For many of us chefs, the sound of sizzling meat and that wonderful full-bodied aroma of charcoal or, even better, cherry wood burning away on a grill, is in the days of the past once you end up on these floating hotels at sea. Don't get me wrong; we know how to throw down while we’re stuck in the shipyard or when it's down-time on land, but how can you still get the cave-man sensation while still at sea without a grill?

So far I have only had the pleasure of being on two boats in my yachting career that had a barbecue grill on the sundeck. The truth about them was, I never really got to use them properly because the deck crew and myself were always concerned about ashes and grease getting on the decks. Not to mention the smoke and grease making its way up the stacks and dirtying up the courtesy flag and satellite bulbs. Fifteen minutes of grilling left the deck crew with hours of cleaning up to do. As a yacht chef, I just never saw the point of that. We already work extremely hard when the owner or charter guests are on the boat, why add more fuel to the fire? So, my solution to this problem is how I ended up with the Smoking Gun. The Smoking Gun is easy, efficient and leaves practically no mess at all – just a couple of ashes that need to shaken out of the chamber. And the best part of it is that it fits into a small box and can be stored anywhere in the galley.

As a chef you always want to serve something amazing to your crew, owner and guests. While sticking true to your flavours and cooking techniques. This is how I am able to impart that smoky meaty cave man flavor without a grill on the boat.

This incredible little machine fits in the palm of your hand and is less than 100 euros. I have been using it for years and it's the only go-to piece of kit I use in the galley when I want to smoke my own salt, butter, fruit, meats, poultry, fish and seafood, ice cream, salads, ketchup – you name it. I even love using it to do smoked cocktails, juices and drinks. Several times a year I even do a smoked bread as well. It really does give you the option to be as creative as you possibly can be.

This incredible little machine fits in the palm of your hand and is less than 100 euros. I have been using it for years and it's the only go-to piece of kit I use in the galley.

The Smoking Gun is amazing and the possibilities are endless. It also adds a dramatic aroma and visual sensation that enhances the dining experience at the table. The guests and owners love it; it really does put on a great show – just be careful not to set off the main salon fire alarm system, which can be a little embarrassing while on charter. (JB Prince is a company that carries the special glass domes for this style of plate presentation; if you cant get JB Prince, almost any high-end plateware company carries them these days. But I would definitely check with your chief stewardess/steward before ordering them and see if they have the space, as they do take up a good amount of storage.)

With that said, this machine will not leave a bark or smoke ring (something that happens naturally when smoking meats for long periods of time under the correct temperature) on any item whatsoever. This is what all the big smokers and grill masters are trying to achieve – a flavor ring that really takes your product to the next level and truly shows your love for anything meaty and that can fall off the bone.

On a final note, the Smoking Gun really works best as a finishing item to add just a little more flavor and aroma to your prepared dish. Most of the times we use cast iron plates to grill our steaks or sauté them in the galley. They really never take on that grill or braai characteristics that you’re really looking for. This is one way to get that flavor profile and wow your owner or charter guests.

This device fits in the palm of your hand. It's made from anodised aluminum and heavy duty-metal. It also has a removable smoking chamber and blower fan. It is low noise and gives you the option to put any wood flavor profile you’re looking for, operating on just four AA batteries. The Smoking Gun can be found at almost any specialty cooking supply store and is available for online orders as well. You can also order it directly from Polyscience. This company is one of the top leaders of innovation in our culinary industry and is definitely worth the time to check them out.

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