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$2,897 pledged of $10,000 goal
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By Paul Bader
$2,897 pledged of $10,000 goal
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What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

2bfacb541fc94343abded8e5da4d4d47 original

Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

About this project

What is Smoke & Awe?

Smoke & Awe is a patented device that converts gas grills into smokers. Unlike smoke boxes, Smoke & Awe uses dry wood chips that are ignited without using high heat from a grill burner. Smoke & Awe operates independent of the gas grill which allows for precise temperature control during smoking and produces abundant amounts of smoke resulting in great tasting smoked food. Go to (www.smokeandawe.com) for recipes and to learn more.

How does Smoke & Awe’s patented technology work?

Fire requires an endless amount of oxygen to burn with flames. That is why you fan your campfire. Fire with limited amounts of oxygen will only smolder and produce smoke and that principle is the basis for Smoke & Awe’s patented technology. The patented technology is in the way Smoke & Awe controls air flow to create and maintain a smoldering fire in a device that you can place in your gas grill.

What Do We Hope To Accomplish?

I've been frustrated with conventional gas grill smoking techniques that require soaking wood chips, forming Al foil pouches or filling boxes placed directly on the grill flames that don't work. The conventional techniques go against the low temperature and long cooking times needed for great smoked foods. I've spent my entire adult life trying to overcome the shortfalls of smoking on gas grills and developed a device and method that replicates food produced on conventional smokers in gas grills.  We hope our Kickstarter campaign with your help is the beginning of a revolution in grilling and Smoke & Awe becomes a mainstream go-to device for the everyday grill user.  

Smoke & Awe’s manufacturing strategy:

Smoke & Awe will not be outsourced to China. It will be made in the USA by local American workers.  The patented design can be manufactured by small to medium local sheet metal fabrication shops requiring common equipment and skills found in those shops. This will help support the dwindling manufacturing base in this country.  Current units are being manufactured by laser cutting sheet metal and hand assembly. The manufacturing strategy will be to develop a network of small to medium local fabrication shops located throughout the country to manufacture Smoke & Awe as the production needs grow.  The main objective of our Kickstarter campaign is to raise funding to be able to purchase tooling and production jigs to reduce manufacturing costs at our first fabrication shop located in Cincinnati, Ohio to fulfill the Kickstarter backers’ rewards

The Smoke & Awe’s Development Team:

Paul Bader, Smoke & Awe’s Inventor Bio:

Paul’s 30 years of expertise is in product/package development and manufacturing technology in Food and Home Care businesses with a large consumer packaged Goods Company. Paul holds a BS in engineering and an MBA.

John Vesprani, Smoke & Awe’s Creative Chef’s Bio:

John’s expertise is in planning and hosting corporate hospitality and marketing events for fortune 1000 companies and private client groups.  He has developed a successful business, managing promotional marketing, hospitality and operations for large sporting events.  John holds a BS and MS in Sport’s Management and has worked with some of the best culinary chefs in the corporate hospitality field.

Michelle Fisk, Smoke & Awe’s Intern Bio:

Michelle is currently pursuing a degree in Visual Communications at the University of Cincinnati in the DAAP School of Design.

Interview with Smoke & Awe’s Creative Chef John Vesprani:

 How has Smoke & Awe helped your business?

“Being able to use and test the early development and production prototypes of Smoke & Awe has enabled me to expand my menu items and create great smoked food for my corporate clients. They are amazed at the variety of items I can create using my gas grill.  I’ve also been able to increase my profitability by using Smoke & Awe with my grill at catering events.  I now offer my catering clients a highly profitable, on-site, smoked 30 pound pig roasts without needing to trailer, set-up and break-down my professional smoker.”

What surprised you the most about Smoke & Awe?

 “It works! Also, because of Smoke & Awe’s chimney design I can smoke items with different types of wood species by layering the wood chips in the chimney. This creates unique smoke tastes I haven’t been able to copy on my professional smoker.  I am currently experimenting with ending a smoking session with a touch of mesquite and I am excited to report that I am creating deep and fabulous complex tastes.  I’ve discovered that adding a block or two of hickory wood mixed in with the chips in Smoke and Awe can add great smoky flavors to my favorite menu items similar to my professional smoking equipment while extending Smoke & Awe’s smoke timeframe.”

Do you use Smoke & Awe at home?

“Yes, with Smoke & Awe at home I can have my families’ menu items in the grill and smoking in less than 5 minutes. My kids’ favorite Smoke & Awe food is wood fired pizza on the grill”

How do you light and use Smoke & Awe?

“I find the key to lighting Smoke & Awe is using my glazing torch to create a good bed of embers with no flames, I use the regulator to balance smoke production. I’ll fully open the vent holes to help stoke the embers if I want a lot of smoke production and choke off the holes if the recipe requires a hint of smoke. I find removing the regulator early when lighting helps.  Smoke & Awe is similar to managing a smoke box on a professional smoker, even though I am using a gas grill I still feel like a Pit Master. If I get a flame I’ll just flick a little water at it to calm it down.  I’ve also used crumbed paper similar to charcoal starter techniques to light it with great success”

Have you tried conventional smoke boxes and foil pouch techniques on gas grills?

