I’ll admit it. I am a bit of a snob. I am even dubious of red wines from Sonoma, anything made in China (except Chinese food) and Canned Spam. But when it came to finding a cold smoker with the perfect balance utility and price, I swallowed my greater sensibilities and ordered one. It was called the “Amaz’n Pellet Smoker”. The mere fact that it had an apostrophe in it’s name was enough to raise a well coiffed eyebrow. And when I saw it was actually spelled “Amaz’n”, I barely stifled an eye roll and practically passed it by altogether. But, curiosity (and the fact that it was only about 40 bucks) got the better of me and I ordered it. Besides, who would ever find out?
About a week later a little box showed up with a bag of cherry wood smoking pellets (which looked a lot like rabbit food) and a small metal perforated device for burning said pellets. Basically, you fill the device up with whatever sort of wood pellets you want to flavor your target with, light one end with a blowtorch and blow out ensuing the flame after a minute or so.
The pellets are laid in a bit of a snake like row from one end of the device to the other – separated by a small metal wall. This essentially acts as a “fuse” slowly burning the pellets from one end to the other, all the while generating smoke – for about 6 hours.
So, with a healthy dose of pessimism, last night I rigged the thing up and set out to cold smoke two mammoth blocks of mozzarella. I filled the unit with pellets from one end to the other. Using my creme brulee torch, I blasted an intense blue flame in the hole at one end and in about 30 seconds or less the pellets near the hole were burning. I let them burn for about a minute and gently blew out the flame. I placed the unit – which was now happily smoking away in the bottom of my 22.5 inch Weber Smokey Mountain (we snobby pit masters call this a “WSM” because it sounds much cooler). I placed the cheese in the top rack, replaced the cover and went to bed to let it smoke.
I went to visit my project first thing this morning, half expecting to see that the pellets had gone out and stopped smoking. The yard had a pleasant cherry smoke smell that was encouraging. I opened the front access door on the WSM – and all the pellets were burned. I carefully lifted the lid and – low and behold – two beautiful golden bricks of mozzarella lay before my astonished eyes. I was sold. This Amaz’n Pellet thing actually is AMAZ’N. I quickly vacuum packed my prizes and put them in the fridge to mellow for a week or so.
So if you are looking for an inexpensive, simple, effective cold smoking solution for your cold smoking dreams – look no further than something with an apostrophe in it. Mighty klassy if’n I don’t say so myself. Did I actually say Klassy? God Help me.
Check out https://www.amazenproducts.com. (I ordered the AMNPS – which is the pellet smoker). You can cold smoke salt, peanuts, bologna, lox, cheese, popcorn… possibilities are endless. And don’t let the name fool you.