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Ready, Aim...Flavor

A chef's favorite gadget gets a makeover

Normally, where there's smoke, there's fire. But that's not the case with the Smoking Gun, a handheld gadget chefs and mixologists have been using to blast everything in sight with a precision cloud of robust, smoky flavor.

Invented by PolyScience--the Illinois-based company known for its equipment collaborations with tech-savvy chefs like Thomas Keller and Grant Achatz--the original Smoking Gun looked better suited for a Phish show than the fish station. But its design recently got recast with a removable smoking chamber, an aluminum internal fan and an attachable hose (though chefs acknowledge it can still serve more than one purpose).

In San Francisco, Chris Cosentino likes to use the gun to trick his customers' palates by adding smoky flavors to raw fish and oysters. Atlanta's Richard Blais swaps the gun's standard ammo--sawdust--with spices like cinnamon and curry, as well as dehydrated chicken skin to create what he calls "chicken smoke."

And the Smoking Gun has even gone behind the bar. At Chicago's Nacional 27, Adam Seger created a Latin-accented Manhattan by first infusing bourbon with a Costa Rican cigar, then using his Smoking Gun to rev up the flavor.

The Smoking Gun ($80) is available through PolyScience or at JBPrince.com

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