and works according to the same process. The hose is fed under the smoking bell and the food is smoked in the bell.

Advantages
  • Easy to clean
  • Can be used for all kinds of food and drinks
  • Easy to clean
Disadvantages
  • Smoke only penetrates the surface of the food
  • Due to the strong smoke development, rooms can smell very strongly after use
  • Only cold smoking possible

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate smoke pistols

In the following, we will show you which criteria you can use to decide between the different smoking pistols. The criteria you can use to compare the smoke pistols with each other include the following:

  • Heating medium
  • Material
  • Smoking chamber volume
  • Scope of delivery

In the following paragraphs, we will explain to you what is important in the individual criteria in order to make your purchase decision easier.

Heating agent

Smoking guns can be heated with wood pellets, wood chips or smoking powder. https://www.grilltiger.de/raeuchermehl-test/ Wood pellets are cheap and environmentally friendly. They are a renewable raw material and cheap to produce. They burn very well, leaving little ash residue. The ash is also compostable. Wood chips are slightly coarser compared to wood pellets, but function similarly. Wood chips also use different types of wood. Depending on the smoke flavour you are aiming for, there is a wide range of different wood chips. Smoking flour provides a hearty, smoky flavour. This product is smoked wood chips, which are very fine. Here, too, different types of wood are offered.

Material

Most smoking guns are made of aluminium or stainless steel, as they have to be very heat-resistant. Another advantage is that the smoke pistols are more durable and you can enjoy the device for longer.

Volume of the smoking chamber

If you only need the smoke gun for private use, then a small smoke chamber is certainly enough, as you can flavour your dishes very quickly. However, if you are planning a larger celebration or have your own catering business, then you should consider buying a smoking gun with a somewhat larger smoking chamber. Then you can put in more heating agent and smoke many dishes without having to constantly add more.

Wood is a sustainable fuel. Beech wood or fruit wood (e.g. apple, hickory, pear, cherry, etc.) are usually used for smoking and provide extraordinary aromas. (Image source: pixabay.com / scym)

Scope of delivery

As a rule, not much is included in the delivery. The standard scope of delivery usually only includes the smoking gun with the rubber hose. Sometimes, however, additional heating agents or a smoking bell are also included. Although this is added to the price, it is usually cheaper than buying the accessories separately.

Facts worth knowing about the smoking gun

What can I smoke with the smoke gun?

Whether popcorn, cheese, cocktails, sauces and marinades, your dessert or classic meat and fish - there are no limits to smoking.

In addition to meat and fish, fruits, drinks and desserts are now also smoked. (Image source: unsplash.com / Miguel Maldonado)

The principle is simple. Once your dish is ready, all you need is a smoking bell or a bonnet that you place over the dish. Then you insert the tube under the bonnet and let the smoke in. Then pull the hose out again and leave the dish in the smoke for a few minutes before removing the smoke bell.

What are the different smoking methods?

Basically, you can distinguish between three types of smoking methods:

  • Cold smoking
  • Hot smoking
  • Hot smoking

Cold smoking

Cold smoking is a method that is suitable for giving ready-cooked food an additional spicy, aromatic flavour. Here, the smoke only gets up to 25°C at the most and therefore does not cook the food. The longer cold smoking process also allows the food to be preserved for longer. This method is also used with the help of a smoke gun.

Warm smoking

Warm smoking is carried out at a higher temperature between 25 and 50°C. The food is smoked at this temperature. With this variant, the grilled food is cooked and smoked. However, this method is less gentle than cold smoking and the food can therefore not be stored for as long. The advantage of this method, however, is that the meat becomes very tender.

Hot smoking

With hot smoking, the smoker is already heated to 50-60°C. The food is smoked at this temperature. At this temperature, the food is cooked and smoked at the same time. The high temperature also kills harmful organisms on the grilled food.

Image source: 123rf.com / 50818616

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