When contemplating the perfect gift for the barbecue aficionado (or for yourself even) it’s best to think outside of the box. Forget about tongs, spatulas and aprons. Shake up your gift list with something different. Give them smoked salt.
Savor the Flavor
Seasoning food with salt is a good cook’s best ally. When used properly, salt can impart great flavors, give texture, and enhance the color of the foods you are preparing. Adding smoked salt to your barbecue arsenal will bump up the flavor profiles of the food being cooked giving it a delicious and subtle smoky taste.
What makes this gift idea even more attractive is that you can make the salt yourself instead of buying it – with the lion’s share of work done by a Memphis Wood Fire pellet grill.
The Secret Ingredients – Time and Patience
Your most important ingredient for smoking salt is time. But aside from stirring occasionally, the Memphis will do all of the work. Here’s where the patience comes in. To get a nice smoke on your salt it’s going to take some time. We smoked the salt, pictured above for 14 hours. How long you smoke your salt is a matter of personal preference. For a lighter hint of smoke, use less time on the Memphis, and for a heavier hit of salty smoke flavor, let the salt smoke for a longer time span.
Pan or Screen?
Salt can be smoked using either the cold or hot smoked method. When utilizing the Memphis for smoking salt you will be using the hot smoke method. Set the temperature control to 275 F. There really isn’t any prep but you will have to decide on what type of container to use to hold the salt while being smoked. We experimented with two different ways of containing the salt:
Metal Splatter Screen (the type of screen you put over your frying pan) – Simply pour the salt chunks onto the screen and place on the lower rack of the Memphis. The screen allows the smoke to penetrate the salt from below and the fan inside the Memphis will ensure the smoke gets to the top of the chunks simultaneously. We found that the salt placed on the splatter screen got the best smoke coverage overall and ended up a darker color than the salt we smoked in a foil pan. Just make sure your splatter screen is all metal; you don’t want hot plastic in your smoker!
Disposable Aluminum Pan – We also used one of those disposable flat aluminum pans that are placed in the bottom of the kitchen oven to catch drips. You can pick them up at your local discount store for next to nothing and the one we used had a low lip around its edge, just high enough to keep the salt from rolling off the pan. Gently shake the pan back and forth until the salt forms into a thin even layer across the bottom of the pan before placing in the Memphis.
A Word to the Wise…
Salt absorbs the flavors that surround it in the smoker. Some folks will place salt in a pan on one of the top shelves while they are smoking something else, like ribs, brisket, and turkey or pork butt. This results in smoked salt that also tastes like the other item in the smoker, which could be good or bad depending on your point of view.
To recap: Set your Memphis to 275 F, assemble your salt on either a pan or a screen, and smoke for 2-14 hours depending on how much flavor you want to add. It’s that easy!
Curious about Memphis Wood Fire Grills and the power of cooking with real wood? Check out this page for all our products.