Never heard of it? I dare say that only 1 out of every 100 people even think of using this product, and I may even be generous. It is simply the archaic term for liquid smoke.
It adds tremendous, authentic smoke flavor to anything it is added to. Sure, there are ways of making it at home, but it is far more feasible to buy a small jar of it and keep it at home to use when needed.
When buying this product, make sure there are NO other ingredients other than water and smoke flavor. Smoke flavor?!?!
Yup! Manufacturer's simply burn mesquite, apple or hickory wood chips at a high temperature and use a complex distillation process, using only the wood chips and water. This results in a condensed liquid smoke exactly as the old-time moonshiners used.....or still use.
Sure there are some producers who take a short cut and add caramel for coloring and flavoring, along with salt and other flavorings, but all you have to do is look at the label. If you see water and concentrated smoke and/or the words all natural, then you are in luck. Stay away from other brands who add any more than those two items.
A great way of using liquid smoke is by adding a 1/2 teaspoon to a cup of water and use this mixture to marinade steak or chicken before grilling with other seasonings of your choice. Many people opt to add a couple drops to their favorite barbecue sauce as well. Adding some to your favorite cheese sauce gives it a decadently pleasing aroma and flavor as it does baked beans.
I know, I know, I have preached time and time again with regards to processed foods, but do yourself a favor. Don't freak! Use your head and buy ONLY the liquid smoke with the two ingredients mentioned above.
You would have to ingest roughly 3-4 full bottles before it should even cross your mind. In fact, smoked ham has 20x the amount of carcinogens, smoked turkey has 30x the amount and smoked herring and salmon about 120x the amount, when comparing serving amounts.
And to ease your mind a little further, most of these same carcinogens are fat soluble, unlike liquid smoke carcinogens, which is water-soluble. This means we are capturing the smoke flavor without most of the cancer causing carcinogens.
So don't let the purist fervor excite you too much. Go ahead and grab a bottle the next time you are at the supermarket and have at it!
It's Just That Simple!™