What is Liquid Smoke? How to Make and Use It at Home

What is Liquid Smoke? How to Make and Use It at Home

Smoked food is delicious isn’t it? And it’s healthy! Liquid smoke is considered a healthier alternative in comparison to those sodium laden marinades and barbecue sauces too. 

Amazingly, by using liquid smoke you can create the same amazing aromas and flavors without an open fire! You can also enjoy less saturated fat—now that is something to feel good about! That’s right, liquid could be considered a healthier alternative!


If you thought you had to go out to expensive restaurants to enjoy the wonders of smoked flavor, think again! Now you can enjoy those deep smoked flavored dishes at home! You might be wondering how that is even possible since the rumor is that it takes expensive kitchen equipment to inject that woodsy smoked flavor into food. This is just not true.

What is Liquid Smoke?

Have you ever heard of liquid smoke? Liquid smoke can flavor any vegetable dish but is ideal for enhancing the flavor of beef, pork, chicken and even fish. If you’re looking for an alternative to wood smoke, but want just as delectable a flavor, this is the go to choice! And yes, this is really made from smoke, giving food that unforgettable intense, smoked taste.

So how does this liquid smoke work and how is it made?

How to Make Liquid Smoke

So how is it made, why with smoke of course! It’s really simple to make as well and the process doesn’t take long at all. It has the nickname “smoke flavored water” for a reason too! Those who make liquid smoke start off in this way:

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    Sawdust that comes from lumber production is placed into a pile and burned
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    Sometimes pieces of mesquite or hickory are burned
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    Steam rises from the burning particles of wood
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    This steam creates condensation
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    Producers then use a condenser to catch these droplets of moisture
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    It is then sealed in barrels and allowed to age to enhance the quality

Of course, different manufacturers of liquid smoke have their own little tips, tricks and secrets, but that is the basic starter method for any beginner. It’s a fantastic alternative when you want a grilled-out flavor to your food but have no means of actually “grilling out.”

How to Use Liquid Smoke? 

How Much Liquid Smoke Should You Use When Cooking or Seasoning Meat?

This is a great question, because not everyone knows how to use liquid smoke. You certainly don’t have to saturate your food as you would if you were using a marinade or barbecue sauce. Just a little bit goes a long way, so moderation is highly recommended. Remember, it elevates the natural flavors of your meat and vegetable dishes, but you don’t want it to overpower them. Liquid smoke accentuates your food!

A dash is perfect for most people. You should also taste your dish before you add more liquid smoke because it is very distinct. You better believe you get that wonderful, salty, mouth-watering meaty flavor without smothering your body with sodium or other unnecessary additives! 

This is just another reason why liquid smoke is so fantastic. Meat like brisket only requires a teaspoon of liquid smoke for excellent flavor. Most studies show that liquid smoke is:

  • Lower in sodium
  • Lower in carcinogens in comparison to food cooked over a grill
  • Reduces saturated fat intake
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    Less in calories
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    Zero fat content
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    Better for you than charred food

But you might be wondering: “Is it really All Natural?”

Yes, Liquid Smoke is ALL NATURAL!

There is no unwanted chemical ingredients associated with liquid smoke, it is just what it is! When it comes to some of your favorite marinades and sauces that have that wondrous smoky aroma—you guessed it! The secret is liquid smoke! Manufacturer’s often use liquid smoke in foods you are already familiar with such as:

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    Smoked Sausages
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    Deli Cheeses
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    Hot dogs
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    And more

Most consumers just haven’t realized the popularity of this amazing item in a wide variety of existing foods on the market.

Is Liquid Smoke Safe?

Liquid smoke is safer than using a fire pit to char your food! It’s safer than many condiments on the market today. Further, you’ll find that this ingredient is included in many products you already purchase. 

It is also found at “Whole Foods Stores” which are known for healthier choices and organic items. If you read your labels, you’ll be amazed at how many items in a wholefoods store has the same ingredients as liquid smoke. Just think, there are far more health risks in consuming items like:

  • Lay’s potato chips
  • Grilled meats
  • Processed bologna
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    Pasteurized cheeses
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    Canned Soda
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    Artificial sweeteners

Then you’ll ever find in utilizing Liquid Smoke to enhance the flavoring of your favorite side dishes, casseroles, or only meat. It’s a health fact!

Most studies also show that the miniscule number of carcinogens found within liquid smoke are less than those within most processed foods on the market today. 

So, if you were worried about a higher risk of cancer, there’s no concern here. You should choose liquid smoke that has no additional flavorings, just to ensure you’re getting the most natural food enhancer you can! You also want to make sure you purchase your liquid smoke from reputable food suppliers to ensure quality and safety. It is just the smart thing to do!

The Takeaway for Consumers Today

Liquid smoke is no different than any other food enhancer today—in fact it is better. You’ve learned it has no saturated fat, and in fact--no fat at all. It is less in sodium, better than consuming charred or grilled food, and found in a variety of food items you might already be purchasing. If you use it wisely you can enjoy your food with that extra pizazz with no additional health risks. Remember, it accentuates the taste of almost any dish without the unnecessary fuss of needing a smoke house in your backyard!

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Theresa Lori

Hi, I'm Theresa. My passion for grilling delicacy gradually built during the time I was living with my parents. My family members especially my mother was a great fan of grilled dishes to and from the love of food. I started preparing smoked food with my mom. This bonding helped me to know more and more about to smoke, grill what always I share on SmokeGears.com. So, in two words you can call me a BBQ lover.

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