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How Long Does Liquid Smoke Last? Does it Go Bad?

If you love barbecue, you indeed have an entire stock of liquid smoke in your fridge.

This can increase the flavor and offers a smoky aroma to your barbecue.

However, while stocking, people come across the question that do liquid smoke go bad or whether we can use it if a long-stored bottle is found.

Liquid smoke contains many perishable ingredients, which means that it can go bad.

As time passes, the potency and flavor of the liquid tend to lose.

Therefore one needs to follow the right storing methods to keep their liquid safe from earlier spoilage.

What is Liquid Smoke?

This is a natural product made by condensing the smoke of burning wood.

The liquid was invented by Ernest H in 1895 and is still used by people.

The liquid gives your dishes a smoky taste and flavor even if you have not cooked them in the smoker.

Basically, this is a byproduct that generates from exhausted wood.

These woods produce smoke and steam, forming vapors that are further condensed from a cooling tube.

This tube takes the smoke, and the liquid is then filtered from impurities.

The liquid is yellow–brown and is used in various recipes such as marinades, sauces, barbecues, meats, and much more.

You can find smoke liquids in different flavors like pecan, mesquite, and hickory; each has a distinct taste.

That is because these contain artificial flavorings that can offer a more profound taste.

How Long Does Liquid Smoke Last? Does Liquid Smoke Go Bad?

One must know about the shelf life of liquid smoke when they are storing them for too long.

Shelf life does not have the date labeled on the back; that is best before the date.

Best before date indicates that the liquid can only be good or retains its flavor until that period.

Thus they need to finish the pack by that date to get a similar taste to a fresh bottle.

Shelf life means the period till which you can have it without going bad beyond the best-before date.

The shelf life of liquid smoke is quite long, two years, as these contain added preservatives.

But if you are not planning to use it recently, do not open the bottle.

That is because once the bottle is opened, then the liquid begins to degrade and lose its potency.

Other food items stored in the surroundings can also affect the freshness of the liquid.

Therefore if anyone wants to increase its shelf life a few more, one need to store the liquid smoke correctly.

If you have an old bottle whose storage date you can’t remember that when you store it, then be sure to check whether it is good before using it, as bad liquid smoke can be harmful.

How to Tell if Liquid Smoke Has Gone Bad?

  • Smell the Liquid

It is common to forget when you open the bottle of liquid, but just by looking for bad signs, you can figure out if the liquid is fine to have.

The first thing you can notice is the smell of your liquid.

When you open a fresh bottle, then it will provide you with a pleasant aroma.

But as time passes, it becomes a smell-less liquid, and if a lot of time has passed, it can also develop a bad odor.

Thus if your liquid does not have any smell, then you can use it, but once you feel a little odor, then be sure to discard it.

  • Discoloration

To see if the liquid is good, you can put it in a clear glass now see if there is any discoloration.

If the liquid has a significant change in its color, then it is an indication that you have to discard the bottle.

Generally, liquid color ranges from yellow to red when it is good, but if you notice other colors, such as pale, gray, or brown, it has gone bad.

  • Try Tasting

When you cannot find if the liquid is safe to eat, you can taste it.

While tasting one does not have it in a large quantity, one or two sips will be enough.

As all the flavors of liquid taste different thus, you will get a different taste if they go bad.

After tasting, if you get a rancid taste or foul taste, then discard the liquid.

How to Store Liquid Smoke?

  • Seal the Lid

As mentioned earlier, deterioration will start at the same time when the lid is opened.

Therefore you must close the lid tightly to restrict air and moisture.

Air and humidity can make liquid bad as the oxidation process become quick.

Thus, it would help if you transferred it to an airtight container or sealed its original bottle before storing it.

  • Store at a Cool and Dark Place

The place should be cool and dark when you are storing liquid smoke.

That is because a warm temperature can make the liquid go bad.

If the liquid is not exposed to sunlight and heat, it can serve you for three years.

  • Pantry Storage

When storing the liquid in the pantry, then you need to see that your pantry is free from bugs and pests.

As pests can make the liquid bad and stinky in no time, therefore it will be better to store it in the fridge.


These liquid smoke bottles can make your recipes more appetizing.

One must not store the liquid near the stove or areas prone to heat as it will lose its potency at warm temperatures.

You can use the storage tips provided above to increase the longevity of your liquid.

How Long Does Liquid Smoke Last? Does it Go Bad?

Curious about the shelf life of liquid smoke? Explore how long liquid smoke lasts and whether it's prone to spoilage.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Shelf Life
Servings 1 Serving


  • Liquid smoke
  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
  • Labels and markers


  • Store your product in an labelled container in a cool, dark place like the pantry or fridge.
  • If your food is frozen, allow it to thaw in the fridge before cooking.
  • Make sure to look for signs that your food has gone bad before eating it.
Keyword How Long Does Liquid Smoke Last
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