Smoke Flavor--Use it or Not?

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Joined Feb 4, 2010
I have always been careful to avoid chemicals in my foods as much as possible. I buy no processed foods and make most everything from scratch--no chemicals. What about smoke flavor, such as Liquid Smoke?
I resisted using it until I learned more about this flavoring substance. Here is an excerpt from my new book:
  • A concentrated commercial smoke flavoring is a good addition to many foods where a light smoky touch improves flavor. In grilling meats (see Barbecue) wood chip smoking is not effective for anything you grill quickly, like boneless chicken breasts, fish, shrimp or steak. The smoky flavor doesn’t have enough time to penetrate. But brushing or spraying with commercial smoke flavor imparts a slight and pleasing flavor. Using it in stews, soups and many dishes where smoke flavor adds to the dish is also an easy possibility.
  • Though smoke flavor concentrates have a long list of organic ingredients that would discourage anyone from using one, all ingredients are natural, produced by a slow smoldering of oak or hickory chips. The smoke is passed through cold water, the solids are precipitated and collected. Toxic components are removed before bottling.
Now I always have a bottle on my shelf and use a few drops to quarter teaspoon in many foods items: stews, soups, salsa and so on. Try it. What do you think about it?

George
http://whatercipesdonttellyou.com
 
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Joined Oct 18, 2007
I've used it as an ingredient in a bbq sauce in a place where we didn't smoke anything.
I've also added it to the drip pan in the alto-shaam when cooking pork butt for pulled pork, or with ribs.

Would it be wrong to pour it into the air vents at the local firehouse? :bounce:
 
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Joined Feb 26, 2007
I like it. I don't have the time, patience or equipment to smoke, so it comes in very handy. It's a bit hard to get here, sowhen I see it, I grab a few bottles. I'm sure some dedicated smokers may find this to be "sacrilege" :D but hey, if its not possible to get that taste otherwise, go crazy :lol:
 
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what exactly are the ingredients? Is it just smoke and water? Those are my first questions. Secondly, I have used it exactly once about 8 years ago, it did seem to add that smokey griledl flavor but it also added another flavor, similar to tin foil, i didn't appreciate. Third, i would argue that you can get a good smoky flavor on the meat over a quick grill with the use of a few wet chips of the desired wood. Is it smoked meat? no. Does it have a smoky flavor? yes. This effect is almost automatic if its a wood fired grill. I use mainly oak and cedar as they are free for me.

Anyways, it would really depend on the ingredients first and the flavor second.
 

phatch

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Isn't cedar pitchy and strong as an evergreen?

I can see the cedar planking of course but as a grilling or smoke source could be unpleasant.
 
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I haven't used mine in a long time, but just recently thought about it. I might add a drop or two to some beans if I don't want to put a ham or bacon in there (or don't have any). It's a pretty safe product IMO, just smoke and water. Not something I'd drink by the glass, but it's so strong, you hardly need any and it does give authentic taste.

And I could imagine some fun practical jokes aside of the fire house vents :)
 
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I get access to the slash cuts and mistrue boards from a local private mill. i never (almost) add the bark as it does tend to be very pitchy and can give off way too much smoke. Fortunately it is usually a breeze to knock off with an axe while I am splitting up some kindling. the really burly stuff gets a chainsaw and my fireplace. Having had chimney fires in my youth I usually clean mine at least twice a year.

as to the flavor, I am sure most everyone has had the "cedar plank whatever" by now. Or if you have walked into a large Humidor or cedar closet, the flavor is similar. A large burst of flavor with the inhalation of breath and then an instant of acclimation followed by pleasant after tones as the flavor of the protein (or cigars or fine leather and fur coats) comes out of the crust of smokiness. While cedar may be an evergreen its a far far cry from a pine tree.
 

phatch

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In a similar vein to liquid smoke, I've made barbecue stock using liquid from my drip pan in the smoker. Has it's uses....
 
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Joined Feb 26, 2007
Slightly OT, but has anyone tried smoking fish etc in their chimneys? Saw an english show where some of the really old farm cottages have a smoke door high up in the chimney - was fascinated by it. Mind you, sometimes the fish come off the hooks and into the fire - oh well :)
 
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Lately I've been adding smoked salt and/or smoked pepper to dishes that I want to have a bit of a smokey taste. Great on fish, meats and event salad.

There's no chemical additives, the salt and pepper are dried in a smoker.
 
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I was about to mention smoked salt. I'm fond of the black Norwegian smoked salts.
 
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I don't use smoke flavoring--just haven't tried it is all,

Once I put slices of white fluff bread in a smoker for a few hours, then mashed it into crumbs and used that in some things. Worked really well.
 
2,753
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Joined Feb 26, 2007
You are lucky to have access to such resources, not everyone has them, That is where the liquid smoke can fill that gap to some extent. Sure, it is not equivalent, but with that, and smoked paprika, one can get a similar taste. Not the same, I know.

I've been living in a state here where you couldn't even get liquid smoke (or pickled herring for that matter, OT) . It was so feral with the major corporation in the state spraying pretty much evenything and everyone with toxic muck. The state is supposedly reknowned for its pristine waterways and clear waters and fine fish - to a local with half a brain, that is total bollocks. The waterways are polluted, the fish are tainted, the water needs filtering to even bathe in.

Oops gone totally OT here, sorry!, rant over...large corporations who advertise how much good they *give to an area and yet deliver the opposite p me off no end.

I like liquid smoke :) Gotta get me some more.
 
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Lol!

If it's my firehouse there's a good chance we've got some hickory or apple wood already going in the offset :D

dan
 
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How do you smoke paprika? I roast is very gently for just seconds before adding it to dishes but smoking?

Geo
 
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