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Liquid smoke?

You all gave me great recipes for pork shoulder, and someone mentioned liquid smoke. Well, I went out today and bought some. I NEVER even heard of it before! It smells great with that hickory flavor! I just don't know what to make with it?

I know mine is a concentrate, so very powerful, but what can I make with it?

Thanks so much!

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  1. That bottle of Liquid Smoke will last you a lifetime.
    A very little goes a long way....be careful.
    Pork Shoulder+Liquid Smoke= Kalua pork
    add a little to some chili too.

    1. You can use it in anything to which you would like to add a smokey flavor. There are no limits that I know of. Except, of course, that it should be used sparingly. The greatest error I'm aware of when using liquid smoke is that it's quite easy to use too much and allow the smokey flavor to overpower the dish. Start with small amounts, add a very little at a time until you achieve the level of smokiness you want. And, what makes it especially nice, you can add it at just about any point in the cooking process; except perhaps if you want to allow the flavor to penetrate deeply into meat in which case it's better applied to the meat prior to cooking.

      1. I put a capful in when I'm making Mac & Cheese.

        Basically anywhere bacon would be appropriate, liquid smoke should work well.

        4 Replies
        1. re: GreenYoshi

          A capful, yikes! I would never use more than a drop or two even when cooking a large batch of something. A capful would be enough to make a ten-gallon vat of mac & cheese taste like it was rescued from a forest fire!

          1. re: BobB

            Depends on the brand. I find Wrights much stronger than Colgin.

            1. re: Antilope

              Colgin's isn't strong at all--I make a "faux split pea" soup and put about a teaspoon of Colgin's into the pot. It gives it nice flavor but isn't at all overwhelming.

              1. re: MandalayVA

                Good to know, thanks - I have a bottle of Wright's and at the rate I use it it's likely to last about 50 years. ;-)

        2. Thanks everyone!! I can't wait to try my "new" ingrediant!

          1. Try adding some tp collard greens. Even with ham hock, smoked turkey butt or bacon....it still adds a lot to the dish. The other posters are right---a little does go a long way.

            1 Reply
            1. re: diablo

              I do that, too, and add a little to my red beans (love that smoky flavor like Popeye's has in their red beans). Trying to cut down (not omit!) fatty add-ins, so the liquid smoke comes in handy.

            2. I prefer real smoked food to liquid smoke. But you can't always have real smoked food. In that case, to me, liquid smoke is an acceptable substitute. I use it on meat in the slow cooker and also add it to homemade barbecue sauce.

              1. I do not allow the stuff in the house!

                I would be kicked out of the Kansas City BBQ Society.

                1 Reply
                1. re: duck833

                  It's not just about bbq - a little is great in greens, blackeyes, and redbeans.

                2. I love it in baked beans. And it can't be said enough to start with just a tiny bit--you can alsways add more. It's potent,

                  1. I put it in my home made barbecue sauce

                    1. I'll tell ya one thing. Don't ever accidentally drop it on your kitchen floor. Ever.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: diablo

                        ha ha!!! Thanks for the laugh this morning. I know exactly what you mean!

                        1. re: diablo

                          Uh-oh... I'm not a very neat person. Why?

                          1. re: diablo

                            Done it. Not advisable- smells like your house burned down for months and months.

                            You'll get so sick of the smell you may never be able to buy it again.

                          2. I know this is probably sacrilegious, but do y'all think that you could apply liquid smoke to a piece of salmon and get smoked salmon?

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: Tehama

                              You would get salmon prepared however you do it with liquid smoke flavor. That's not necessarily bad, though it's not one of my preferred ways to make salmon.

                              The problem with using liquid smoke on meats or anything that is traditionally smoked over long periods of time is that the real process is its own technique of cooking. It leaves not only smoke flavor but specific textural and chemical changes within the meat that liquid smoke + some other method of cooking don't replicate. You can still use it - it just won't be the same as actually smoking the meat.

                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                VERY interesting! Thanks so much! I do love smoked salmon, but as a "condo-dweller" I don't have a smoker. I may have to try this sacrilegious method to see how it turns out, understanding the texture will not be the same. Happy New Years!

                                1. re: Tehama

                                  I was gonna say, living in a small place and not having a smoker or grill around is a bummer. I use the Wright's liquid smoke in a lot of stuff as well as smoke seasoned black pepper (McCormick), and their Grill Mates, mesquite flavored seasoning.

                                  1. re: Tehama

                                    Tehama, you should check out the various brands of "smoking bags" for oven use. They're pretty cool, and produce a more-than-passable result.

                                  2. re: cowboyardee

                                    Not only that - actual slow-smoking distributes the flavor throughout the food, while adding liquid smoke does not. This may not be too noticeable on something that's mixed in a liquid like chili or pulled pork, but I think it would be off-putting on a slab of un(heat)cooked fish.

