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11 Perfect & Ultimate Alternatives For Liquid Smoke You Need To Have

Quick Answer: How To Replace Liquid Smoke For Delicious Flavor?

If you want a simple and quick way of liquid smoke substitutes, the best thing for you to do is get a smoking gun, as this will give you that smoke flavor in a more genuine way than you can with liquid smoke, but under much more controlled and efficient circumstances than you would with actual smoking.

Some of these other options include using; smoked paprika, charcoal, chipotle powder, smoked salt, smoked tea, or smoked meats. If you want a more in-depth explanation of any of these choices we have made, keep on reading!

Ever since it was created, you will find liquid smoke popping up in more and more recipes used as an ingredient.

As you can assume from the name of the product, it is used to give your meat, fish, vegetables, and even some desserts a distinctly smoky and delicious flavor.

Liquid smoke has found plenty of use in the kitchen as it is an incredibly efficient method of replacing having to use a traditional smoking method using wood, and instead just using this liquid.

9 Best Substitutes For Liquid Smoke

Traditional smoking often requires a lot of time, a lot of supplies, and a lot of space, as well as expertise, so having liquid smoke to replace all of this saved a lot of time.

However, liquid smoke is not the easiest thing to get your hands on, and some people do not consider it to be something that they want to be consuming, but if you have a recipe that is asking for it, what can you do?

We have compiled 11 of the best substitutes for liquid smoke, so if you are unsure of what you can use to substitute this new ingredient, you have come to the right place!

Quick Table: Liquid Smoke Alternatives

SubstitutesCalories (Per 100 Grams)
Smoke Gun
Smoked Paprika289
Chipotle Powder281
Smoked Salt0
Smoked Meats114
Smoked Tea1
Canned Chipotle Pepper67
Wood Chips
Homemade Alternatives0

The Best Substitutes For Liquid Smoke

While all of these options work well as substitutions for liquid smoke, some work better than others in different situations, so make sure to read carefully to see which one will suit the recipe you are trying to make the best!

1. Smoke Gun

If you want to recreate, and even surpass the flavor which will be imparted by using liquid smoke, there is no better choice than investing in a smoke gun.

By using one of these you will easily be able to make your food infused with smoke and will not need to add any extra ingredients to achieve this.

You can use a smoke gun in plenty of recipes, whether it is a recipe which needs liquid smoke or not.

You can use a smoke gun to add flavor to anything like; meat, vegetables, puddings, chocolate, and even ice cream.

This is a piece of equipment which is often only used by professionals, but you will not have to pay too much to be able to get one yourself.

This device works by adding wood chips into the gun which will then be given a controlled burn with the smoke coming out of the nozzle.

There are plenty of different ways to use a smoke gun, and they can be tried on practically any food you make elevating it to the next level with a smoky flavor.

If you are a chef who wants to keep trying new things to keep their cooking fresh and wants to keep experimenting with new flavors, this is perhaps one of the best ways for you to be able to do this.

Using a smoke gun is not that difficult, the method most people use is wrapping the food they want to smoke in cling film leaving plenty of room, and then inserting the smoke gun to fill up the created chamber with smoke so it will impart the flavor onto the food in controlled circumstances.

While a smoke gun is one of the most efficient ways to recreate liquid smoke, and will usually get even better and more authentic results, it is not something most people will already have in their house, and not everyone wants to have to go out and buy new equipment.

So what other options work well?

How To Substitute

Smoke guns are a great alternative to liquid smoke and provide a more intense smoke flavor. These are best used in recipes that call for liquid smoke but don’t require it.

2. Smoked Paprika

If you are looking for a more simple seasoning which is more affordable than a smoke gun, and easier to find in a store than liquid smoke, smoked paprika is one of the best options available, named after its smoky flavor.

This paprika will also sometimes be referred to as pimenton, or Spanish paprika, so if you see those, this is the same thing.

This spice has a delicious smoky, and rich flavor, and will give your food an appetizing color with its red color.

This spice is made with peppers like paprika, but what makes it different is that the peppers which make it are dried and smoked in oak wood fires over the course of a few weeks giving it a distinctive smoky flavor.

If the recipe you are following asks for a teaspoon of liquid smoke, you can replace this will half a teaspoon of your favorite smoked paprika.

