Liquid Smoke?

By February 16, 2020 Fresh Ideas

One of our best customers came in this week and asked ‘what kind of wood do you smoke with?’ – Our response: ‘Maple or Apple’.  He then told us that a Nurse at the Amherst Hospital told his father that there is no REAL Smoked Meats in Amherst.  ‘They all use Liquid Smoke’. 

First and foremost, I am flattered the gentleman and his nurse were talking about smoked food in their small-talk.  That’s Awesome! And that we were a part of that discussion, even better.  But, that’s simply not true.  Then my protective side came into my head and said ‘you better set the record straight’. 

We use a Commercial Smoker that is loaded with wood (logs) in the fire-box.  The operator sets the temperature, cook-time, and holding temperature, and then presses ‘Start’.  A thermostat tells the propane pilot to raise the temperature.  The flame comes on like a Tiger Torch igniting the wood and raising the temperature of the cook-chamber to the set cooking temperature.  Once the desired temperature is achieved, the thermostat tells the propane to shut down.  The wood (logs) are left smouldering in the fire-box with smoke filling the cook-chamber.  When the temperature falls below the set-temperature by 5 degrees, the propane comes back on until the temperature comes up.  That is how we maintain our desired cook-temperature and smoke our foods without having to tend a fire for 12-hours at a time.

This is a New Southern Pride MLR-150. That’s the fire-box at the back.

We use a Southern Pride MLR-150 Commercial Smoker.  It has a rotisserie in it so that food cooks and smokes evenly.  Without a rotisserie the operator must rotate the food several times in the cooking process in order to account for temperature gradients/smoke density differences (e.g. top to bottom) in the cooking chamber.  Commercial Smokers like ours (there are other types) have a heavily insulated Cooking Chamber to make them highly efficient and maintain an even cooking temperature with less influence on or from Ambient Temperature.

Because of this question, I looked into liquid smoke.  Here is a great article from ‘The Spruce Eats’ that we thought you might enjoy.  https://www.thespruceeats.com/liquid-smoke-overview-335486

We don’t use liquid smoke in anything at our kitchen.  We use Smoked Chicken, Beef or Pork Bones to make a smoky Bone broth packed with flavour, and that is sometimes used to infuse a smoky-taste into some of our liquid-based foods such as baked beans or cheese sauce.   

Dan Corbett

Author Dan Corbett

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