Making Liquid Smoke

Dr. Kent Kirshenbaum gave a thorough talk on liquid smoke last Thursday at the Experimental Cuisince Collective at NYU, covering smoke’s chemical makeup, alternative methods for generating smoke flavors, and a demonstration of making and using liquid smoke.

I went into the talk thinking: “Liquid smoke must be evil nasty chemicals! Besides, it’s cheating!”

I came out of the talk thinking: “Wow, liquid smoke really isn’t anything more than smoke vapors, condensed into a liquid, and applied to food at a later stage.” Liquid smoke doesn’t appear to be any worse for you than normally-smoked foods, and allows for using smoke flavor in new and fun ways. (No comment on the cheating aspects.)

So, I am on the hunt for unusual uses of liquid smoke. Do you have any?

  • Smores-flavored ice cream: toasted graham crackers, chocolate syrup, liquid smoke, marshmallows. (Kent made this; delicious.)
  • Amping up cheap whiskey: smoked peat moss contributes a lot to the flavor of whiskeys; liquid smoke contains the same chemical compounds (created by lignins from plant matter being pyrolyzed). Adding liquid smoke to crappy whiskey might be a clever hack to improve the flavor for those that prefer their whiskeys smoky. (Whiskey lovers: can you want to try this and tell me your impressions?)
  • Other suggestions?
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