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Disclaimer: we received a free smoking gun tool set from TMKEFFC for the sake of this review. We did not receive any further compensation, and all opinions are strictly our own.
Sometimes you just want to add the depth of smoky flavor to a particular food or drink. Sous vide foods, for example, can lack that flame-kissed flavor. Similarly, homemade stovetop s’mores never taste quite as good as the version you have out in the woods, because they’re missing that smoky campfire flavor.
A smoking gun is the perfect solution in these cases, letting you add carefully controlled smoke from a wood (or herb or spice) of your choice in your home kitchen. But many of them tend to be pricy enough that it’s hard to justify the cost for such a specific tool.
The TMKEFFC Smoking Gun Food Smoker Tools Set is the perfect solution. It includes not only a smoking gun, but also a dome, a lid, and the necessary tools to make more lids of your choice. And all of this for less than the cost of many smoking guns alone! We already loved the idea of this set, so we were delighted to have the opportunity to do a hands-on review of the TMKEFFC smoker to see whether it lived up to our expectations.
Spoiler alert: it did. Of course it’s not perfect (what product is?), but we highly recommend it for home cooks or mixologists on a budget. Read on for the details and to learn what we love about it (and which details could be improved).
Specific Product: the TMKEFFC Smoking Gun Food Smoker Tools Set
To be clear, we’re reviewing the TMKEFFC Smoking Gun Food Smoker Tools Set, which comes with the smoking gun as well as a dome, a lid, and the tools to make your own lids. TMKEFFC also has several other smoking gun models and kits, which we haven’t tried.
The TMKEFFC smoking gun kit already has a place on our list of the top smoking guns as our favorite pick for home chefs who want to get started with a kit at an affordable price. Unlike many of its competitors, the TMKEFFC option comes with a variety of accessories including a dome, a lid, and the tools necessary to let you make your own compatible lids.
And given how much it includes for an incredibly affordable price, this device definitely deserves its place on our list. While it isn’t quite perfect, it’s a fantastic starting point. You can get smoking right away without a serious financial investment, making this the ideal kit for first-time buyers.
With that said, the TMKEFFC smoker doesn’t come with wood chips or batteries. Make sure you already have those on hand by the time it arrives so that you can use it right away!
They say you get what you pay for, right? Given the affordable cost of this (almost)-all-in-one kit, we weren’t sure how much to expect, so we were pleasantly surprised when the box arrived. Both the gun itself and the plastic dome felt higher-quality than we anticipated.
Starting It Up
The only slight confusion in getting started was with just how easy it was! Our tester expected to need to do some assembly, so it took her a second to realize that the smoker was already assembled and she could just pop in some batteries and start using it. We appreciate that level of convenience!
From there, it was as simple as choosing food to smoke and which wood chips to use, and then firing up the gun.
Note: the combination of a long BBQ-style lighter and this smoking gun didn’t work ideally together. The lighter went out quickly when held upside-down, which the design of the smoking gun requires. It worked after some fiddling with the angles, but we recommend using either a match or a handheld lighter if your longer lighter also struggles to function upside-down.
The Smoking Process
Once the wood chips were successfully lit, the TMKEFFC did a fantastic job of creating a thick, steady stream of smoke. In subsequent tests, after getting the hang of lighting the chips, it was quick and easy to get the smoke flow going.
Usually, when we have a lot to say about the actual cooking process with a product, it’s because there were problems or flaws. With the TMKEFFC, this isn’t the case, so there’s not much to say! It works very well, functions precisely as intended, and creates a generous amount of smoke. We were very happy with its performance.
The Included Dome
Having an included dome made things so much easier—and was one fewer item to buy separately! In our side-by-side comparison with the Breville Smoking Gun (read more on that below), getting the TMKEFFC set up was much faster because we didn’t need to use plastic wrap to create a makeshift smoking container.
Our only issue with the dome is that a bit of the smoke escapes from around the bottom. This meant needing to hold the lid down during the smoking process to keep all the smoke in. We wish that the dome had a silicone or rubber base to help create an airtight seal and keep all the smoke in! However, given how affordable TMKEFFC’s product is, it makes sense not to be able to include higher-end details like this.
