Liquid smoke is used to season foods to give them a smokey flavor.
BBQ purists cringe when they hear of this but liquid smoke is often used to give BBQ meats like pulled pork, ribs, and brisket a smokey flavor when they are cooked in an oven or crock pot instead over a fire of charcoal or wood.
Other uses for liquid smoke include jerky, sauces, chili, soups, and stews. Some people even like to put it in Bloody Marys.
The process of making liquid smoke was introduced in 1895. Ernest H. Wright a pharmacist from Kansas City developed the technique and essentially the same process continues to be used today. Smoke from burning wood is captured, condensed and combined with water.
Different flavors of liquid smoke are available based on the type of wood that was burned when it was made.