10 Best Liquid Smoke Substitutes – How to Replace

Liquid smoke is a popular ingredient in many recipes, but what do you do if you’re out of liquid smoke or don’t have the time to run to the store?

This article will provide a list of substitutes for liquid smoke that you can use in your recipes.

We’ll also explain the differences and similarities between each substitute.

So, if you’ve run out of liquid smoke, you can try out the following alternatives, some of which we’re sure will be present in your pantry.

Substitutes for Liquid Smoke

  1. Smoked paprika
  2. Chipotle powder
  3. Charcoal
  4. Smoked tea
  5. Wood chips
  6. Smoked salt
  7. Canned chipotle peppers
  8. Smoked meats
  9. Beer
  10. Hickory smoked powder

Smoked paprika

Smoked paprika is a great substitute for liquid smoke. It is easily available, and it imparts a wonderful smoky flavor to food.

Spanish paprika is the best type of smoked paprika to use, as it has a deep red color and a slightly spicy flavor. However, any type of smoked paprika will work.

The main difference between liquid smoke and smoked paprika is the color. Liquid smoke is usually dark brown, while smoked paprika is red.

While both impart a smoky flavor, smoked paprika also has a slight kick that liquid smoke does not have.

So, if you are looking for a smoky flavor without the extra heat, smoked paprika is the way to go.

To substitute smoked paprika for liquid smoke, use a ratio of one teaspoon of smoked paprika for every one tablespoon of liquid smoke.

So, if your recipe calls for two tablespoons of liquid smoke, you would use two teaspoons of smoked paprika.

Smoked paprika is a great way to add flavor to meats, vegetables, and even desserts.

For example, we like to add it to pulled pork. It gives the pork a wonderful smoky flavor.

Chipotle powder

Chipotle powder is made from ground chipotle chilies, which are a type of smoke-dried jalapeño. As a result, it shares many of the same flavor profiles as liquid smoke.

Chipotle powder is fruity and smoky, with moderate heat and earthy undertones. It can be used as a replacement for liquid smoke in many cases.

For example, it can be used to add smokiness to BBQ sauce, marinades, or rubs. You can also use it to flavor beans, soups, or stews.

In addition, you can use chipotle powder as a dry rub for grilled meats or vegetables.

The benefits of using chipotle powder as a substitute for liquid smoke include its versatility and its ability to add depth of flavor to dishes.


Liquid smoke is readily available at most supermarkets, but it can be costly. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, charcoal is a good option.

To use it as a substitute, simply burn charcoal on a grill or in a fireplace. Then, using tongs, place the hot charcoal in a pan or on a piece of foil. Cover the pan or foil with another piece of foil, and allow the smoke to rise for several minutes.

The result will be a smoky aroma but without any additional taste, making it a great option for adding smokiness to desserts, too.

Just be sure to use charcoal that is safe for cooking, such as lump charcoal. Otherwise, you may end up with unwanted chemicals in your food.

Smoked tea

Chinese black tea (or lapsang souchong) can be used as a substitute for liquid smoke. This type of tea has no extra ingredients, so it does not add any unwanted flavors to your dish.

To use Chinese black tea as a substitute for liquid smoke, steep it in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Then, strain the tea and add it to your recipe as desired.

Chinese black tea imparts a rich smoky flavor because it is traditionally smoked over a pinewood fire. However, the smoking process is controlled so that it does not become bitter.

As a result, Chinese black tea is an ideal substitute for liquid smoke. You can use it in any recipe that calls for liquid smoke, and you will not be able to taste the difference!

Wood chips

Wood chips are a great substitute for liquid smoke. They can be used in any recipe that calls for liquid smoke, including ice creams, vegetables, and pudding.

Simply put them in the wood chamber of a smoke gun and let them burn. After 5-6 minutes, you’ll have smoke coming in from the gun, which is perfect for adding a rich, smokey flavor.

You can find wood chips at any specialty store.

Smoked salt

Smoked salt can be used in many cases where you would use liquid smoke.

It is made by smoking regular salt over your choice of bark-free wood. The wood is usually hickory, mesquite, or oak, and the smoking process gives the salt a deep, aromatic flavor.

The flavor of smoked salt can vary depending on the type of wood used and the length of time it is smoked.

It is also extra salty, so you may need to use less of it than you would use regular salt. However, the strong flavor of smoked salt means that a little goes a long way.

Overall, smoked salt is a great substitute for liquid smoke, and it can add a delicious smoky flavor to various dishes.

