I get it – booze and fire don’t seem like a safe combination. When it comes to cocktail smokers, most customers have one question that pops in their head immediately: are cocktail smokers safe? The answer is yes, and in this article we’re going to explain why. The process of smoking a cocktail is very safe, relatively easy, produces very little smoke, and the burning wood chips are very unlikely to start fires indoors. Nonetheless, you should definitely pay close attention to the cocktail smoking kit you purchase, as well as how you use it. Let’s get into it!
What Are Cocktail Smoker Kits and How Do They Work?
In cocktail smoking, you expose a cocktail, any of its components, or just the drinking glass to flavorful smoke. It’s also called cold smoking because of how it adds depths of flavor without any measurable amount of heat.
There are various kinds of cocktail smoker kits. Most combine a smoking gun and wood chips with various setups, such as a smoking cloche, a smoking lid, or a smoking box. In some cases, a high-performance butane torch is used in place of a smoking gun.
However, the working principle in all cocktail smoker setups is the same. You place a drink under a sawdust-filled dome or inside a box and then torch the wood dust to generate smoke. Flavorful molecules from the smoke dissolve in the drink, giving it a smoky, woodsy taste. Of course, the kind of wood you use will affect the taste. Whiskeys, classic cocktails, and other drinks can all be smoked.
Things to pay attention to when buying and operating a cocktail smoker for maximum fire safety
Heat is one of the things you will need to add smoke to your cocktail. Most kits include either a smoking gun or a high-performance kitchen torch. Kits that come with a butane torch are extremely simple to use, take up less space, and don’t have any mechanical parts that can fail. However, the open flame might make some people a little nervous. The flame from a butane torch can reach 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. The combination of high temperatures and long flames (6 in) makes butane torches perfect for various kitchen applications, including torching wood for cocktail smoking. However, if you are not careful, the long, hot flames can also be a fire hazard. The following are things to consider when smoking cocktails, especially with butane torches:
Safety is the most important thing to consider when buying a cocktail smoking kit. Verify that the devices are child-proof and have flame control. In most butane torches, the flame size can be controlled by turning a knob behind the torch’s head. To release more gas through the nozzle, turn the knob to the left. To close the valve, turn it to the right. An adjustable flame knob is crucial to the torch’s performance since different applications require different flame lengths.
To prevent accidents, butane torches come with safety features. The safety locks on push-start torches prevent accidental ignitions or activation by children.
It is safer to use self-igniting torches than manual torches. While attempting to light a manual torch, you must open a valve to release the butane. But if you don’t light the torch immediately, the butane can accumulate in the air, causing an explosive flame when it’s finally lit. Torches that automatically ignite and extinguish at the touch of a button eliminate this hazard.
Special features make some butane torches easier to use than others. For example, some feature a gauge that you can use to tell how much fuel is remaining.
When you smoke your cocktail, you are only producing a small amount of smoke. However, if you are in a small space without good ventilation and you want to make a few drinks, the smoke can accumulate. This is not a fire hazard, but the smell can definitely add up. We recommend smoking in a well ventilated area to avoid any discomfort.
Keep high proof alcohol away from the flame
Most alcohol rings in right around 80 proof. Some bourbons come in at cask strength, which usually tops out at about 120 proof. These proofs are not quite high enough to sustain a flame if ignited. However, as you start to get into smoking those higher proof neat bourbons, you may want to smoke the glass then add the alcohol after. For a point of reference, 151 proof is enough to sustain a flame if ignited. If you’re drinking anything close to that, you’ll definitely want to keep it away from the flame!g
Torch the wood or aromatics on a fireproof surface
Always keep your ignited wood on a fireproof surface to avoid fire hazards. Most smoker chimneys have a mesh screen to catch the embers and prevent ashes from falling into your drink. While torching, though, you’ll want to be aware of the surrounding area. The likelihood of an ember catching something is very small, but you can never be too careful! We recommend smoking your drinks on a non-cluttered stone countertop or gel cutting board.
Before disposing of smoldering wood chips, extinguish them.
If smoldering wood chips are neglected or misplaced, they can easily ignite paper towels and spark a fire in your home. Before throwing away any used wood chips, make sure they are not smoldering. We always recommend you toss your smoked ashes into a sink to avoid them coming into contact with any flammable materials while still hot.
So, are cocktail smokers safe?
It is safe to use cocktail smokers; however, just like any implement with an open flame, you still need to use them carefully. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions, and use common sense to make sure you’re not likely to cause any fires you didn’t intend for!
Introducing The Smokeshow Smoker Bundle
If you are shopping for a cocktail smoker, Smokeshow offers the highest quality, highest value kit around. Featuring a handcrafted walnut wood smoker and an assortment of accessories, this kit makes smoking drinks easy. The set is safe and easy to use and adds a unique smoky flavor in seconds.
Included in the kit are:
- The Smokeshow Cocktail Smoker
- Bourbon Barrel Oak, Cherry, Apple, and Hickory Smoke Dust
- Jet’s high-performing kitchen torch
- 140ml Butane
About the High-Performance Jet Kitchen Torch
The high-powered Jet Kitchen Torch is a perfect match for the Smokeshow Cocktail Smoker. The torch features an ergonomic form and lightweight design and is convenient to use. It generates a flame with enough force and concentration to maximize the Smokeshow’s effectiveness. It also has a safety lock and an adjustable flame size. Above all, it is designed to ensure your hands do not come anywhere near the flame.
The Best Ways to Use the Torch
Only high-grade butane is used for this torch (we include 5x refined premium butane). Before filling the cylinder, shake it well. Insert the nozzle in the filling valve and hold the torch upside down. Then, begin filling. Please stay away from sparks or open flames during the process. Wait 2 minutes before using the torch after it has been filled.
How to light your Smokeshow
Position the flow regulator between “+” and “-.” Point the torch away from the Smokeshow smoker, then light it. Finally, point it directly into the smoker, so you don’t burn it.
- Avoid using or filling the torch near sparks or open flames
- Please do not touch the flame or fill the torch when it is hot
- Keep out of children’s reach
- Use only high-grade butane in the torch, and keep it dry and cool
- Lock the torch and keep it safe after use
How to use the Smokeshow Kit
All you need to do is mix whatever drink you feel like smoking, put the Smokeshow on, put some smoke dust in the basket, then hit it with a torch. Let the smoke flavor your drink for 20 seconds, then enjoy!
Some of the benefits of owning the Smokeshow kit include:
- Creates a smoky flavor instantly
- Compatible with all standard rocks, shakers & mixing glasses
- Wow your guests with a cocktail and a show
- Easy to store thanks to its minimalist design
- It can be used 1000s of times without being replaced due to burning the chamber
- Simple and intuitive design
The Smokeshow Smoker is one of the most affordable, practical, and user-friendly cocktail smoking kits on the market. It arrives with every accessory you need to start infusing smoke into your drinks and will last for thousands of uses.