What Is Liquid Smoke? – Here’s What You Should Know!

Learn what liquid smoke is and how to use it for cooking
By
Jeremy Bivens
Jeremy Bivens
Research Writer
Jeremy Bivens is a passionate writer and grilling enthusiast. He's been working as a freelance journalist for over 15 years now and has a particular interest in food writing read more
reviewed
Reviewed By
Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams
Expert Consultant
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous read more
Last updated: January 25, 2023
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You’ve probably tasted the delight of slow-cooked meat over an open fire. It’s rich and tastes like it’s been grilled for long hours. Often, barbeque joints use a smoker to achieve the taste. However, you now don’t have to go through the trouble of buying a smoker. With liquid smoke, you can prepare tasty grilled meat hassle free. This ingredient is slowly gaining popularity, but what exactly is liquid smoke? Read on to find out what liquid smoke is and how to use and store it. You’ll also get more information on where to buy the product and its substitutes.

What Is Liquid Smoke?

Liquid smoke is a flavoring ingredient normally produced by burning wood. As the wood burns, it produces smoke which you can capture and condense into a liquid. After that, you need to distill the liquid to get rid of the impurities such as ash, and soot, forming a yellowish-brown substance.

Is Liquid Smoke Safe?

Although liquid smoke can help improve the taste of grilled meat, most people still wonder if the substance is safe for use. This is due to the fact that smoke is known for containing carcinogens, which can cause cancer. The simple answer to this question is that liquid smoke is a completely safe ingredient. This is because the substance normally goes through filtration, removing carcinogens Trusted Source CARCINOGEN A carcinogen is a substance, organism or agent capable of causing cancer. Carcinogens may occur naturally in the environment (such as ultraviolet rays in sunlight and certain viruses) or may be generated by humans (such as automobile exhaust fumes and cigarette smoke). www.genome.gov .

Nevertheless, you should still be careful when using the substance. Regularly using liquid smoke can affect your health. Also, consider buying high-quality liquid smoke since it doesn’t contain additives. A good example of high-quality liquid smoke is Hickory Liquid Smoke from Stubb’s.

How to Use Liquid Smoke

What Is Liquid Smoke? - Here's What You Should Know!

There are various ways you can use liquid smoke to improve the quality of your recipes, as discussed below.

Marinades – Quickly prepare a marinade for pork, chicken, or beef cuts using liquid smoke. You can mix it with other ingredients such as maple syrup, chipotle, paprika, and soy sauce. Add your preferred protein, place it in a refrigerator overnight, and grill it the next day.

Barbeque sauce – Prepare sauce like cherry berbeque sauce in advance and add a few drops of liquid smoke to make it smokey. Use mesquite liquid smoke to give your barbecue a Texas taste.

Crockpot recipes – Add 1/4 teaspoon of liquid smoke into slow cooker dishes for fast and simple smoked brisket.

Brining – Treat your guests to a holiday dish with a smoky flavor by adding liquid smoke to your turkey brine. Look for more information online to know how to prepare smoked turkey legs step by step.

Since liquid smoke is highly concentrated, use a few drops or just 1/4 teaspoon. Alternatively, you can dilute it before adding it to your recipe.

Where to Buy Liquid Smoke

You can get liquid smoke from your local grocery store or supermarket. Before buying the substance, read the ingredients on the bottle to check whether it’s all-natural. Some liquid smoke brands indicate that their products are all-natural, yet they contain additives that can affect your health. According to most reviews, the best all-natural liquid smoke is Applewood,Hickory & Mesquite (3 Pack) from Wright’s Liquid Smoke.

Another way you can get liquid smoke is by ordering online. If you settle for this option, buy through a reputable online retailer to reduce the chances of online scams. First, go through the product description to ensure that’s what you want before placing an order. If you make a mistake, you may not be able to return the product to the store since some retailers don’t accept returns for foodstuffs. Also, some of the processes of returning the product can be too long and tiresome, forcing you to give up.

How to Store Liquid Smoke

The best way to store liquid smoke is by leaving it in its original, dark glass bottle.  

Remember to tighten the seal properly and place it in a cool dark place, away from direct sunlight.

You can either place it in your pantry or on kitchen shelves. This way, it will retain its flavor for a long time. On average, liquid smoke can serve you for about two years without losing its flavor, saving you the hassle of buying it regularly.

Liquid Smoke Substitutes

If you’ve just depleted the bottle of liquid smoke in the shelve or can’t seem to find any at the local grocery store, there’s no need to worry. You may still add smokiness to your cuisine without going through the trouble of cooking over an open flame. One of the best liquid smoke substitutes is smoked paprika Trusted Source An Approach to the Consumption of Smoked Paprika in Spain and Its Impact on the Intake of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons “Pimentón de La Vera” smoked paprika is a traditional kind of smoked paprika, the production of which is regulated by a protected designation of origin. The traditional drying/smoking process provides the “Pimentón de La Vera” smoked paprika with a peculiar flavour which has gained acceptance in multiple markets. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov or chipotle powder. Additionally, you may use smoked ham hock.

Final Thoughts

Smoke liquid is an essential ingredient when it comes to adding flavor to different recipes. For many years now, cooking enthusiasts have used this substance to prepare tasty meals, and it is still gaining popularity. The best thing about liquid smoke is that it’s completely safe for human consumption, but you still have to use it appropriately. You can get it at local grocery stores or order online. After buying the substance, store it appropriately to ensure it retains its flavor for the next use.

References

1.
CARCINOGEN
A carcinogen is a substance, organism or agent capable of causing cancer. Carcinogens may occur naturally in the environment (such as ultraviolet rays in sunlight and certain viruses) or may be generated by humans (such as automobile exhaust fumes and cigarette smoke).
2.
An Approach to the Consumption of Smoked Paprika in Spain and Its Impact on the Intake of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
“Pimentón de La Vera” smoked paprika is a traditional kind of smoked paprika, the production of which is regulated by a protected designation of origin. The traditional drying/smoking process provides the “Pimentón de La Vera” smoked paprika with a peculiar flavour which has gained acceptance in multiple markets.
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