                                    You would also not get the food-preserving aspects of actual smoking, so you'd need to treat (and quickly eat) the result as if it were sushi, not smoked salmon. I think you're better off looking into non-smoke-based approaches to cold-curing salmon, like gravlax.

                                  3. re: Tehama

                                    If you are talking about lox or gravlax, it is normally "cold-smoked" for a short time for flavor, after the traditional processing that removes moisture from the fillet and gives the flesh the characteristic texture. An ordinary smoker would cook the fish too much. I was desperate to make my own lox but did not have this technology, so I tried adding a few drops of Wright's to the salt/sugar/pepper that the salmon fillet is processed in. I've done it twice now and it permeated the fillet along with the other ingredients, and comes out after 3-4 days tasting and looking like the best Nova lox. I have only a few drops left so will someone please send me a new bottle?

                                    1. re: Steveinjapan

                                      Gravlax is not smoked at all, cold or otherwise. It's just rubbed with salt, pepper, and sugar (and sometimes a little booze like vodka or akvavit), covered with piles of fresh dill, wrapped up tight, and kept under a weight for a few days to cure. Traditionally it was actually buried in the ground to cure (hence the name: "grav" = grave.)

                                      Nova lox does involve some cold smoking along with wet brining.

                                  4. There's a whole book devoted to its use: Cheater BBQ, Merrell and Quinn.

                                    1. My mother uses this great recipe for Smoky Sauce from a worn torn old Betty Crocker Outdoor Cookbook from 1961. We use it for roast beef on a rotisserie spit on our outdoor grill. It is the best roast beef for slicing thin for sandwiches or Sunday dinner. Yummy!

                                      SMOKY SAUCE

                                      2 T vinegar
                                      1/4 cup water
                                      1 tsp brown sugar
                                      1/2 tsp prepared mustard
                                      1/4 tsp pepper
                                      3/4 tsp salt
                                      1 thin slice of lemon
                                      1 slice peeled onion
                                      2 T butter

                                      > MIX AND BRING TO A BOIL; SIMMER, UNCOVERED FOR 20 MINUTES. THEN STRAIN (or remove lemon and onion peel).

                                      > ADD:
                                      1/4 cup ketchup
                                      1 T worcestershire sauce
                                      3/4 tsp liquid smoke

                                      > HEAT TO BOIL.

                                      > SEAR MEAT. BASTE WITH SAUCE.

                                      1. Hey everyone!

                                        I was wondering if anyone had made this recipe with liquid smoke for lox - or anything substantially similar to it. Specifically, I see this recipe calls for the entire curing process to be done in the refrigerator, but noted up-thread that the methods called for room temperature curing for several hours.

                                        I've never made lox before and would be interested in your thoughts/feedback! Thanks!



                                        DELICIOUS LOX
                                        serves 6

                                        1 and ½ pounds firm salmon fillets
                                        1 tablespoon COLGIN NATURAL HICKORY LIQUID SMOKE
                                        2 tablespoons brown sugar
                                        8 teaspoon coarse salt
                                        onion powder
                                        garlic powder

                                        Mix the liquid smoke, brown sugar, and salt together. Lay the salmon fillets on a board and spread the mix evenly over it. Then sprinkle the onion, garlic, and dill ( amount varies to you taste) evenly over the fillets. Wrap each fillet separately with 2 feet of plastic wrap, making sure to start at one end, and folding up the sides, covering it well by wrapping each piece with at least three wraps. Then wrap the same with foil ... the seam side up. All of these steps are very important; otherwise, the fish may not cure correctly. Refrigerate for seven days in a leak-proof container ... this will catch any leakage from the fish. When the seven days are up, take the fillets out of their wrappings and then re-wrap each piece as described above. Place in Ziploc bags until ready to eat. Great served with cream cheese and drained capers!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Tehama

                                          Haven't done it - but if the Colgin is anywhere near as strong as Wright's, a tablespoon would be enough to flavor 100 lbs of fish, not one and a half.

                                          If you want to make a good home-cured salmon without actually smoking it, I'd recommend trying gravlax first. Google it, you'll find tons of recipes. They all involve rubbing the fish with a mix of salt, pepper and sugar, wrapping it in dill (and maybe adding a bit of vodka or akvavit) and refrigerating it under weights for a few days.

                                          I've made this many times and it's always delicious! And your kitchen won't end up smelling like a forest fire.

                                        2. Years ago, my mom used to make a great dish in the crockpot, from a recipe that came with it. Beans, ground beef, probably other stuff, and liquid smoke was the key ingredient. Boy, I can still taste it. Does that ring a bell with anyone? I'd love to try and replicate if anyone has a recipe.