Which cocktail smokers are best?
Previously, homemade cocktails were basic and didn’t have much flair beyond an orange slice or two. Forget about tasting a smoked cocktail! You could only get those made from a fancy mixologist at a high-end bar uptown. However, with the sudden surge of homebrewers and increased interest in creating the perfect drink, cocktail smokers have become more accessible to meet the demand.
The best smokers, like the Breville Polyscience Gun Pro Smoke Infuser, are made with high-quality materials that ensure the perfect smoked cocktail but are also easy enough for a beginner to use.
What to know before you buy a cocktail smoker
Making a cocktail is about the flair as much as it is about the flavor. You tend to appreciate the drink more when you watch the bartender flip bottles behind them in the air and light your drink on fire.
In regards to smoked cocktails, the smoker plays a vital role in maintaining the aesthetics. Consider if the smoker is for your eyes only or if you plan on entertaining guests at a party or outdoor get-together. Some cocktail smoker kits available tend to look like they’re haphazardly put together and may ruin a great ambiance. While that’s perfectly fine when you’re creating your own smoked drinks, a nice smoker serves to make you and the drinks you serve look that much more remarkable.
There is a seemingly limitless list of options regarding what you can use to smoke your cocktail. Some excellent types of wood include mesquite, apple and cherry, but you can also use herbs, like rosemary and thyme, to enhance your drink.
For example, after putting on a show with your best cocktail shaker, you can use your smoker to infuse cinnamon bark and sage into the drink to leave a lasting impression.
The most common smoked cocktails tend to be whiskey-based because of how their aging process compliments a smoky flavor. Similar to how you’re not limited to using wood chips in a smoker, you can also enhance cocktails with various base liquors.
For example, a smoked old-fashioned is a favorite among home mixologists, but you’ll find that smoking martinis and even mojitos can take those cocktails to the next level.
What to look for in a quality cocktail smoker
Regardless if you’re a seasoned mixologist or a budding home cocktail enthusiast, it’s much easier to purchase a smoker that comes with all the necessary accessories. In fact, it may be beneficial to start with a smoker kit that comes with the wood chips, a dome and board so that you’re ready to go the second it arrives. It can be incredibly frustrating to start making your favorite drink, only to find that you forgot to purchase smoke screens.
Getting a kit allows you to get a feel for your smoker and determine if you require upgraded accessories. That can include a larger or customized glass dome or a tray full of various herbs and types of wood.
Most cocktail smokers you find are compact handheld devices. This makes them more portable, so you can impress your family and friends at their house party or create delicious smoked cocktails in the great outdoors.
However, some cocktail smokers are quite large and require an abundance of additional equipment compared to handheld versions. Consider where you’ll be using your smoker and if a smaller handheld device is enough for your smoking needs or if you need a more powerful device.
Consider how often you plan on using your cocktail smoker to determine which power source would best serve your needs. For example, if you plan on using it for large parties, it’s advantageous to use a battery-powered smoker.
However, if you plan on mixing a few drinks at a time, a rechargeable smoker that uses a USB cable port that can plug into an outlet is more than sufficient.
How much you can expect to spend on cocktail smokers
Depending on the quality and items included, you can expect to spend between $80-$150 on a quality cocktail smoker.
Cocktail smoker FAQ
How long does a tin of wood chips last?
A. That entirely depends on how often you use your cocktail smoker. Most standard-size tins of wood chips can last several months because you only require a small pinch each time.
Are cocktail smokers safe?
A. Cocktail smokers are safe as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. The only issues arise when you forget to put out the wood chips before throwing them away. Similar to camping, the wood chips must be completely put out. A single spark can cause more problems than you bargained for. Additionally, when lighting the smoker, ensure that it’s lit in a well-ventilated area. You don’t want to inhale accumulated smoke continuously.
What are the best cocktail smokers to buy?
Top cocktail smoker
What you need to know: Breville presents a smoke infuser that’s high-quality enough for professional use and intuitive enough for beginners.
What youâ€™ll love: This smoker allows you to get the exact smoke flavor profile you need by allowing you to control the airflow and smoke intensity with a smooth dial. It also comes with a built-in stand that you can use to keep your smoker in place while making other drinks. There’s no need to go out and purchase additional supplies because it comes with an extender hose, batteries and additional smoke screens to help with clogging. You can also remove the chamber and barrel for a quick and easy machine wash.
What you should consider: It includes sample kits, but it would be nice if it had an entire bag of wood chips. While it works great on cocktails, it’s not the best option to smoke meat.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top cocktail smoker for the money
What you need to know: MITBAK presents a high-quality smoker complete with a kit at an affordable price.
What you’ll love: This cocktail smoker kit comes with everything you need from the all-important infuser, wood chips, a lid and charger cable. It’s beginner-friendly, so it’s intuitive to use. While it’s cheaper than its competitors, the quality makes it rank among some of the best.
What you should consider: The dome may be too low for high balls or other taller glasses.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Be the center of attention at your next party or create delicious smoked cocktails with the compact and portable Smoke Board Cocktail Kit.
What you’ll love: This compact kit comes with various wood chips, like pecan, apple and cherry, to help you create drool-worthy cocktails. It also has an oak smoking board to safely burn your wood chips and a glass Mason jar to contain all the smoke. This is an extremely versatile smoking kit because it’s not only effective for cocktails but it also deeply infuses the flavor in deli meats, cheeses and more.
What you should consider: You must purchase the butane gas can separately.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Christopher Lee writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.