Canned chipotle peppers

Canned chipotle peppers provide a slight heat and smoky flavor, similar to liquid smoke.

They are readily available, have a long shelf life and can be easily stored in your pantry.

When using canned chipotle peppers as a substitute for liquid smoke, simply chop or puree the peppers and add them to your recipe.

You can also use the canned pepper liquid, which is particularly effective in marinades and sauces.

Overall, canned chipotle peppers are an easy and accessible way to add smoky flavor to your dishes.

Smoked meats

Smoked meats, specially barbecue leftovers, are one of the best substitutes for liquid smoke that you can find.

They add a fantastic smoky flavor to any dish, and you can use any smoked meat you have, such as smoked sausage or even smoked brisket. These meats are packed with flavor and make for a great addition.

However, it’s important to remember that all of these substitutes will increase the fat content of your barbecue, so use them sparingly.


When it comes to liquid smoke, there are a few substitutes that can be used in a pinch. One of the most popular substitutes is beer.

When marinating meats, smoky craft beers like porter can add a depth of flavor that is reminiscent of liquid smoke. However, it is important to choose a high-quality beer, since that greatly affects the flavor.

Apart from a smoky flavor, the beer’s hops will add a subtle bitterness that can help to balance out the richness of the meat. Plus, it can tenderize the meat very well.

However, when using beer as a substitute for liquid smoke, it is important to use it sparingly, as too much can make the dish taste overly bitter.

Hickory smoked powder

When it comes to robust & strong flavor, hickory smoked powder is a great substitute for liquid smoke. This powder has a rich flavor and a crisp smell that is very reminiscent of oak.

It’s important to use this powder sparingly, however, as it can quickly overwhelm a dish. But when used in the right amount, it can add a wonderful depth of flavor.

Another benefit of hickory smoked powder is that it doesn’t contain any liquids, so it won’t alter the consistency of your dish. Whether you’re looking to add a touch of smoked flavor to a sauce or soup, or you want to give your grilled vegetables an extra punch, hickory smoked powder is a great option.


What are some good substitutes for liquid smoke?

In a pinch, you can use smoked meats, canned chipotle peppers, beer, or hickory smoked powder as substitutes for liquid smoke.

Each one of these substitutes has its own unique flavor that can add depth to your dish.

However, it’s important to use them sparingly so that they don’t overpower the dish.

How does liquid smoke work?

Liquid smoke is a liquid that is used to add smoke flavor to food. It is made by capturing the smoke from burning wood, and then condensing it into a liquid form.

Liquid smoke can be used in two ways – either by adding it to the dish while it’s being cooked, or by using it as a marinade.

What foods can you use liquid smoke on?

Liquid smoke can be used on a variety of foods, including meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, and even baked goods. It’s a versatile ingredient that can add a touch of smoky flavor to any dish.

Do any of the substitutes alter the taste or consistency of a dish?

Some substitutes can change just the consistency or taste while others can do both.

For instance, chipotle peppers, smoked meats, and beer can add a depth of flavor, which is why you should choose high-quality ingredients. Beer can also change the consistency.

Meanwhile, ingredients like charcoal don’t add any additional taste apart from the smokiness.

It’s important to experiment with different substitutes to see which one you like best. Just be mindful of the quantity since a little goes a long way.

What are the benefits of using liquid smoke?

Liquid smoke can be a great way to add flavor without changing the consistency of your dish. It’s also a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes, including your favorite desserts!

How much liquid smoke should be used in a recipe?

When using liquid smoke as a substitute, it is important to use it sparingly, as too much can make the dish taste overly bitter.

Is Worcestershire a substitute for liquid smoke?

No, Worcestershire sauce is not a substitute for liquid smoke.

Worcestershire sauce is a liquid condiment made from vinegar, soy sauce, and other spices. It has a distinct flavor that is different from liquid smoke.

While Worcestershire sauce can be used to add flavor to a dish, it should not be used as a substitute for liquid smoke. It is more suitable to use as a marinade.


If you don’t have liquid smoke at hand, there are many other substitutes you can use. Most of these are usually present in our kitchen.

With liquid smoke being a versatile ingredient, it’s important to experiment with different substitutes to see which one you like best.

Not to mention, the ideal substitute depends on the dish you want to add smokiness too. Of course, you can’t add smoked paprika to a dessert!

So test a few substitutes and we’re sure you’ll find the right option!