Disassembly and Cleaning
It’s important to keep any smoking gun clean in general. We also like to clean them extra-well when changing between types of wood, because different wood types can smell so different. Naturally, this means that being able to easily remove and clean the washable parts is an important factor!
The TMKEFFC smoker does a great job here too. It’s easy to remove the burn chamber and hose for cleaning, and reassembly is just as simple.
For the sake of thorough testing, we used the TMKEFFC side-by-side with the much pricier Breville Smoking Gun in three identical recipes to see how it performs in comparison. Each of the three side-by-side tests we conducted used a different variety of wood chips.
- The Breville Smoking Gun is slightly easier to get smoking, possibly thanks to its two speed settings (using the higher speed while lighting the wood chips gets things going fast). We also noticed that the chamber that holds the wood chips is slightly deeper in the TMKEFFC, which makes the Breville a little easier to light.
- Both options produce about the same amount of smoky flavor. In two out of the three tests we did, the Breville and the TMKEFFC performed identically in terms of how much smoky flavor they imbued. In the third, the TMKEFFC actually gave more smoky flavor than the Breville; the recipe needed a second round of smoking with the Breville, while one round was enough with the TMKEFFC. This could be just a matter of how quickly the chips started burning in that particular round (which is a variable that’s very hard to control for!), but overall, the TMKEFFC is on par with the Breville in terms of the amount of flavor it produces.
- Both options are easy and straightforward to clean. We didn’t have any problem taking apart either gun to clean the necessary parts.
- The Breville feels somewhat higher in quality. Of course, this is to be expected given the price difference; the entire TMKEFFC kit costs less than just the Breville smoking gun alone.
Overall, it’s hard to recommend one over the other because it’s so much a matter of what you’re looking for. For the average home user who’s just getting into smoking and wants an (almost)-all-in-one kit, the TMKEFFC is a fantastic choice. If you want a higher-end device and have a high enough budget to justify buying a pricier smoking gun and appropriate containers/lids separately, you may prefer the Breville.
Pros & Cons
The TMKEFFC Smoking Gun Food Smoker Tools Set is ideal for home chefs or mixologists who have been wanting to add smoky flavor but struggled to justify the higher price of many other devices. If you’re a food lover on a budget, this is the kit for you! We particularly appreciate that it includes both a dome and a lid, so you can easily start smoking foods without needing to track down or buy an appropriate container.
Given everything you get in the kit and the effectiveness of the smoking gun, the price is a fantastic deal. If you were to individually buy each piece that comes with this kit, you would almost definitely end up spending a lot more. And while you don’t technically need a dome or a designated lid, having them is a lot easier than trying to mess with using plastic wrap to create an airtight seal. Plus it reduces single-use plastic waste, which we always appreciate!
The true test of a product is whether the tester decides to keep it. (After all, as normal people with normal-sized kitchens, it’s unrealistic for Cuisine Technology’s product testers to keep everything! We often go in expecting to give away or donate the product after we’ve thoroughly tested it.)
This particular product was reviewed by Cuisine Technology’s main product tester, who has extensive experience with a wide range of kitchen tools, appliances, and gadgets. She’s also insistent on keeping a tidy, organized kitchen, which means limiting the number of items in it. So for her to keep a product, it needs to be something truly effective that she anticipates using regularly.
Her verdict: the TMKEFFC smoking gun is staying. It already has a permanent home in her kitchen.
The combination of the effectiveness of the tool, the completeness of the kit it comes with, and the versatility that it offers in adding flavor to cooking means that we wholeheartedly recommend the TMKEFFC smoking gun to anyone looking for an affordable way to get started.
With that said, as always, there are a couple of details we would change. We would have loved for the kit to include at least a couple small samples of wood chips to get started, so it would truly be an all-in-one kit. And we wish that the dome had a soft rubber or silicone base to better contain the smoke. Of course, these things cost money—so making these changes would probably raise the price of the kit. Given its affordable price, we believe you’re getting a truly fantastic deal.
For another complete kit: the Homia Smoking Gun Wood Smoke Infuser Extended Plus Kit. We love this kit because it’s fully complete (with wood chips, batteries, and a brush!). However, the extras come at an extra cost.
For home cooks on a budget: the Kaven Smoking Gun. It’s definitely an affordable device, but you may find it’s a bit of false savings, because you’ll probably want to purchase the other items from the TMKEFFC kit separately.