It’s summer, so our BBQ is being used in full force. We’ve been busy smoking anything we can fit in that BBQ, including a 20-pound turkey – but that’s a post for another day. 😉 Today, we’re focusing on making smoked salt – and the 100 reasons why you should (okay, 3 of the BIGGEST reasons why you should).
3 Reasons Why You Should Make Your Own Smoked Salt
First, the stuff tastes fantastic.
It’s a perfect finishing salt to add to tomato soup, or on top of an avocado – or anything you want to impart a smokey kick. It’s as good, if not better than some of the gourmet smoked salts you buy in the grocery store.
Second, it’s far cheaper to make this at home. Some of the fancy finishing salts are super expensive. Get as fancy as you want to be with this and still save a load of money.
And if you need one more reason, these make great gifts! It’s the perfect host/hostess gift, especially if you are going to a BBQ this summer. A great gift for any BBQ lover or foodie on your holiday gift list!
I’ve even included the labels so you can print them off and make your own fancy bottles to give away. You can find the download toward the bottom of the post.
But honestly, I don’t think you will give them away. I think you’re going to hoard your smoked salt in your cupboards.
You seriously need to make a batch! In the middle of winter, when it’s cold outside, you can add a pinch of fire-roasted goodness to your dishes and pretend that it’s still summer.
I mean think about the possibilities:
- Smokey Mac N Cheese
- Sprinkle on mashed potatoes
- Rim a Bloody Mary
- Add to homemade mozzarella
- Make smokey rubs to use in the oven
- Sprinkle on a bowl of pumpkin soup…
- …and on and on
Are you convinced? I hope so!
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Must Know Tips When Making Smoked Sea Salt
When I first started getting into making smoked salt, I has so many questions. I was able to narrow down the important questions and tips I felt everyone should know before starting to smoke salt in your own home.
whICH is the best salt to smoke?
After trying out all sorts of different salts, we finally narrowed it down to the best: Sea salt – the flakier and chunkier, the better.
My go-to choice is Maldon because that is my favorite salt by far, and it’s thin and flaky, which is perfect for smoking.
But, you don’t have to buy expensive Maldon salt either. We did smoke up some coarse sea salt, which worked just as well.
Maldon does make a smoked salt but I find the smokey flavor in it to be very dull, which is what started my journey in smoking salt.
You can smoke fine sea salt too. Honestly, though, I think of smoked salt as more of finishing salt. Fine salt doesn’t add that amazing crunch, nor does it add that punch of fire-roasted smokey flavor.
What’s the best wood to Use When making smoked salt?
We’d have to go with applewood – by far our favorite!
After trying several different kinds of woods on several different salts, we both agreed that the applewood smoked salt was the best.
Don’t get me wrong. The other types of wood made great tasting salt too, but the applewood was superior because it’s:
- The most versatile of all the smoked salts we’ve tried.
- Imparted the best clean smoke flavor that paired well with everything.
Like anything that has to do with food, this is just a matter of personal preference. Honestly, smoking salt is super easy to do, so I recommend trying a few different kinds of wood to find what you like the best.
With that said, I also have to say that we’ve never made a smoked salt that I didn’t like. Other woods that we tried were:
- Rum barrel
- Maple bourbon barrel
But, if you don’t want the fuss of experimenting, go with applewood. It does a great job, and you just can’t go wrong if you start out with applewood.
There are also specialty wood chips you can find on Amazon that we like too:
What temperatures are needed to make smoked salt?
We’ve smoked salts at 250F and 400F, and I have found that the only thing that changes is how long you have to smoke your salt. We end up with the exact same result whether we smoke:
- At 250F for 5-6 hours
- At 350-400F for 2-3 hours
I did read a recommendation that you should cold smoke your salt for 12 hours. We tried that, and I did not like it at all. It was an incredibly powerful (over the top) acrid smokey salt.
However, if you want something stronger, add a few hours to your smoke.
For a tried and true smoked salt, I recommend smoking it at 350F for 2-3 hours.
Can I smoke salt in a gas BBQ?
Yes, you can! You should take a look at this A-MAZE-N 12” Pellet Tube Smoker.
I am going to recommend that you invest in this beautiful little device. The A-MAZE-N pellet tube smoker allows you to cold smoke in your gas BBQ.
I’ve used it in the past, and it works great. It takes pellets (not wood chips or wood chunks), so that’s an extra investment. But, it turns your gas BBQ into a cold smoker.
Ingredients Needed TO make Homemade SMoked Sea Salt
To make this smoked salt recipe, you need:
- Flakey sea salt (or coarse salt)
- Your favorite wood for smoking
- A BBQ or smoker
When I was trying to figure out how to smoke salt, I used a lot of different woods, a lot of different methods, and went through a lot of salt!
Here is a list of what we used to make our favorite applewood smoked salt.
- Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker
- Maldon Sea Salt Flakes – Pack of 2
- 13″ Splatter Screen
- Apple Wood Chips
We have a Char-griller Akorn Kamado grill/smoker. It’s the best BBQ we’ve ever had and we love it! We wouldn’t replace it with anything else, and I highly recommend it.
After three summers of hard wear and tear, this thing is still going strong without any issues! My husband smokes everything in that thing:
- Grilled cheese
- And more
Honestly, if it’s food, I’m sure that we’ve tried to BBQ it or smoke it at some point.
I also bought a frying pan splatter screen, stainless steel, and bent the handle up so I could put it inside our BBQ.
The screen is perfect for coarse salt. It allows the smoke to penetrate at the top and the bottom at the same time. I find this speeds up the process and makes it easy work.
How to smoke salt IN A Smoker
Smoking salt is as easy as pie. Wait, no. That’s wrong, it’s way easier!
I smoke 2 cups of salt on 300-350F for 2-3 hours. Then, I stir my salt and add new smoke chips every hour.
Pro Tip: Do not soak your wood chips. It will only delay your smoke and reduce the temperature of your coals.
Great smoking book
If you want an excellent BBQ book that delves into the science of heat, smoke, and flame, buy Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling. It’s the best BBQ book ever, and it will teach you many unusual tidbits that will take your BBQ game to the next level.
“How to smoke salt” was not a topic in the cookbook, but you can find some of the best recipes for your summer BBQ in there.
Storing your smoked salt
So I will admit- the salt improves over time. It mellows, gets a bit smokier, and the taste keeps getting better and better.
I prefer to store my smoked salt in mason jars and it lasts indefinitely. I still have some kicking around from last summer, and you would never know the difference between it and newly smoked salt.
Make sure to use airtight storage containers if you are storing for long periods of time.
I made these adorable labels that you can print off and add to your jars. You can print them on sticky label paper, but you will need to cut them. A paper trimmer makes the job even quicker and easier.
I printed mine on card stock and used a glue stick to slap them on the front of a 500ml (2 cups) mason jar. A bit of craft paper added to the lid and a twist of twine add a nice touch.
- 2 cups of salt
- Wood chips
Smoke 2 cups of salt on 300-350F for 2-3 hours.
Stir salt and add new smoke chips every hour
* Do not soak your wood chips