When it comes to cooking, the only ingredient that we hardly ever go without is salt. Salt is used to some level in almost every food to make it palatable, even the sweet ones. Some dishes require more than just regular salt to make their taste more rich and more complex. Here comes the smoked salt that adds that extra kick to your dishes.
Unless you’re an avid food lover who wants to cook and eat delicious dishes, it’s unlikely that you’ve ever experienced smoked salt. You might not even be aware of what it is that is why you are here. We will introduce you to this salt variant that could spice up your food with intense flavors.
What Is Smoked Salt?
Renowned chefs, foodies, and vegetarians have all been more and more fascinated with the smoked salt craze in recent years. Even if it isn’t a gourmet salt, its richness gives your food a savory smokiness without grilling or smoking it.
Smoked salt is simply sea salt or rock salt that has undergone a smoking procedure to add a fragrant and smoky flavor. If you want to add aroma and smoky flavor to your dish without smoking then smoked salt is best for you.
Smoked salt adds a smoky flavor to food while enhancing its natural flavors. Because smoked sea salt and ordinary salt are almost the same so they both have similar benefits. When used correctly, smoked salt gives your food wonderful flavors, texture, and color. The flavors of the food get enhanced by the addition of smoked salt.
How To Make Smoked Salt?
Smoked salt is made by smoking regular rock salt or sea salt using natural, bark-free wood. When you smoke the salt using any wood you like, the aroma and smoke from the burning wood get infused into the salt crystals.
The average smoking time for many smoked salts is up to 48 hours. However, depending on how strong you want the smoky flavor, you can smoke the salt for a shorter or longer period according to your requirement.
You can’t use any type of salt to make smoked salt. Using small granular salt like table salt is not recommended since less smoke will stick to its surface. The salt with larger granules or more surface area is best for making smoked salt. You can use sea salt or Himalayan pink salt as their large area allows more smoke to stick to the salt and makes it more flavorful.
Methods For Smoking Salt
There are two ways to smoke salt – hot smoking and cold smoking. You can use any method according to your requirement and preference.
1. Cold Smoking
In contrast to hot smoking, cold smoking involves keeping the salt raw throughout the procedure rather than cooking it. Cold smoking is commonly carried out in smokehouses with temperatures between 20 and 30 °C. Salt gets a smoked flavor at low temperatures.
2. Hot Smoking
This process can be done in two ways – using a grill, smoker, or stove. Let’s take a look at both of these methods.
Smoking Using A Grill Or Smoker
Use a gas grill or pellet tube smoker for hot smoking because it produces a lot of smoke. You need a pan to spread the salt. You can make a salt pan yourself using heavy-duty aluminum foil. Simply fold the edges of the foil and crumple them to make a salt pan.
Place the wood chips in the foil pan and spread another sheet of foil on top leaving space for air. Then spread out the salt evenly on top of the foil. Now let the magic begin. You can choose however long you want to smoke the salt. We recommend leaving the salt for a minimum of 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
After 5 hours, the salt will start changing its color. The color will change from yellow to brown in 7 hours. After 12 hours, the salt grains will have a significant color change and an intense flavor. After 24 hours, the salt will have a brown color and perfect flavor that will blow away your palate with an intense smokiness and aroma.
Smoking Salt Using A Stove
Another easy method to make smoked salt with a subtle flavor is using a stove. Take a wok or pan, line it with aluminum foil, and place wood chips in it. Spread another layer of foil above it leaving the air. Pour the salt grains on top of the foil and cover the pan with a lid. Let the salt smoke on slow to medium heat for about 20-30 minutes.
In case of intense smoke, turn down the heat. After 20-30 minutes, turn off the stove and leave the pan for about 10 minutes for the smoke to subside. Then, remove the lid, take out the salt, and fill it in an air-tight jar.
What Is Smoked Salt Used For?
Smoked salt is excellent for giving a perfect smoky flavor to BBQ rubs, stews, soups, marinades, and cocktails. It is also great for vegetarians who want smokiness without using any non-vegan ingredient as Applewood smoked salt is an amazing alternative to bacon bits.
Adding just a pinch of smoked salts to sauces and stews is enough for the required smokiness. A combination of salt and smoke is perfect for meats. Using smoked salt as a rub for meats will take the flavor to the next level without any hassle of grilling it over coal.
Benefits Of Using Smoked Salt
Here are some of the benefits of using smoked salt:
- Without grilling, instantly provide a BBQ flavor to any food.
- Adds a unique flavor to healthy foods like fruits, salads, and fresh veggies.
- It enhances the flavor of foods like eggs, stews, soup, and cheese.
- Adds smokiness to marinades and dressings.
- Makes delicious meat rubs.
- Can be used as a finishing salt to enhance the presentation and flavor of beverages.
- Adds smoky and salty touch to the sweet desserts.