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liquid smoke on ted allen's "food detectives"

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two out of three tasters ** picked the liquid smoke-sprayed ribs over those cooked over charcoal and wood chips, at the nyc restaurant "southern hospitality," as tasting "the most like ribs cooked over charcoal." http://www.southernhospitalitybbq.com/

i know all you real "q" fans will be thrilled to know that now, indeed, you can abandon all the "q" rituals like real wood, or low and slow cooking. now you can probably even make "smoked pork" in a crockpot! ;-).

just thought you'd like to know in time for your next "q" party.
~~~~~~~
** but of course, none of you "q" people would've been fooled, now would you? or....

for what it's worth, i couldn't see any "smoke" ring on either of the rib samples.

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  1. Wow! So glad to hear that! I have done my butt in a let creuset with a dry rub and liquid smoke. Do you think there is any way to do spare ribs in the oven with liquid smoke??

    2 Replies
    1. re: foodsnob14

      that's what they did at the restaurant. they sprayed it on with a mister spray bottle -- like you'd find used with a window cleaner. i didn't see if they'd diluted it.

      1. re: alkapal

        No dilution. Liquid smoke is made from real hickory wood and water.
        I have some in my refrigerator, it lasts forever.
        Handy when I make kalua pork in the oven.

    2. Nobody that likes barbecue would go to Southern Hospitality. They people who go there are probably there because the restaurant is or was owned by Justin Timberlake, their palates are not to be trusted.

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/525915

      3 Replies
      1. re: KTinNYC

        the tasters weren't customers of the restaurant. the tasting wasn't at the restaurant, either, but in the studio.

        but are you're saying the chef who cooked the ribs at that restaurant doesn't know how to cook ribs with charcoal and wood chips? have you eaten there?

        1. re: alkapal

          I've never eaten at SH but as I said up thread the restaurant was never well regarded by hounds I trust.

          1. re: KTinNYC

            i looked at the thread you linked. i just wondered if you'd had a try.

            i'm just as surprised as anyone about the taste test results.

      2. I would think I could taste the difference and really hate liquid smoke for the most part. But admit, I have used it and have used it is a crock too when desperate. To me ... a true BBQ is pretty easy to tell, however, then we can back to what is BBQ? That is a debate all in itself. I think every knows what is TRUE BBQ is, and what people call BBQ. But I don't disagree with either

        2 Replies
        1. re: kchurchill5

          i know you can't judge a book by its cover, but when i looked at the taste testers starting out, i said to myself, "no way these guys can't guess the real bbq!"

          1. re: alkapal

            True BBQ to me is so easy to get with the ring after smoking. Agreed. I admit to making BBQ by cheating, but true BBQ is true BBQ, it is hard to fake, but you can make a pretty good fake tasting one, but it still isn't the same.

        2. I don't understand the significance of this. If the parameter they are judging is "the most like ribs over charcoal," then that is not bbq. No mention of wood. And wood chips don't count because they burn up too fast. If the judges were judging "the most like ribs cooked over wood," then I think that would be an ideal to shoot for.

          Of course, hardly anyone uses all wood anymore because it is so difficult to control. But you need to have some logs in there.

          wood + smoke+ time = BBQ.

          17 Replies
          1. re: Steve

            to clarify:

            they were asked which tasted the most like ribs cooked over charcoal and wood.

            1. re: Steve

              What's charcoal made from?

              1. re: Fritter

                Pretty sure charcoal is made from scrap wood.
                Kingsford charcoal was originally made by Henry Ford with scraps of wood from Model T production and name changed to Ford's relative Kingsford.

                1. re: monku

                  Henry Ford created briquettes which are indeed made from scrap wood and binders. Can you imagine going to the Ford dealer for charcoal?
                  The lump charcoal that is widely used for BBQ today is made from hard wood.
                  IMO it might be going a bit too far suggesting it's not BBQ unless it's cooked with logs if that is indeed what the other poster meant. IMO chips, lump or logs work if they are used properly.

                  1. re: Fritter

                    I have experience with all three. I hope you are not seriously suggesting there is no difference. How do you get hickory or mesquite smoke from hardwood lump charcoal? And what is the purpose of using chips, except for quickly cooking something? They burn up much too fast, no matter how properly they are used.

                    1. re: Steve

                      So if you don't cook with logs it's not REAAALLY BBQ?
                      There is no problem at all using hickory or mesquite chunks mixed in with hardwood lump charcoal. It's not difficult to stack chunks or chips in charcoal and light one side. I can burn low and slow 24 hours straight in my BGE this way and I'm sure many other ceramic cookers will do the same. If you can't smoke ribs in that time frame then there is a major problem and it's not with the fact that you are not burning logs. Chips also work well for cold smoking cheese or salmon and that's not always fast.

                      1. re: Fritter

                        Do I qualify for BBQ when I cooked my chickens for almost 6 hours, charcoal with a mix of mesquite and apple. Mostly mesquite, a nice water bath with aromatics and stuffed with a jalapeno and onion in the cavity, a nice brine and good flavoring in the water bath as well.

                        I never have had a true wood smoker, but love adding the chips.

                        Do I pass for my very successful, juicy fall of the bone, tasty dinner?

                        1. re: kchurchill5

                          IMO you qualify for BBQ when you grill chicken even if it's only for 30 minutes with a few chips tossed in!
                          A lot of folks like a light smoke. Some here might come un-glued if they saw the mini smoke torches or the stove top smokers that work with chips.

