Liquid smoke is a popular, though sometimes controversial, food additive, and it’s easy to see why. It adds a delicious smoky flavor to meats and meals where it’s used. But how do you use liquid smoke for the best flavor? Let’s discuss how to use liquid smoke properly. Plus we’ll cover some of our favorite uses, many of which pair liquid smoke with ingredients that have complementary flavors.
Liquid smoke is a handy way to add smoky flavor to foods. This four-pack gives you all sorts of flavor options, based on different woods smoked: hickory, mesquite, apple, and pecan.
Table of Contents
- What is liquid smoke, and how is it made?
- How to use liquid smoke for the best flavor
- Delicious ways to use liquid smoke
- Must-read related posts
What is liquid smoke, and how is it made?
Liquid smoke is made by burning wood and then condensing the resulting smoke in water. This creates a concentrated form of smoky flavor that can be added to foods.
–> Learn More: Liquid Smoke Ingredients – What’s inside the bottle?
It’s important to note that not all liquid smokes are created equal. Some brands use artificial flavors, so be sure to read the label before you buy. A quality all-natural liquid smoke can really bring your food to life, while those with artificial flavors can be overly smoky and harsh.
How to use liquid smoke for the best flavor
When using liquid smoke, a little goes a long way. Start with just a few drops and add more to taste. You can always add more, but you can’t take it away once it’s been added. Liquid smoke is a highly concentrated flavor.
Experiment with different types of wood for different flavors. For example, mesquite liquid smoke tastes different from hickory liquid smoke. To learn more about the flavors of different wood chips, see our smoker wood chip guide that covers many of the most popular flavors.
Use liquid smoke in combination with other ingredients, like spices, soy sauce, or Worcestershire sauce, for a deeper flavor. In fact, liquid smoke often tastes better when mixed with multiple flavors than it does solely on its own.
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment! Add liquid smoke to things you wouldn’t expect, like dessert or coffee. A little bit of smoky flavor can elevate a dish.
Delicious ways to use liquid smoke
One of the great things about liquid smoke is that it can be used in many different ways. Here are some of our favorite options.
- In marinades: Liquid smoke is a great way to add flavor to meats, especially when grilling or smoking.
- In sauces: A little bit of liquid smoke can deepen the flavor of a sauce. Try it in barbecue sauce, ketchup, or even mayonnaise.
- In rubs: Mix liquid smoke with your favorite spices to create a delicious rub for meats.
- In soups and stews: Liquid smoke can add a nice smoky flavor to hearty winter soups and stews.
- In desserts: Yes, you read that right. A little liquid smoke can be delicious in sweet dishes like pie, ice cream, or even cookies. It’s a particularly good match with caramel and chocolate.
- On fruit and vegetables: Try adding a touch of liquid smoke to fresh fruit or grilled vegetables for a unique flavor. A dash or two with apples (or apple sauce) adds a fun twist to a healthy snack. Or try it with roasted cauliflower to liven up an otherwise dull side.
- Added to coffee: Believe it or not, a little bit of liquid smoke can be delicious in coffee.
- In cocktails: Smoky cocktails are all the rage these days. Try adding liquid smoke to your next Old Fashioned or Manhattan.
- With maple syrup: A few drops of liquid smoke in your maple syrup will give your pancakes a tasty sweet and earthy smoked flavor.
- With ranch dressing: A dash or two can give your salad some needed depth. It’s an excellent pairing, too, as a dipper for chicken wings to add a smoky taste.
- With baked beans: If your baked beans don’t have the level of smoked flavor that you want, a dash or two of liquid smoke can make all the difference.
- As a pairing with brown sugar: Recipes that rely heavily on brown sugar can often be a good place to experiment with liquid smoke. Brown sugar has an earthy sweetness that pairs well with smoky flavor.
Must-read related posts
- How To Add Smoky Flavor To A Meal Without Smoking: Yes, liquid smoke is one way, but you have others (like chipotle powder.) Learn more.
- How To Add A Charcoal Flavor Off The Grill: Charcoal is a unique taste – part charred and part smoky. It’s a tough flavor to replicate off the grill, but you have options.
- Smoking Vs. Grilling: There are obvious similarities, but also big differences. Learn all about them.