The Unexpected Ingredient That Will Add A Smoky Finish To Any Dish

Grill with flames through grate
Grill with flames through grate - AVN Photo Lab/Shutterstock

If you're looking to add a robust, smoky accent to your next appetizer or entree without firing up the grill, this is the tip for you. Surprisingly, this ingredient even works well with baked goods. Just imagine some smoky goodness added to your sourdough bread recipe or a crusty French baguette with a hint of smoke and your mouth will certainly be watering in anticipation. Or, maybe you'd prefer to add a little smokiness to a cheese sauce, instead — that's also an option, as are vegetables and really anything that you can think of that could use a little boost. The possibilities are almost endless once this fun addition finds its way into your kitchen.

And no, the product in question isn't liquid smoke. Although it is a bit similar, this surprising and unexpected ingredient has some important differences. It does not contain any potential additives such as molasses or vinegar and it is made using a slightly different process.

Read more: 13 Intense Cocktails Over 40% ABV

One Simple Ingredient With Complex Flavors

Smoking wood
Smoking wood - Bloomberg/Getty Images

So, what is this magical ingredient? It's called smoked water and it's exactly what it sounds like — water that has been piped through a smoking system and has absorbed the flavor and aroma that you would normally get from smoking meats and other foods. That's it. Nothing else is needed. As simple as it is, the ingredient will add complex notes to whatever it's used in

"It gives a heady, malty, caramel flavor," food author Anna Jones told the Guardian. But, she cautioned: "You have to be gentle with how you use it, as too much can be overpowering." Jones says that she uses smoked water in place of smoked meats and it works especially well as a prosciutto replacement. The malty taste of smoked water can also come in handy for those with celiac or gluten intolerance who can't have malt vinegar but still want to enjoy notes of malt in their foods from time to time.

It's Not Just For Food

Smoked cocktail with dried fruit garnish
Smoked cocktail with dried fruit garnish - Marian Weyo/Shutterstock

Smoked water was a big trend in London when it was first launched there a little over 10 years ago. One of the top ways it was used was in cocktails at the local bars, which is certainly simpler than expecting the bartender to bust out the smoking gun for every smoked cocktail order. It just goes to show that the ingredient can go far beyond baked goods and even food in general.

If you don't have your own smoking equipment, smoked water is also a great way to enjoy those fancy cocktails at home. Consider adding it to a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned for a little kick or put a pinch in your whiskey on the rocks for an extra layer of depth. For those non-drinkers out there, don't despair! There are plenty of smoked mocktail recipes that you are sure to enjoy. So, why not add a bottle of smoked water to your cart?

Read the original article on Daily Meal.