What is Liquid Smoke?

What is Liquid Smoke?  Hummm…  It’s the best thing since slice bread and one of the best flavor enhancers of all time next to salt and pepper. Yah…you can say that we like Liquid Smoke.

Liquid smoke is a product made from the controlled burning of wood chips. The smoke from the wood chips pass through a condenser where the wood smoke cools and forms a liquid and typically is diluted with water.  This final mixture has been used for centuries to preserve and flavor food.  From what we read, liquid smoke was a product created by Ernest Wright back in 1895 when he was 15 years old (and to think most of our 15 year olds are just wasting their time on the iPad or texting someone about their internet cutting out).  Wright’s Liquid smoke is still sold today under the Wright’s brand.

Most recently there has been some controversy around the healthiness of Liquid Smoke…of course anything great has controversy. We believe it’s all hog wash.  What about the burnt teflon that coats are food while we’re cooking it in the pan??? Oh…I digress. There is a scientist by the name of Kent Kirshenbaum who broke down the component of liquid smoke to its base of water and about 400 chemical compounds.  What Kirshenbaum concluded was that in his opinion, liquid smoke was actually “safer for human consumption than untreated wood smoke.  What he found with liquid smoke is that liquid smoke could be healthier than directly smoking foods with charcoal or wood because there are carcinogenic compounds that can be removed when making liquid smoke. A lot of the carcinogenic compounds can be dissolved into the water and removed.

So….we say liquid smoke Rules!!!

To be clear…though…Liquid Smoke won’t replace the backyard smoker pit. Using a pit is as authentic as you can get. But…if you are not able to grill outside because it’s raining, snowing, or your neighbor complains…Liquid Smoke is a great way to get that wonderful backyard, summertime flavor.