or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Smoke Flavor--Use it or Not?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Smoke Flavor--Use it or Not?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
I have always been careful to avoid chemicals in my foods as much as possible. I buy no processed foods and make most everything from scratch--no chemicals. What about smoke flavor, such as Liquid Smoke?
I resisted using it until I learned more about this flavoring substance. Here is an excerpt from my new book:
  • A concentrated commercial smoke flavoring is a good addition to many foods where a light smoky touch improves flavor. In grilling meats (see Barbecue) wood chip smoking is not effective for anything you grill quickly, like boneless chicken breasts, fish, shrimp or steak. The smoky flavor doesn’t have enough time to penetrate. But brushing or spraying with commercial smoke flavor imparts a slight and pleasing flavor. Using it in stews, soups and many dishes where smoke flavor adds to the dish is also an easy possibility.
  • Though smoke flavor concentrates have a long list of organic ingredients that would discourage anyone from using one, all ingredients are natural, produced by a slow smoldering of oak or hickory chips. The smoke is passed through cold water, the solids are precipitated and collected. Toxic components are removed before bottling.
Now I always have a bottle on my shelf and use a few drops to quarter teaspoon in many foods items: stews, soups, salsa and so on. Try it. What do you think about it?

George
http://whatercipesdonttellyou.com
George, Culinary Scientist and author of
http://whatrecipesdonttellyou.com
Reply
George, Culinary Scientist and author of
http://whatrecipesdonttellyou.com
Reply
post #2 of 31
I've used it as an ingredient in a bbq sauce in a place where we didn't smoke anything.
I've also added it to the drip pan in the alto-shaam when cooking pork butt for pulled pork, or with ribs.

Would it be wrong to pour it into the air vents at the local firehouse? :bounce:
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Reply
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Reply
post #3 of 31
I like it. I don't have the time, patience or equipment to smoke, so it comes in very handy. It's a bit hard to get here, sowhen I see it, I grab a few bottles. I'm sure some dedicated smokers may find this to be "sacrilege" :D but hey, if its not possible to get that taste otherwise, go crazy :lol:
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
Reply
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
Reply
post #4 of 31
Thread Starter 
Haven't thought of in airvent in the Fire House. What a great idea!
George, Culinary Scientist and author of
http://whatrecipesdonttellyou.com
Reply
George, Culinary Scientist and author of
http://whatrecipesdonttellyou.com
Reply
post #5 of 31
what exactly are the ingredients? Is it just smoke and water? Those are my first questions. Secondly, I have used it exactly once about 8 years ago, it did seem to add that smokey griledl flavor but it also added another flavor, similar to tin foil, i didn't appreciate. Third, i would argue that you can get a good smoky flavor on the meat over a quick grill with the use of a few wet chips of the desired wood. Is it smoked meat? no. Does it have a smoky flavor? yes. This effect is almost automatic if its a wood fired grill. I use mainly oak and cedar as they are free for me.

Anyways, it would really depend on the ingredients first and the flavor second.
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
Reply
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
Reply
post #6 of 31
Isn't cedar pitchy and strong as an evergreen?

I can see the cedar planking of course but as a grilling or smoke source could be unpleasant.
post #7 of 31
I haven't used mine in a long time, but just recently thought about it. I might add a drop or two to some beans if I don't want to put a ham or bacon in there (or don't have any). It's a pretty safe product IMO, just smoke and water. Not something I'd drink by the glass, but it's so strong, you hardly need any and it does give authentic taste.

