The flavor of smoked salt depends on a number of variables, including the type of wood and the duration of smoking.
This recipe calls for oak or apple wood, both mild. Use mesquite for a more assertive taste, perhaps for beef. Hickory imparts a strong flavor that goes well with pork. Because of the many factors involved, it’s recommended that you taste the salt after about 20 minutes of smoking and every 20 to 30 minutes thereafter, especially when using stronger-flavored woods.
You'll need to soak at least 2 cups of apple wood chips in water for 1 hour.
Make Ahead: The salt will retain its smoked flavor for 3 months in an airtight container at room temperature.
Servings: 2 cups
- 2 cups coarse kosher salt or sea salt
Prepare a charcoal grill. Once the coals are ashen, dump them onto one side for indirect grilling. If using a gas grill, preheat the grill with all burners on high. When it reaches a temperature of 500 degrees, reduce the heat to medium (about 375 degrees) and adjust for indirect grilling. With a two-burner grill, turn off one of the burners; with three or more burners, turn off the center unit.
Drain the water from the chips. If using charcoal, scatter the 2 cups of drained chips over the coals. If using gas, place the 2 cups of drained chips into a foil pouch punctured with a few fork holes to release smoke or into a smoke box, and place onto the "flavorizer" bars or onto the grate. Once you see wisps of smoke, close the grill lid.
Spread the salt on a baking pan or aluminum pan. Place the pan on the grate away from the fire. Smoke for 1 hour.
Taste the salt; for smokier flavor, close the lid and smoke longer; add soaked wood chips as needed.
Cool completely before using or storing.
From Smoke Signals columnist Jim Shahin.
Tested by Jeff Donald.
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