This will also give your dish the flavor of paprika, which is pleasant by itself, but will also give you a smoky undertone to your cooking.

If you want to make sure to not make the food too spicy, make sure that you are buying a mild smoked paprika and not a hot one.

How To Substitute

Smoked paprika is the perfect replacement for liquid smoke. It’s a key ingredient in many traditional barbecue rubs, as well as a great addition to your barbecue sauce.

3. Chipotle Powder

Chipotle powder is made by grinding up jalapeño peppers and they will then get smoked over a wood fire, this is why they have such an intense smoked flavor.

You will find that this ingredient is used quite commonly in Mexican cuisine and has now started to become more and more popular around the world finding its way into different recipes.

Because of this it is now used to add its smoky flavor to salsa, meats, eggs, and chili.

You will want to replace liquid smoke with about half the quantity of chipotle powder since its spice is a lot more intense than the spice you will get from liquid smoke.

Beware of this if you do not like spice.

How To Substitute

Using liquid smoke is a popular way to substitute and most recipes use chipotle paprika, which is readily available at the grocery store. This spice blend has a similar flavor to liquid smoke, but is much less expensive. It is great for meat dishes, as well as stews, casseroles, and braises.

4. Charcoal

This is an easy method to manually make your food a lot more smoky.

All you will have to do is put some charcoal over the flame on your hob and then when it gets to the point of it smoking, put it in a small bowl using tongs.

After this you want to put this bowl in a large container which will hold the food which you want to smoke.

After this all you have to do is cover this larger container with a bag to trap in the smoky flavor.

This requires a lot more effort and needs more safety precaution than some of the other recipes, but it is cheaper than a lot of other methods, and will not add a secondary taste like some other ingredients will.

How To Substitute

Charcoal can be used to add smoke flavor to food in the same way that liquid smoke can. The best way to do this is to cook a piece of meat over indirect heat for an extended period of time.

5. Smoked Salt

Not many people have heard of this seasoning, but as you can tell from the name, smoked salt is a spice which is made simply by normal salt getting smoked and this will be done sometimes for up to 2 weeks.

This salt is easy to use and can be used just like any other salt with the only difference being the smoky flavor it will give.

You will want to keep an eye out for the type of wood used to smoke the salt as this will impact the flavor.

This is a good simple alternative to liquid smoke, as salt is already used in most recipes, so you can just switch out your normal salt for this, but make sure you do not add too much, as smoked food which is too salty can be very unpleasant to eat.

How To Substitute

Smoked salt is a dry salt that has been smoked over low heat. This process makes the salt flakes taste smoky and impart a distinct flavor to the food it is used in. Liquid smoke can be used in place of smoked salt to achieve a similar flavor.

RELATED: 4 Easy Substitutes for Cooking Twine (That You Already Have)

6. Smoked Meats

This is definitely one of the less versatile options on this list, but if you are using your liquid smoke on meat, or a meal which uses meat, you can simply substitute the meat used in the recipe for a smoked version of the meat.

You will be surprised at just how many smoked versions of meats are available to buy of meat you would usually use, and sometimes it will not even have that much of a price difference.

How To Substitute

Smoked meats, such as smoked ham or smoked turkey, can be used in place of liquid smoke. Simply add a teaspoon of the smoked meat to a mixture of equal parts of brown sugar, liquid smoke, and water. Let the mixture soak overnight in the refrigerator, and then cook as usual.

7. Smoked Tea

Smoked tea is also called lapsang souchong and is a black tea from China which is made with smoking tea leaves to dry them giving the tea a very smoky taste.

Since smoked tea is a similar consistency to liquid smoke, you can use it as a pretty similar substitute in recipes, you will just want to make sure to brew it properly and not make it too bitter. You can also used the dried leaves in a meat rub if you want to.

How To Substitute

Smoked tea is a flavoring that can be used in place of liquid smoke in many dishes. The liquid smoke adds a smoky flavor to dishes that is not easily achieved by other means. Using smoked tea is a more sustainable option.

8. Canned Chipotle Peppers

If you do not know, chipotle peppers are usually preserved by storing them in a sauce or liquid which has a very smoky flavor.

This will of course be quite spicy, so you will need to be prepared for this, but you can actually use this liquid as a quite similar alternative to liquid smoke, just make sure that you are preserving your peppers in something else after.

