Some one gave me a bottle of this stuff and I have never used it before. How can I use it. What portion of it per lbs of meat? Does it have an undertaste that I should be wary of?
I searched the boards and the only recent reference to it was in the "Never again. Never" thread, one of the items never to use again.
Is it gross? Should I not use it?
You can use it on alot of things, e.g. beans, chili, stews, gravy, bbq, pulled pork, etc.
Just be judicious with it as it has a rather strong and unpleasant flavor when too much is used. A little bit can add a nice dimension (and provide a shortcut to achieving that "smoker" effect), but overdo it and it becomes obvious that you are cheating to get that "smokiness" effecxt.
I love Liquid Smoke, but it must be used with a light hand.
I use it in 2 recipes. One is a steak marinade: combine Liquid Smoke, vegi oil, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and freshly ground black pepper. Adjust quanties of all to your taste and number of steaks, but only use about a capfull of the Smoke for every two steaks. You can then adjust the amount from there.
Another recipe is one I got from Disney World in Orlando. Google "Boatwrights Dining Hall ranch dressing". It's quite nice.
It's not gross. It's actual distilled smoke. But do use it very sparingly. I put mine into a bottle with an eye dropper. Sometimes I add just a few drops to scrambled eggs.
Liquid smoke is simply a collection of smoke (from a smoker of course) in water vapor that is condensed and bottled. If there's anything in the ingredients list on the label I don't use it. But I do use the purest varieties and find them to be a terrific addition to many of my culinary creations.
However, as "Journey" pointed out, IT MUST BE USED WITH A LIGHT HAND. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing. IMO, those who have found it to be a problem are either using products that contain additives or are using too much. It is, after all, a flavoring ingredient and not the main ingredient in the dish.