                          1. re: Fritter

                            Thank you. I don't always get the chance. I grill, smoker, grill pan, oven and crock. Whatever time permits. Longer the better which this weekend was but sometimes as we all know, time just doesn't happen. I work 3 jobs. Tomorrow I leave at 5 am and get home around 9. I have leftovers but the crock at times becomes my friend or love to freeze stuff. The chickens and pork loins I cooked this week are froze. Thaw and what an amazing dinner quick and easy.

                            1. re: kchurchill5

                              We have been getting run of the mill CAFO chicken breast splits with the bone still in here for .99 a # this year. I marinate them in light coconut milk and a packet of "A Taste of Thai Chicken & Rice seasoning" mix. Marinate for a few days and then lightly smoke/grill. After they cool I pull the meat and freeze. Makes a great quick meal.

                              1. re: Fritter

                                Nice flavor combo.

                          2. re: kchurchill5

                            I've found that if I smoke chicken for more than an hour, people won't eat it - they say it smells like a burnt house. I've never smelled a burnt house, but now I only smoke them for 40 minutes.

                            1. re: Claudette

                              Certain woods and chips vs chunks seem to work better. I try to use smaller chips wrapped in foil pouches with holes poked. Soaked chips that is. But some don't like the smoky flavor. Me I love it.

                              FYI, our summer home was hit by lightening, burned and completely gutted back in 1975. And yes, smoked chicken smells exactly like that. Trust me. But ... I still love the flavor with the right citrus or onion flavoring makes a great compliment to the smoky flavor.

                              1. re: kchurchill5

                                Thanks for letting me know, and sorry about your house.

                          3. re: Fritter

                            Fritter, Chunks would work, good for you if you can use chips alone (with charcoal) to effectively bbq.

                            1. re: Steve

                              I have used chips when I had a gas grill as well. I would soak them and then wrap them up like pseudo logs in aluminum foil. Just poke a few holes in the top.
                              Not the most convienient but if you are determined you can make it work.

                              1. re: Fritter

                                I use just whole soaked but the chips when too small I wrap after soaking. They don't burn as quick, give great flavor. I just had too many not not use them so I wanted to finish them up. Just as good flavor. I usually like the larger chunks but a few of mine had bugs so I tossed them and using the chips which I normally use on my grill instead. Both work and same flavor.

                2. I hate the stuff. I've also been fooled by tiny amounts of it in the past, not with enough to make it taste like cue. however, my stomach disagrees with it, so eventually, I know no matter what.

                  1. No smoke ring on either, I'm guessing the were grilled over charcoal with some wood chips. If they were truly smoked over just wood for hours, there would be no doubt as to which was smoked, I do mine for three hours over charcoal and wood and get a decent ring. How large was the sample? Were there three people, six, a hundred?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: James Cristinian

                      As per the OP "two out of three tasters".

                      1. re: KTinNYC

                        That's what I thought, I just wanted some clarification. It's not a very representative sample, is it? How many of those folks were from North Carolina, Texas, Memphis, or Kansas City?

                    2. dang!!

                      i never knew i'd start a firestorm of bbq "insider-ism"! i just thought it was amazing that two of these guys picked the liquid smoke ribs. i have no idea about their backgrounds!

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: alkapal

                        Die-hard BBQ folks sure get their coals damp over this stuff, don't they?

                        I just bought some Liquid Smoke(tm) for the first time today; I'm going to add a teeny bit to some canned green beans along with a little sugar, trying to imitate a local soul food joint's green beans, which are indeed canned -- but delicious nonetheless.

                        -cb-

                        1. re: alkapal

                          Two out of three, an overwhelming majority. At first I thought your post was tongue in cheek, but having read your responses, it seems not. Of course you're going to agitate a few folks with what sounds like are deragatory remarks. What if I posted that two of three thought frozen lobster tails were better than fresh? I'm guessing Keg and more than a few NE hounds would be at least a little up in arms. Please let me know if I am off base.

                          1. re: James Cristinian

                            i made derogatory remarks? my post was a little tongue in cheek, sure. but the facts are the facts about the test and who did it and how. btw, i'm a southerner***, so i am QUALIFIED to talk about smoked meat. and, i quote the great naco, who once said, "there is no bbq law."
                            ~~~~~
                            and yes, yes, before any knickers get twisted, i KNOW other parts of the nation have great smoked meats. geesh, people!!!

                            1. re: alkapal

                              The thing that gets me about the "test" is that only three people were sampled. That is my problem with this whole thread.

                              1. re: James Cristinian

                                hi james, well, what is the problem with the thread. the premise is up front. i understand that you have strong bbq ideas, as many do, but i was just reporting something that was surprising to me.

                                1. re: alkapal

                                  I just said it. Only three people were sampled, two out of three. I could understand if it was 20 out of 30, or 200 out of 300, or 2000 out of 3000. I fail to see the signifigance of two out of three. Had they sampled two more, and 3 of 5 didn't like liquid smoke, would you still post?