An aqueous wood smoke solution for flavoring foodstuffs is produced by heating in an oxygen starved atmosphere ground wood or cellulose to between 400.degree. C. and 650.degree. C. within 1.0 second; maintaining the said wood or cellulose and the primary pyrolysis vapors between 400.degree. C. and 650.degree. C. for between 0.03 and 2.0 seconds; reducing the temperature of the pyrolysis products to below 350.degree. C. within 0.6 seconds; separating and collecting the water soluble liquid products; and diluting the said water soluble liquid products with water to achieve a partial phase separation and to reduce the benzo(a)pyrene concentration to less than 1.0 ppb.