How To Substitute

Canned Chipotle Peppers are a must-have for any home chef. This canned product is a good substitute for liquid smoke, and the flavors are so rich that you won’t even miss the smoke. These peppers can be used to add heat to dishes

9. Wood Chips

Wood chips are small pieces of wood, which are made from trees that have been chopped down and used as fuel.

They are typically used as an ingredient in a variety of dishes, like soups and stews, because of their natural and slightly smoky flavor.

There are many types of wood chips that are used in cooking. They are primarily used as an ingredient in barbecue, but they are also used in grilling, smoking, and roasting. 

Wood chips come in a variety of shapes and sizes, which means they can be used in a variety of ways.

Perfect for any home, it comes handy for all your needs. It gives a savory taste to the recipes. 

How To Substitute

Liquid smoke is a liquid that contains smoke from wood, which is used to give food a smoky flavor. You can substitute it with wood chips, but you will need to soak the chips in water for at least 30 minutes before you can use them.

10. Beer

Beer is the world’s most popular alcoholic beverage. It is made from malted barley, hops, yeast, and water.

Some beers are very sweet and others have a sour taste. A lot of beers have an alcohol content of about 5%.

It can be used as a substitute for liquid smoke in cooking, and is often used in dishes like barbecue sauces, soups, and stews.

Beer can be used as a liquid smoke substitute in many recipes. Beer is easy to find, easy to use, and easy to clean up after. It also has a variety of uses and can be mixed with other liquids to make it more useful.

How To Substitute

Beer can be substituted for liquid smoke in a variety of ways, including in recipes for barbecued ribs, pulled pork, or brisket. Beer has a much milder flavor than liquid smoke, so it is not recommended for use in heavily smoked dishes.

11. Homemade Alternatives

You can actually make your own version of liquid smoke by simply using overcooked bread.

This version is not too hard to make, and you can add a spice mix to it, to make it even better tasting.

How To Substitute

When it comes to smoking food, liquid smoke is a common ingredient that many people might not realize can be replaced with their own version of liquid smoke. Liquid smoke is a mixture of liquid and smoke flavoring that is used in the smoking process. This liquid smoke is commonly used for grilling and smoking food.

Ingredients For Liquid Smoke

To make your own version of liquid smoke you will need just 2 ounces of yeast risen bread.

How To Make Your Own Liquid Smoke

All you need to do is place the sliced break onto a baking tray and turn them occasionally and cook until the bread is burnt on both sides after about 5 minutes.

Then you want to let the bread sit out overnight and dry out. You can add these dried out burnt slices to a spice grinder and it will be very smoky.


Hopefully this article has given you all the information you need to properly substitute liquid smoke.

Since this is quite a new ingredient many people are unsure on how to properly substitute it.

But the best thing to remember is that you will usually get better and more authentic results by actually doing some version of actual smoking instead of using a liquid version.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Liquid Smoke Good For You?

Liquid smoke is a flavorful liquid that is used in many different recipes. It is a mixture of water, smoke and salt, and is typically found in foods such as barbecue sauce.

Liquid smoke is a product used in barbeque to flavor meats. However, this product is not just a flavoring but also a preservative, which is why some people wonder if liquid smoke is good for you.

What Does Liquid Smoke Taste Like?

Liquid smoke is a flavorful liquid used to add smoky flavor to meats and vegetables. It can be used in cooking, as well as in cosmetics, perfumes, and toothpaste.

What Is A Good Substitute For Liquid Smoke?

Liquid smoke is a popular flavoring for barbeque and other smoked dishes, but can also be used as a flavoring for non-smoked dishes.

Liquid smoke is typically made from liquid smoke flavoring extract and smoke from hardwood chips, and has a much milder flavor than smoked food.

11 Best Substitutes For Liquid Smoke

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Do you want to make a recipe, but it needs liquid smoke and you do not have any? This list has 9 of the best substitutes for liquid smoke available!


  • Smoke Gun

  • Smoked Paprika

  • Chipotle Powder

  • Charcoal

  • Smoked Salt

  • Smoked Meats

  • Smoked Tea

  • Canned Chipotle Peppers

  • Wood Chips

  • Beer

  • Homemade Alternative


  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio
Jess Smith