Last Updated on October 24, 2022 by laurenpacek
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Smoked Ice is an interesting and smoky addition to any cocktail or mocktail. It's easy to make and is a fun way to jazz up your drinks.
Table of contents
What is smoked ice?
Smoked ice is ice or water that has been subjected to smoke, allowing it to take on smoky flavor and aroma. That's pretty much it!
It's a fun addition to drinks, especially those that would benefit from a bit of smoky flavor. I tend to think of drinks like scotch or other whiskey-based drinks. But get a little creative and try different combinations!
This is going to be a short list...
- Water: Regular tap water or filtered water works here.
- Smoke: You will be infusing the ice/water with smoke; the smoke comes from a smoker. I own a Traeger pellet smoker, and prepared and tested this recipe on that piece of equipment.
How do you make smoked ice?
It's actually a pretty simple process, in terms of the number of steps that you need to take.
First, you'll make some ice. I know, I know. It seems counterintuitive. We'll talk about it below, though.
Place your ice cubes in a disposable aluminum pan and set that pan on the grill grates of your preheated smoker. Close that lid and allow everything to smoke for about half an hour. During this time, the ice cubes will melt and the water will become infused with the flavor and aroma of the smoke.
Make sure that the ice is the ONLY thing smoking on the smoker at this time. You don't want juices from meats or anything else to splash into the water.
After a half an hour, you'll turn the smoker off, but leave the pan inside of it. Let the smoker and the pan cool down until you can handle it safely (be safe and use your best judgement).
Pour the cooled (and now smoked) water into your ice cube molds and freeze them until solid. You can use your smoked ice in whatever drinks you like right away, or you can store them in a zip top bag until you're ready.
Do I really need to make ice before smoking?
I know that it seems silly to make ice, smoke it and let it melt, and then make ice again. Why not just smoke some water and then freeze that?
I hear you.
My brother (who heard this from his boss) was the one who suggested making ice first, then smoking, and then re-freezing. Supposedly the resulting ice ends up being smokier than if you just smoked some water and then froze it
I am, first of all, a scientist. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to test both methods and make comparisons. So, I smoked two pans side-by-side: one that started out as just water, and another that contained ice cubes that would be allowed to melt down and smoke.
Interestingly, it turns out that the ice that started out as ice, was allowed to melt, and then was re-frozen took on MUCH more smoke flavor and aroma. If you want truly smoky ice cubes, definitely start out with ice cubes. If you want a much much milder flavor and aroma, start with water.
- Disposable foil pans
- Measuring cup
- Ice cube mold
- A pellet smoker (or your smoker of choice)
- Pellets for the smoker
Other garnishes for drinks
Looking for other fun garnishes for your drinks? I've listed a couple more from my blog, plus other recipes from other bloggers, below.
- Homemade Luxardo Cherries from A Nerd Cooks
- The Best Bloody Mary Garnishes from Feast and West
- Dehydrated Citrus from Jaylynn Little
- How to Make a Lemon Twist from The Speckled Palate
- Sugared Cranberries from Natasha's Kitchen
FAQs/tips and tricks
You don't need to, but I strongly recommend it. Scroll up to the "How do you make smoked ice?" section for an explanation.
You can use them in whatever drinks you'd like. I recommend using them in drinks with liquors that either already have smoky flavors, or would be complemented by them. Think scotch, bourbon, other whiskeys, etc.
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- 2 cups water, frozen into ice cubes
- Preheat your smoker to 200° Fahrenheit.
- Place the ice cubes in a disposable aluminum pan and place the pan on the grill grates of the smoker. Close the lid.
- Smoke for 30 minutes, allowing the ice cubes to melt and for the water to be infused with smoke.
- Turn the smoker off and allow the pans to cool until they are cool enough to handle.
- Pour the smoked water into ice cube molds and freeze.
- Use the ice cubes in the drink of your choice.
This recipe was tested and prepared using a pellet smoker
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g