I want to add smoke flavour to a somewhat runny pepper sauce. I thought of letting it simmer on the barbeque and also have some wood chips in water to provide lots of smoke. Keep the lid of the pot off and just put the lid of the weber on.

Can you actually impart smoke flavours to a liquid like this or would it be better just to roast the peppers before you make the sauce?

  • 17
    The title made me think of Cheech & Chong when I first saw it in the "hot network questions" sidebar. "Duuude, you can't smoke that..." / puts sauce in bong / hilarity ensues. Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 3:57
  • I'm not too sure about the water -- that will give you lots of steam but the wood won't start to smoke until the water boils off. Some people like to soak the wood in water. The outside can char and smoke before the inside fully dries, so that might work. I've built a cool smoker so dry wood works better for me
    – Chris H
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 8:09
  • Tempted to try macgyvering something from a cheap "bong" (not a used one obviously), and a small vacuum cleaner or reversible compressor... Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 10:34
  • 1
    If it's a pepper sauce, there's always the option to add something like smoked paprika (if you don't want to add spice) or chipotle pepper powder (if you do want spice).
    – J...
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 12:29
  • 1
    @PeterCordes I had a bit of a more sitcom-style reaction to that title. "I asked for smoked sausage, you idiot! Sausage!" Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 15:36

4 Answers 4


What you're describing isn't all that different from how they make various products like Liquid Smoke (make smoke along with steam, then condense that steam). You will need to make sure that some actual condensation occurs (for example, by having a lid for the smokey vapor to condense onto).

However, it may be simpler to add a liquid smoke-type product directly; at least the main brands are actually smoke distillates (and not artificial flavorings or similar) and thus should be effectively identical to this process, but quicker.


I've definitely done this with ketchup before, with a couple key tweaks:

  1. Spreading the sauce onto a rimmed baking sheet. This is to maximize surface area for smoking.
  2. I used a Traeger pellet-smoker, so I'm not sure how a Weber might work.

I'm not sure how effective this'll be in your case, but the general principle is sound (and delicious). Example recipe using the same process


Better or worse is a judgement call. Smoking the peppers then making the sauce v. smoking the sauce will produce different results, but both will impart smokiness. So, you can, in fact, impart smoke flavor in a liquid by using a smoker. For example, I've smoked water, then used it to cook eggs.


This will definitely work, but I would recommend stirring it every once in a while as it will mostly be affecting only the surface. A shallow vessel with a larger surface area will also impart more smokiness faster.

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