Breville USA is a manufacturer and marketer of small home appliances and parent company of PolyScience Culinary, who many of you know as one of the leading sous vide machine manufacturers, including products such as the PolyScience Creative. Breville holds numerous patents on a variety of household appliances (they created the original sandwich toaster, after all), so it’s no surprise you’ll find a few creative devices for sale on their website. Perhaps the most interesting is the Breville Smoking Gun – a hand-held cold smoke infuser that’s designed to add smokey flavor without cooking your food.
That’s right a gun that shoot delicious smokey flavor all over your food. The satisfaction of shooting a gun and deliciousness smokiness have finally come together. Best of all, you won’t have to fill up your apartment with smoke to get that flavor that you crave. This substitution tastes perfect without any of the drawbacks of traditional smoking (mostly the smoke). You might be asking yourself when this smoke gun might come in handy in your kitchen. Well, this just happens to be a perfect device to add to any sous vide experience. So, naturally it goes without saying that I had to get my hands on one of these beauties and test it out. Want to find out if it worked as advertised? Then let’s find out by jumping right into my smoking gun review.
Review: Smoking Gun
Unboxing and Setup
The Breville USA smoking gun comes tightly packed in organized packaging that displays all of the contents, while still keeping them safe for shipping. Inside the carefully oacked box, you will find the Breville Smoking Gun, a removable hose, a mesh woodchip insert, an collection of applewood and hickory woodchips, and 4 batteries (that’s right, for once batteries are included!). To get started, simply attach the nozzle to the smoking gun, place your mesh insert into the top until it clicks into place (you’ll be able to feel it), and insert your batteries in the appropriate slots. Believe it or not, that’s all the set up that is necessary. You will now be able to test your smoking good and make sure it works by switching the power on (feel free to use either the high or low setting) – all this does is turn a fan on to blow air through the hose. Once you’ve confirmed you’re good to go, pick out which flavor you want to use and get to smoking! It really is that simple. It won’t take you long to have your smoking gun locked and loaded. You can be smoking your food within minutes of bringing this item home, if necessary.
For the test, I opted to smoke some sous vide pork belly that I had already cooked up using my PolyScience CREATIVE circulator. After a full 10 hours in the water bath to reach just the right texture, I had perfectly cooked pork belly, but no smokiness. In the past, this used to be disappointing. But not anymore thanks to my new smoking gun! So I tossed a few pieces of pork belly into a bowl, covered it with saran wrap, and got my gun ready for my first attempt. I placed a small amount of applewood chips into the mesh basket, inserted the nozzle into the bowl, turned the fan on high, and lit the woodchips with a lighter.
It took seconds. It felt like all i did was turn on my smoking gun and then boom! There was tons of smoke! There was only one drawback…nearly all of my smoke escaped from the bowl. After my first attempt, I learned that the hardest part about this device is knowing how to use saran wrap. That’s where the artistry comes in. The gun is simple. Just point and shoot. It’s carefully using saran wrap to ensure that smoke doesn’t escape from your piles of pork that is a challenge. As you can see in the photo below, a lot of the smoke immediately left the bowl. So, my ego was bruised and I was forced to try this again.
Time for round two with my smoking gun. A sequel that will hopefully top the original! I immeditately emptied my new gun’s the mesh basket and added new wood chips. Then grabbed more saran wrap and thankfully did a much better job at sealing it. This time the bowl filled with smoke so that I could no longer see what was inside. I let the pork sit with the smoke for about 5-6 minutes before I decided I was too hungry to wait any longer! Thankfully, that’s all the time that my pork needed.
Overall the pork belly did have a smokiness bite to it, so I consider this first attempt a win. It obviously won’t create that incredibly deep smoke flavor you get from using a full-size Weber Smokey Mountain or one of the other’s on our list of best smokers. That’s just not a realistic expectation for a handheld smoking gun. But that said, given how easy this machine is to operate and how little time that the pork actually needs to sit in the smoke, I was surprised by the amount of flavor that my pork belly did manage to retain. I honestly was not expecting to taste the smokiness at all, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much flavor the pork retained in that short period of smoke exposure.
So, next I added the finished smoked pork belly to a miso ramen, and finished off the dish with a gorgeous sous vide egg, cooked for 15 minutes at 167F. That’s a pretty impressive meal whipped up with surprisingly little effort, if I do say so myself.
Overall, the smoker is an awesome addition to sous vide cooking. It’s a quick and easy way get some added smokey flavor that would otherwise be impossible in sous vide. It obviously does not compare to a real and traditional smoker. the flavor from the smoking gun is much more subtle due to the fact that it is such a late inning addition to the cooking process. Because of this, I actually recommend to use the Breville Smoker for dishes such as smoked cheese, smoked butters/sauces, and even desserts (Breville put out a few great smoked recipes to use with the product). That might be a better fit given that a subtle smokey flavor is all that you’ll ever need with those dishes. When it comes to adding some smokiness to meat, the traditional smoking process is really the only option. Anything less is guaranteed to disappoint. Interested in picking up your own smoking gun for easy smoking at home? Then you can find the Smoking Gun on either Breville’s website or Amazon.