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.

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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