Liquid smoke FAQ.pub by lindayy

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									Information on Liquid Smoke?
For thousands of years people have known that the smoke from burning wood can enhance the flavour of
food and help to preserve meat. When food is exposed to smoke in an enclosed area, dark brown drops
will form as the smoke cools to become a liquid. Controlled methods of cooling smoke make it possible to
gather it as a liquid, which can then be used as a seasoning to flavour food without needing a smoke
house, smoking box, or a 'buccan', as Native Americans call such a device.


What is Smoke?
Smoke from burning wood is the result of pyrolysis, the transformation of a substance by heat. The wood's
two primary components, lignin and cellulose, contribute to the resulting blend of compounds that make up
smoke. This smoke contains some ingredients that provide an anti-bacterial effect and others that provide
flavour.


Obtaining Liquid Smoke
The process begins with wood chips that are subjected to high temperature. A high moisture level allows
the wood to smolder rather than burn, thus producing smoke. The hot smoke is captured and transferred to
a series of condensers that cool the vapours of smoke into a liquid. This liquid is usually refined and fil-
tered, and may be aged in oak barrels for a more mellow product.

Flavour
The primary smoke flavour comes from the pyrolysis of the lignin in the wood, while the pyrolysis of cellu-
lose adds a hint of a 'burnt sugar'. Many types of wood can be used, as well as other combustible materi-
als. In Europe the traditional smoking wood was Alderwood, though now Oak or sometimes beech is used,
while in North America Hickory, Mesquite, Oak, Pecan, Alder, Maple, Apple, Cherry or Plum may be used
for smoking. Different types of wood will yield different flavours, and combinations are often used. Corn
cobs are used by some in North America to smoke bacon or ham, while peat is used to dry and smoke
barley malt for Scotch whisky and some beers. Uncooked rice, sugar, and tea, heated at the base of a wok
are used for Chinese tea-smoking.

Smoke as a Preservative
Long before refrigeration was invented, meat was smoked to increase its shelf life. This is due to the fact
that the chemicals and organic acids found in smoke lower pH, and this increase in acidity destroys the
walls of bacteria cells. The phenolics that are present in smoke also have a bactericidal action which helps
to preserve the meat. In university studies, researchers have added liquid smoke to pathogenic bacteria in
petri dishes, showing that it inhibited microbial growth. Liquid smoke also works well against salmonella,
listeria and other spoilage organisms. Beef tissues, trimmings and ground beef were found to have re-
duced amounts of bacteria on the surface after having liquid smoke added. This seems to show that wash-
ing large meat trimmings with liquid smoke may have a sterilising effect. Hunters, manufacturers & butch-
ers have been using Liquid Smoke in this way for centuries.

Uses for Liquid Smoke
Liquid smoke is used in many different ways. It can be applied to meat before cooking for both its antibiotic
effect or to give the food a smoky flavour. It can also flavour almost any other food but since it is very po-
tent, moderation is key. Before heating a gas grill, liquid smoke can be sprayed onto the cool lava rocks to
give a wood fire flavour.

Recipes
Liquid smoke can be added to many of the Hi Mountain products to add a smoky flavour, particularly in the
Sausages and Jerky.

Some of the foods I have added Liquid Smoke to:
Baked Beans
Eggs & Bacon
Home Made and tinned Soups
In the water when boiling Corn on the Cob
Added to Garlic Butter (powder form)

You can add Liquid Smoke to just about any foods including home made bread or savory scones if you
wish, just think laterally.

www.mistygully.com.au

								
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