Liquid Smoke or "The Real Deal?"

No, not this kind of smoking…

(omgahh a GIF in a forum.Why!?)

In all seriousness, I am really curious about your thoughts on the two. I recently tried steak that had a smoky flavor, but the traditional smoking method was not used. Not gonna give away my thoughts on this (at least not now).

Wanted to know what you guys think about the two.

I have never tried liquid smoke. I have a nice smoker in the back that I have always used. I have heard that it does work pretty well if you follow the directions.

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I also tried sous vide tri-tip that was seasoned with dry rub that gave off a very distinct smoky flavor. It was the first thing I picked up at first bite.

Last week we were talking in the office about everyone’s preference, seems like nobody could agree. This made me curious to what everyone else thought about this and their experience.

I’ve used a smoked butter, or a compound butter with smoked preserved lemon in it to impart some smoke and tang post sear or even smoked salt for steaks.

I do have a smoking gun, but haven’t been enthused to date by the outcome. Large pieces of meat will go in the smoker cabinet.

Not tried liquid smoke.

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What type or brand of smoker that you have now?

I saw some people also use liquid smoke. It seems to give some special flavor, but don’t know if it is good for health or for taste.

I have a Traeger pellet smoker and a Brinkman that I won at an outing. Both do a good job but the Traeger is a lot less work especially on a long cook like pork shoulder or brisket.

I’ve used both. Liquid smoke sucks. There is simply no comparison between it and what you get from actually smoking meats or any other foods.

The worst smoker I’ve owned turned out better tasting smoked foods than any brand of liquid smoke, or even home made liquid smoke (easy to do, look up the Alton Brown Good Eats episode) ever could.

I get it why some people have to use it because of situations like being somewhere that you can’t have a smoker (apartment complexes for example).

Smoked salt isn’t bad, but it’s hard to find one that actually has decent smoke in, or rather on, it. The other problem with smoked salt, is well, that it’s salt. You have to be careful not to overuse it.

What about liquid smoke might be bad for health?

It seems like from the conversation going on elsewhere on this very topic is that liquid smoke can yield great results - when used carefully. Too much, and you’ve got something that doesn’t taste right. A little off topic, but I did enjoy the steak I had that was made with a smoky rub. Very good, couldn’t tell the difference. But I think it would be worth doing a side-by-side test with multiple methods at the same time to really pick out the subtle distinctions.

The current health scientist talk is that ANY smoke is bad for you, liquid, real or otherwise.

Can’t argue with the internet.

The internet is always right. Always.

And it’s the home of the emulsified sausage!

The real deal. I find liquid smoke to have a chemical taste