|Why yes, that is smoked cream cheese!|
I was pretty excited about getting my hands on the Polyscience Smoking Gun to give it a test burn. It's pretty simple to operate - just put a pinch of wood chips in the chamber, light it, and the gun sucks the smoke and send it out through a tube to wherever you want it to go.
You can hold the gun, or leave it in its stand for hands-off operation, which makes sense for most applications.
I just put the food I wanted smoked on a plate - or in a dish on a plate - and then used and upturned bowl as a cover. I slid the end of the tube under the cover, and let the smoke flow. You could also have the food inside a pot - like if you've just finished cooking and you want to add that hint of smoke flavor.
Or, for presentation, have serving plates under lids filled with smoke, so that when the lid is lifted, there's that whiff and cloud of smoke.
To be clear, you're not going to smoke bacon with this thing - it's meant for a short burning time. It's meant for adding smoke flavor, but - obviously - not for cooking or heating.
So, what can you smoke? Well, anything really. One of my favorites was cream cheese. But you can add smoke to just about anything - cheese, meat, fish, salt, vegetables. Since it's a short smoking time, the smoke flavor doesn't penetrate deeply, but since you're adding the smoke in a confined space, a lot of smoke contacts the food and it lingers there for a while until you release the lid.
I was pleasantly surprised at how much smoke flavor I got from such a short burning time.
The smoker came with chips, but they're pretty easy to find - my local hardware store sells chips for smoking, in a variety of woods that all have a distinct flavor. I haven't tried it yet, but I want to try smoking with some herbs like oregano or thyme.
And the other thing I want to try is creating a smoked cocktail. That will take some experimenting, so when I get it right, I'll have instructions and a recipe.
Who's it for: Cooking geeks, like me, who want to add a smoke flavor to foods.
Pros: Simple to use. And it's small.
Cons: The area where the burning happens gets pretty hot, so kids should be supervised.
Wishes: A recipe book would be awesome. I have plenty of my own ideas, but I'd imagine that some folks would get it and would only think of the obvious things.
Source: I received this from the manufacturer for the purpose of a review.