Know your SMOKE!


Image Source

good smoke, bad smoke

Don’t worry… this is not a post about legalizing marijuana but a look at one of my favorite flavor enhancers…Liquid Smoke! 

What makes jerky taste so good?? What makes BBQ sauce taste so irresistible you want to drink it out of the bottle? Why do I love anything cooked on the grill?? It’s all in the smoke Baby! 

BBQ, jerky and my BBQ sauce are just not the same without that smokey flavor.  Problem is, most brands of liquid smoke are nothing but man made chemicals in a bottle.  After much searching, I have finally found REAL liquid smoke!

What is liquid smoke??

Just what is sounds like. It is smoke that has been condensed into a liquid form. Check out this Alton Brown Video (Minute 9:00) about how liquid smoke is actually made.

I don’t plan on making my own liquid smoke anytime soon, but I am glad I have found a brand that actually contains liquid smoke, not smoke flavor, natural flavors and caramel color! 


Diagram of how liquid smoke is “harvested” (Image Source)

The above image was actually taken from Colgin’s website. They claim to be REAL smoke but check out the ingredients on my bottle:  0007105300001_500X500 Natural Mesquite Liquid Smoke: Water, Natural Hickory Smoke Flavor, Vinegar, Molasses and Carmel Color & Natural Flavoring Last time I checked, the terms “flavor” and “natural flavoring” are bad news!  These are often terms for chemicals and even for hidden gluten. Colgin’s claims to be gluten free, but so is dirt, but that doesn’t mean I want to eat it!


wrights_liquid_smoke_hickory_mesquiteJust as described by Alton above and in the image above, liquid smoke is just that, liquid smoke and not natural flavoring! Wright’s Liquid Smoke seems to be the real deal! 

Wright’s Liquid Smoke (Hickory) Ingredients: Water, Natural Hickory Smoke That’s it!!  

WARNING: Wright’s All Natural Applewood Liquid Smoke contains:  Natural smoke flavor, red apple flavor, maple syrup flavor, and natural apple wood smoke flavor.  

Do you see the difference??  Both claim to be gluten free but be sure you pick up the Hickory not the Applewood! Now I will gladly enjoy my liquid smoke in my Sweet, Spicy & Tangy BBQ Sauce and in my upcoming Jerky Recipe! 


Get Wright’s Liquid Smoke (Hickory) HERE!  Don’t want to buy 12 bottles?? Be sure to check out your local grocery store. If they don’t have it, ask them to get it in stock!

READ Labels

This is just one example of how you MUST read labels. Don’t trust a commercial, don’t trust the “natural” labeling printed on the bottle, or don’t even the brand!  Before you buy it, read the label!



 Also be sure to check out my two cookbooks, Satisfying Eats & Comforting Eats, NOW available in eBook format through Amazon the spiral bound versions are available here on by blog.

Happy Cookin’!


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