“I’ve tried conventional smoke boxes and foil pouch techniques for years with very poor results.  I get fabulous results with Smoke & Awe every time. The key is to control cooking temperatures while independently controlling smoke.  The conventional techniques require high heat to initiate smoke from water soaked chips and to maintain smoke while only lasting a short time before flaming out.  I find it is almost impossible to create great smoked foods with high heat.  I can get up to an hour of really good smoke production before needing to reload chips in Smoke & Awe.  With Smoke & Awe you do not soak the wood chips, in fact it doesn’t work when the wood chips are soaked. I find I get my best results with absolutely dry chips.”

Why do you think Smoke & Awe works when current techniques give you poor results?

“With Smoke & Awe I can precisely control cooking temperatures using my grill burners while Smoke & Awe provides the smoke.  Conventional techniques require too much heat and produce very little smoke to have any success.  I also get better control than my professional smoker where I have a fine line of balancing smoke and temperature at the same time.”

How do you Smoke & Awe a 30 Pound Pig for your catering clients:

“Smoking a 30 pound pig on your gas grill is surprisingly easy, the secret is using 2 Smoke and Awe smoke canisters.  First start by brining the pig for 12-24 hrs. in a strong plastic bag using a salt water mixture with brown sugar, ginger, pepper, garlic, onions, limes and whatever else you have handy. Place the sealed bag in a cooler with ice to keep cool or refrigerate.  After 12-24 hrs., remove the pig from the brine and rub the cavity with chopped garlic and onions. Slit the skin and add full garlic cloves.  Add salt and pepper and your favorite spices.  Wrap the feet in foil.  Line the grate with a heavy gauge foil and start your grill with in-direct heat and adjust temperature to 250F. I use the 2 outside burners on my grill and leave the burners directly under the pig off. Place the pig on the foil lined grill grate cavity side down.  Light and insert 2 Smoke & Awe canisters in the grill, refill with chips and small wood blocks as the chips burn down. Keep the Smoke & Awes going for the entire cook time which is typically around 5 to 6 hrs. depending on weight and starting temperature.  I prefer to use hickory wood but other species including pecan, apple and alder will do fabulous depending on desired taste profile.  Let cook until internal temperature is 165 in the thickest part which is usually the shoulder.  Small pigs have surprisingly little fat drippings which makes them ideal for roasting on your gas grill.  Let rest for 45 – 60 minutes and then serve by cutting and pulling meat apart.  I find cutting the rib racks loose and placing back on the grill with a little barbeque sauce is wonderful.” 

Besides whole suckling pigs, what other menu items have you prepared with Smoke & Awe?

“As I mentioned earlier, it does a great job creating the taste of wood fired pizza on the gas grill.  In addition, it is great for cooking seafood such as salmon, shrimp and scallops.  Don’t be afraid to use it with beef roasts such as tenderloin and whole strip loins.  It adds an extra layer of flavor that people don’t normally expect.  Obviously, it can be used with great success to do more traditional cuts of meat such as pork ribs, chops, Boston butts and beef brisket.”

Do you plan on publishing a Smoke & Awe cookbook?

“Paul and I have talked about a publishing a cookbook and want to see how much support we get with our Smoke & Awe Kickstarter campaign.  If we get funded and we have strong support we’ll try a second Kickstarter campaign focused on publishing a Smoke & Awe cookbook.  Paul keeps telling me it’s all about the food that can be created with Smoke & Awe.  You can go to the Smoke & Awe website (www.smokeandawe.com) and try a couple of the items I serve for my clients. 

 

Risks and challenges

The risks for Smoke & Awe are limited because of the manufacturing strategy and design can be scaled with widely available manufacturers and technology with low investment. Higher capital investment will reduce the unit cost which can be managed as sales grow. Market research has shown that there is strong interest in the product concept and benefits. The patented technology protects the product from being copied and marketed by others. The patent is broad and protects variations of the design principles.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Smoke & Awe Logo Sticker

    Smoke & Awe Logo Sticker

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    Pledge $34 or more About $34

    Smoke & Awe

    You will receive a single early production Smoke & Awe grill smoker.

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    6 backers
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    Pledge $39 or more About $39

    Smoke & Awe with Wood Chips

    You will receive a single early production Smoke & Awe ready to go with my special blend of wood chips.

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    Pledge $64 or more About $64

    Double Barrel Smoke & Awe

    You will receive 2 Smoke & Awe grill smokers that you can share or use to smoke larger pieces of meat on your gas grill.

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    Pledge $74 or more About $74

    Double barrel Smoke & Awe & Wood Chips.

    You will receive two Smoke & Awes ready to go with my special blend of wood chips.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,750 or more About $1,750

    "Taste The Awe Meal"

    Smoke & Awe meal for up to 10 guests prepared in person by Chef John anywhere in the US. The Chef's specialty are tailgates.

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Funding period

- (60 days)