The 6 Best Substitutes For Liquid Smoke

Many recipes call for liquid smoke, but what can you do if you don’t have any on hand and don’t have time to go to the store?

In this post, you’ll find a wide range of alternatives to liquid smoke that may be used in cooking.

We’ll also go through the ways in which each substitute is similar and unique.

If you’re out of liquid smoke, you can substitute any of the following items—most of which are probably already in your pantry—for the real thing.

What Is Liquid Smoke?

When you want barbecue taste without firing up the grill, liquid smoke is a quick and simple substitute. It’s a yellow or crimson liquid that dissolves in water.

Condensed from the smoke of a wood-burning process, this seasoning comes in a variety of flavors and scents, including hickory, applewood, pecan, and mesquite. It’s not uncommon for seasoning to include artificial ingredients.

While liquid smoke has been more widely accessible in recent years for use in the home kitchen, it is still mostly employed as a flavor enhancer in commercial barbecue sauces, marinades, bacon, smoked meats, and certain cheeses.

Best Substitutes For Liquid Smoke

1 – Smoked Paprika

If you don’t have any liquid smoke on hand, smoked paprika is an excellent replacement. It adds a delicious smokey taste to dishes and is widely accessible.

Spanish paprika, with its rich red color and somewhat spicy taste, is the finest kind of smoked paprika to use. But any smoked paprika will do the trick.

The primary distinction between liquid smoke and smoked paprika is visual. Smoked paprika is red in color whereas liquid smoke is often a dark brown.

Both smoked paprika and liquid smoke have a smokey taste, but the former also has a little heat.

Then, smoked paprika is the way to go if you want a smokey taste without the added heat.

One teaspoon of smoked paprika may be used in place of one tablespoon of liquid smoke when making this substitution.

Two tablespoons of liquid smoke may be replaced with two teaspoons of smoked paprika.

Flavoring meats, veggies, and even sweets with smoked paprika is a terrific idea.

Some of our favorite uses for it include marinating pig and serving it as pulled pork. It adds a delicious smokiness to the meat.

2 – Chipotle Powder

There’s a smokey, fiery taste to the chipotle powder. This is due to the smoking process used to prepare the jalapenos for the chipotle powder. Therefore, you may replace liquid smoke with chipotle powder.

Mexico is famous for its chili powder. It is utilized all around the globe because of its flavor-enhancing effect. You may use the chipotle powder for liquid smoke in any recipe.

Meat and salsa dishes will benefit greatly from the addition of the chipotle powder. Half a teaspoon of chipotle powder may be substituted for one teaspoon of liquid smoke.

3 – Wood chips

Substituting wood chips for liquid smoke is a fantastic idea. Use them in place of liquid smoke in savory and sweet dishes like ice cream, veggies, and pudding.

To use, just place them in the smoke gun’s wooden chamber and set it on fire. After 5 or 6 minutes, smoke will begin to emerge from the gun, providing a deliciously smoky accent to your dish.

Wood chips may be purchased from a variety of retail outlets.

4 – Charcoal

Charcoal If you want to add a smoky flavor to your food without adding any additional spices or tastes that may overpower the other ingredients, infusing smoke with a piece of charcoal is the way to go.

Prepare a big bowl for smoking the meal. Use tongs to hold the charcoal over the burner as it burns.

Move it to a smaller bowl after it begins smoking, then set that bowl inside the larger container containing your meal. Put a cover on it or some cling film on it and put it in the fridge so the smokey taste may seep into the food.

This approach is fantastic because it allows you to include smokiness into sweets, pies, and drinks without having to resort to using hot peppers.

5 – Smoked Tea

The fact that smoked tea may stand in for a wide variety of other beverages is its greatest asset. It is a kind of Chinese black tea often known as lapsang souchong for its legendary lack of bitterness.

As the tea leaves are smoked over a pinewood fire, a robust smokey taste is guaranteed. And since it has no fillers, it can stand in for just about anything in the kitchen, from meat and fish to soup and sauce to drinks and sweets.

Liquid smoke may be replaced with smoked tea by steeping tea leaves in hot water for a few minutes. After that, you may use the strained liquid in place of liquid smoke. If you want to make a dry rub, you may crush up the leaves and add them to your favorite spices.

6 – Smoked Salt

Salt that has been gently smoked over a firewood flame is known as smoked salt. When used in cooking, the resultant smoked salt imparts a subtle but distinct smokey flavor. For this reason, smoked salt may be used as a suitable replacement for liquid smoke.

As the taste of smoked salt varies according to the kind of wood used to smoke it, it may be utilized for a variety of culinary purposes. You may coat meat with smoked salt or sprinkle it over salad.


Smoky flavors are comforting and popular among eaters. Because of the effort involved in preparing it, we usually forego eating it.

Liquid smoke, however, simplifies things immensely. The use of liquid smoke to provide a smokey taste to dishes is highly recommended.

You can always depend on alternatives if you don’t have liquid smoke on hand. All the substitutes for liquid smoke mentioned above have been carefully selected to provide a taste experience that is comparable to liquid smoking.

Please share your experience in the kitchen if you try any of these alternatives in the kitchen. All the best with your meals!

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