And I could imagine some fun practical jokes aside of the fire house vents :-)
"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!" - Thomas Keller

my blog - http://www.diablokitchen.com
Reply
"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!" - Thomas Keller

my blog - http://www.diablokitchen.com
Reply
post #8 of 31
I get access to the slash cuts and mistrue boards from a local private mill. i never (almost) add the bark as it does tend to be very pitchy and can give off way too much smoke. Fortunately it is usually a breeze to knock off with an axe while I am splitting up some kindling. the really burly stuff gets a chainsaw and my fireplace. Having had chimney fires in my youth I usually clean mine at least twice a year.

as to the flavor, I am sure most everyone has had the "cedar plank whatever" by now. Or if you have walked into a large Humidor or cedar closet, the flavor is similar. A large burst of flavor with the inhalation of breath and then an instant of acclimation followed by pleasant after tones as the flavor of the protein (or cigars or fine leather and fur coats) comes out of the crust of smokiness. While cedar may be an evergreen its a far far cry from a pine tree.
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
Reply
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
Reply
post #9 of 31
In a similar vein to liquid smoke, I've made barbecue stock using liquid from my drip pan in the smoker. Has it's uses....
post #10 of 31
Slightly OT, but has anyone tried smoking fish etc in their chimneys? Saw an english show where some of the really old farm cottages have a smoke door high up in the chimney - was fascinated by it. Mind you, sometimes the fish come off the hooks and into the fire - oh well :)
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
Reply
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
Reply
post #11 of 31
Lately I've been adding smoked salt and/or smoked pepper to dishes that I want to have a bit of a smokey taste. Great on fish, meats and event salad.

There's no chemical additives, the salt and pepper are dried in a smoker.
pierre
i t ' s . a l l . a b o u t . t h e . j o u r n e y
Reply
pierre
i t ' s . a l l . a b o u t . t h e . j o u r n e y
Reply
post #12 of 31
I was about to mention smoked salt. I'm fond of the black Norwegian smoked salts.
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
Reply
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
Reply
post #13 of 31
I don't use smoke flavoring--just haven't tried it is all,

Once I put slices of white fluff bread in a smoker for a few hours, then mashed it into crumbs and used that in some things. Worked really well.
post #14 of 31
smoked paprika it's my favorite....... i think i like it tooo much
post #15 of 31
You are lucky to have access to such resources, not everyone has them, That is where the liquid smoke can fill that gap to some extent. Sure, it is not equivalent, but with that, and smoked paprika, one can get a similar taste. Not the same, I know.

I've been living in a state here where you couldn't even get liquid smoke (or pickled herring for that matter, OT) . It was so feral with the major corporation in the state spraying pretty much evenything and everyone with toxic muck. The state is supposedly reknowned for its pristine waterways and clear waters and fine fish - to a local with half a brain, that is total bollocks. The waterways are polluted, the fish are tainted, the water needs filtering to even bathe in.

Oops gone totally OT here, sorry!, rant over...large corporations who advertise how much good they *give to an area and yet deliver the opposite p me off no end.

I like liquid smoke :) Gotta get me some more.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
Reply
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
Reply
post #16 of 31
I prefer to Baconize for a full smokey flavor. Bacon fat rules!
Chris Cairns
Web Admin
Braunlinen.com
Reply
Chris Cairns
Web Admin
Braunlinen.com
Reply
post #17 of 31
Lol!

If it's my firehouse there's a good chance we've got some hickory or apple wood already going in the offset :D

dan
post #18 of 31
Thread Starter 
How do you smoke paprika? I roast is very gently for just seconds before adding it to dishes but smoking?

Geo
George, Culinary Scientist and author of
http://whatrecipesdonttellyou.com
Reply
George, Culinary Scientist and author of
http://whatrecipesdonttellyou.com
Reply
post #19 of 31
Thread Starter 
Excellent idea!

