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Cocktail Smoker Top vs Smoke Dome

by Jason Lowder September 12, 2022 4 min read

In a world of constant new inventions, it's hard to keep up with the latest and greatest. But when it comes to your home bar, you want to be on top of the trends.

Smoke domes and smoke tops are two of the newest products on the market that allow you to add a smoky flavor to your cocktails. But which one is better?

What is a Cocktail Smoke Dome and How Does It Work?

cocktail smoke dome is a glass or metal dome that is placed over a drink or food to create a smoky effect. 

When using for smoking drinks, the some is placed over the drink after it has been poured and contains a small amount of liquid or ice.

The dome is then filled with smoke using an electric smoker which fills the dome with smoke through a rubber tube.  Once complete the dome is lifted, allowing the smoke to escape and creating a dramatic effect.  The smoke domes tend to require a large amount of smoke to flavor the food or drink with in, so be sure to use them in a space which will tolerate the extra smoke when the dome is lifted.  

The process is simple, place your glass under the dome, rev up the gun, light the wood chips, and voila, big pillows of smoke!

They can be found at many bars and restaurants, or purchased online or at specialty stores.

Smoke domes come in a variety of sizes and shapes, but generally these tend to be larger than smoke top lids, which sit on top of the cocktail glass.  We'll cover those next.  

What is a Smoke Top/Lid and How Does it Work?

A smoke top cocktail smoker is a device, often wooden, that has a small hole in the top and is used to add smokey flavor directly to the prepared cocktail. 

smoke lid whiskey smoker

The smoke is created by adding wood chips to a small chamber provided and then burning them with a culinary torch.  (Note: Regular lighters won't work here.)  The smoke drops down from the wood smoke top lid and onto the drink.  Alternatively, you can smoke an empty glass and then add the drink after for a similar result.

The smoky flavor comes from the wood chips that are burned, which are included in most kits.  Most kits sold today don't include quite everything needed to smoke your first cocktail.  A complete cocktail smoker kit includes the smoke lid, wood chips, culinary torch, and butane.  Some kits today do not include the torch, and most don't include the butane.  The Smoke Lid Kit from Aged & Charred includes it all. 

You can experiment with different types of wood to find the flavor that you like best.

Cocktail Smoke Dome vs Smoke Top: Pros and Cons of Each

When it comes to choosing the right smoking accessory for your needs, it’s important to compare all of your options. 

Two popular choices among smokers are the cocktail smoke dome and the smoke top lid. 

Both have their own unique set of pros and cons that should be considered before making a purchase.

Pros of a Smoke Dome

The cocktail smoke dome is a great choice for those who want to enjoy a flavorful smoking experience and smoke multiple cocktails at once as well as appetizers, cheeses and fruits.

The dome is often made of glass, so you can see the smoke entering and filling the space.  

When there is space on the table the smoke dome can be a nice table decor as well when not in use.  

Cons of a Smoke Dome

While smoke domes are effective as smoking small amounts of food, they may require too much smoke for just a few cocktails.  This is because the whole dome must be filled with smoke to allow it to settle on the cocktail glasses.  Once the dome is removed, all the excess smoke escapes in the room, so be sure to limit use of the smoking to rooms which are ok for some left over smoke. 

The domes tend to be much bigger than the whiskey smoke top lids which often come in a kit with other components.  So, table space and storage space are something to consider before making a purchase. 

Due to their size, smoke domes take more time to fill the dome with smoke for a cocktail vs. the smoke lids. 

Pros of a Smoke Top Lid

The smoke top lid is a good choice for those who want a quick and effective. way to add smoke flavor and aroma to a cocktail.  Anyone can use them and it typically takes less than a minute to smoke a drink since the smoke is added directly from the top of the glass.

Smoke lids are made of wood and the stained wood grain designs are visually appealing to most whiskey drinkers.

The smoke lid kits take up less space for storage and use compared to smoke dome kits.  Most will fit in a bar or kitchen drawer.

At at Aged & Charred, we're all about experience, that's why our Smoke Top Lid Kit includes Smoke Lid, wood chips, culinary torch, butane, and a gift box. 

Cons of a Smoke Top Lid

The smoke lids are made for smoking a single cocktail at a time.  In most cases this is fine since it only takes less than a minute to smoke a cocktail.  If you're looking for a product specifically designed to smoke multiple cocktails at once, consider the Smoke Barrel from Aged & Charred.

Thanks for visiting and cheers to you.  



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