For all the pleasures of cooking slow and low over smoldering wood, the reality is that few men have the time to stoke a smoker every time they want food tinged with the sultry kiss of hickory or mesquite. With summer not quite here, we sing the praises of the Smoking Gun, a remarkably easy-to-use tool brought to market by the clever minds at PolyScience that lets you quickly add smoked flavor to cooked and raw foods. Simply load the gun with a pinch of wood chips (jars of aromatic woods come packaged with the gun), turn it on and fire smoke into the food-containing vessel of your choosing: a pot holding a piece of sushi-grade salmon or a ziplock bag of cooked carnitas, for example. Give the smoke a few minutes to infuse, and voilà—smoky flavor without any fire.
To add smoke to salsas or amp up the woodsy flavor of mezcal margaritas: Add ingredients to blender, shoot in some smoke, cover and blitz in the flavor.
Bourbon drinks lend themselves to additional smoke flavoring. The trick is to shake vigorously to disperse tiny smoke bubbles throughout the cocktail.
Put something delicious (butter, chocolate, cooked bacon, sliced tomatoes for a BLT) in a freezer bag, fire in some smoke and there you have it: better-tasting food.