A countertop cold smoking machine is a great way to add a depth of grilled or barbecued-style flavor to a simple weeknight meal, or to up the excitement of a standard cocktail or a less-expensive dram of whiskey. They're easy to use, relatively small to store, and really can bring a different level to simple plate of roasted vegetables or pan-seared protein, especially in the dead of winter. I have one; it was a gift, and I love it, and use it regularly, like in our ManMade guide to making smoked cocktails. (Photo above) But, here's the thing: they're super expensive. Like, $100-ish. And though I'd probably replace it if something happened to mine (I really do use it), it's a lot for such a simple machine that does but one thing, albeit well.
Kevin Liu of Science Fare thought the same thing, and figured out how to create a DIY version for less than $20. It actually looks like the Proscience machine, and is based on a $7 hand vacuum that may have been a prototype supply for the original. A little bit of tubing and a pipe filter, and you've a smoking machine.
Get the full how-to and parts list: Hack Together a DIY Cold Smoker Gun for Less than $20 [Science Fare, via Not Martha]