You may be thinking smoking salts is a crazy choice of food items, but you can smoke anything literally. Smoked salts are delicious, and by making them yourself, you are also saving yourself an expensive bottle of smoked salts.
The great thing is, you can smoke salt when smoking any other food at the same time as well. If you are worried about getting this task done, then don’t worry. This article will help you learn how to smoke salt at home in a matter of no time.
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When it comes to smoking salt, many say the only way to do it right is by cold smoking. Others prefer the hot smoked method. No matter the case, you can do it both ways if you are limited with your smoker.
Any smoker will work when smoking salt as long as it is clean or free of food odors. The type of wood you choose to use will determine how much smoke you want to penetrate the salt and the flavors you want to bring along.
If you want a nice even smoke with nothing too aggressive in flavor yet still bold and delicious, then try using hickory. Mesquite would also be an excellent wood to use too. This doesn’t mean you can’t use fruitwoods also; any wood will do. You may have to smoke for a much longer amount of time.
Smoking salt takes time and needs some attention and more maintenance than one might think.
Types of Salt to Use
Honestly, there are thousands of types of salt to choose from in the world, but only a few are usually mentioned. For the most part, you want a blank slate type of salt. One with no extra flavors and isn’t overly salty.
Kosher salt is one of the best contenders for its large shape and mild flavors. Others like to use pink Himalayan sea salt, corral salt, or Moshio salts that are mild in flavors but softer as well. Stick with the kosher salt to start and then branch out to others if you want.
When smoking salt, they will take on the flavor of other foods in the smoker as well, that is why you want a clean smoker. Smoking small fruits that are mild will help add flavor to the salt as well, like apples.
If you’re going to add whole herbs to the salt that you can remove from the salt after smoking, it is also a favorite thing to do. Try to pick flavors that mingle easily and don’t have much contrast in taste.
Tip: put ½ cup kosher salt in a one-gallon zip baggie with two sprigs of rosemary. Put a small amount of air in the bag, seal it, and flip every eight hours for two days. Then smoke as instructed below to make rosemary herb smoked salt.
Cold Smoking Method
The cold smoking method is probably one of the more popular ways to smoke salt in its delicate state. The best way to do this without a cold smoker is to use pellet tubes or an A-maze-n pellet smoke tray. For the most part, if you fill them up, they will last for about 4-8 hours.
Most smokers will not generate smoke without reaching 150 degrees. This case is where a pellet tube or tray can help; they will never get all that hot. The temperature will stay under 100 degrees, depending on the outside temperature.
Place the salt on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or pink meat wrap and place it in the smoker. You will need to stir the salt around to make sure it gets smoked completely. Cold smoking will also take much longer than the hot method.
Be ready to smoke the salt for at least 10 hours to get a nice flavor. Some like to smoke salt as much as 24 hours, but the usual amount of time for cold smoking salt is 12 hours.
Tip: use a grilling mat rather than a sheet pan with pink meat wrap because it will allow the smoke to flavor the salt better. Keep in mind a grilling mat is flexible, so handle with care.
Hot Smoking Method
Always preheat the smoker for hot smoking, in this case, to 275 degrees. Spread your salt out on a lined sheet tray the night before to make sure there is no moisture in the salt.
When smoking salt using this method, you have to remember that when you smoke it with other foods, the salt may take on some of the flavors from the food as it cooks. This is not always a bad thing to do, though, if you wanted to play around with different flavor combinations.
Place the sheet tray in the smoker and allow to smoke for at least 3-4 hours for a light a subtle smokiness or for longer up to 10 hours for a darker and richer smoke flavor.
When the salt is done smoking, allow it to rest until it completely cools down to the store. During the smoking process makes sure to stir the salt around to get an even smoke around the salt.
Tip: grab a few cheap large sweet apples and cut them into quarters. Place them skin-side down on a smoker rack under the salt during the smoking process. When you are done, discard the apples as they will have a bitter smoke taste, but your salt will be fruity and flavorful.
When to Use Smoked Salt
Smoked salt is considered a finishing salt. So, it is not best to use it in recipes, only after them. The reason for smoked salt is to elevate the flavors of the food and intensify others. Use as you would for seasoning anything you would at the table.
Think of it as the salt on the table to season French fries, popcorn, cooked vegetables, soups and salads, steak, chicken, and all other meats, anything you want to add smoke flavor too.
We hope this article helped you learn how to smoke salt. Other than safety, food has very few rules, so experiment a bit, enjoy cooking and smoking.
Click here for our article 17 Things You Can Smoke in a Smoker.
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