Geo
George, Culinary Scientist and author of
http://whatrecipesdonttellyou.com
Reply
George, Culinary Scientist and author of
http://whatrecipesdonttellyou.com
Reply
post #20 of 31
Smoked paprika comes in dry ground powder form. Someone else does all the hard work.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
Reply
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
Reply
post #21 of 31
The flavoring when used by experienced hands is good, and it is natuarally produced by extraction and then a distilation process. To much of it is really bad, as it gets very bitter. I use it on my chinese style ribs but mixed with sugar and other ingredients. Some smoked paprika is also made using liquid smoke. You can tell which ones by simply looking at price. Real good smoked Pap. cost 4 times more then regular . Biggest problem of smolked pap is it could add to much off color to a cooked dish.
CHEFED
Reply
CHEFED
Reply
post #22 of 31
This is my type of smoke!




post #23 of 31
Nothing can beat the real thing.
CHEFED
Reply
CHEFED
Reply
post #24 of 31
yup that about it :talk:
post #25 of 31
You really have to read the label for each brand. Not all brands are equal. IIR Stubbs is not a natural smoke product and full of chemicals.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
post #26 of 31
yep, thats just good advice in general. Like I said earlier it would depend on the ingredients and flavor.
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
Reply
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
Reply
post #27 of 31
I've got this one on its way to replace one that I built about 10 years ago that finally died.

How do you like the electric stack? I've seen them and never really never really had the opportunity to use one.

Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
Reply
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
Reply
post #28 of 31
I haven't really thought of it, but now that I do, I'l try and find out for myself. thanks for the idea :)
post #29 of 31
For years I just used a Weber Kettle to smoke, or my gas grill with a smoke box, which required constant monitoring for temp and smoke, so for long smokes it was a big chore.
I finally decided to get a real smoker, but I was working 60+ hours a week in the job I had, so for the sake of convenience I wanted something that was almost set n forget. I did a bunch of research and it was down to the unit I bought (MES - Masterbuilt Electric Smokehouse from Sam's Club) or a (WSM - Weber Smokey Mountain).

The WSM came in one size 18" dia. at that time. The WSM was a charcoal smoking proven classic, capable of maintaining constant temps with maybe one fuel change on a 15 hour smoke. But the WSM capacity was limited, the most you could smoke for ribs was maybe 6 racks, and they either had to be cut or rolled.
The MES was Stainless 40" with a much larger capacity, I could smoke easily up to 12 racks of ribs and maybe 16-20. (I have done smokes with 12 racks of ribs several times.) Also the rib racks could either be layed flat or on their side, keeping their shape, this was important to me. Another feature was the external chip loading tray. From my previous smoke experience I knew that constantly opening the hatch to add fuel or wood, really extended the cooking time due to heat recovery. With the MES that problem was solved I never had to open the hatch until the meat was done. The MES biggest cons are (for my model which is 2 years old, heat recovery in cold weather, and poor electrical connections to the heat element. Regarding heat recovery, new models 40" model has a 1200 watt element. My 2 yr old unit came with 750 watt, so the heat recovery issue is solved. The electrical may have been solved, I haven't heard any complaints. I haven't had any wire issues yet, and I usually do not have issues with temp recovery due to thorough long pre-heats.

The WSM is now available in two sizes 18" and 22", the greater capacity and dia. increased the load capacity and now it is possible to just lay racks of ribs instead of cut or rolling them.

I am very very happy with my MES smoker! The MES comes in 2 sizes a 30" and 40". while the 30" is a very good smoker, I personally think the 40" is the only way to go. The 40" allows you to smoke some serious loads. One guy smoked 10 pork butts avg 8-9 lbs in the 40" and had no problems. While the 40" can do big loads it is also great for just a single butt or a couple racks of ribs. I have smoked as little as a dozen mushrooms. When you compare that feature to the WSM, the WSM is going to eat a half bag of briquettes for 1 rack of ribs or any small load, and will require the same amount for a big load. The MES is very economical at about 10cents an hour, and you don't have to worry about running out of fuel. The only other consideration, is the smoke similar to either a wood pit or a charcoal / wood? Some say no, I don't care! The Q coming out of my MES impresses our guests every time.

You can check out the MES or WSM and lots of other smokers and read what their owners have to say here.
post #30 of 31
Thanks for the thorough response. I'll certainly have to look into those two.
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
Reply
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Smoke Flavor--Use it or Not?