Easiest & Best Smoked Salt Recipe

Up your BBQ game with smoked salt! You should really try smoking salt yourself and this simple recipe breaks it all down. Smoked salt is really easy to do on any smoker, and you can even add herbs and spices afterwards for unique flavors and make your own spice blends.

A close up of a wooden bowl filled with dark brown smoked salt.

I make smoked sea salt regularly in big batches and this is a straightforward smoked salt recipe that has endless variations.

Try it on green beans, creamy pasta dishes, or as a finishing salt on grilled meats.

If you love this smoker recipe, try my smoked trout, smoked maple salmon jerky, and BBQ beef jerky.

My smoked onions, cranberry sauce, and tomatoes are more favorite smoked side dish.

I also have popular recipes for whole smoked turkey and wild grouse.

What is Smoked Salt?

Smoked salt enhances the flavours of your other ingredients in a very natural way.

Salt flakes will readily absorb the distinctive smell of wood smoke. This is achieved by putting the salt flakes in a smoker grill for several hours until their color changes from white to slightly brownish gold.

It is commonly found in spice shops and grocery stores but can be made at home as well.

Why Smoke Salt?

Because it’s better and cheaper than buying it, and, predictably, many grocery store brands will have artificial flavors and other weird additives, or even added sugar and other ingredients.

And because it’s nice to have control over the finished product and to use real wood (untreated wood).

I smoke salt because I enjoy the sweet smoky flavor it brings to a variety of recipes and dishes. I could be roasting fresh veggies then I will finish them off with a sprinkle of smoked salt for a smoky roasted veggies flavor.

Smoked salt works pretty much on any kind of food but it takes meat dishes to the next level, especially red meat and seafood.

Smoked salt on butter-basted steak, for example, or in braised beef rib recipes, is SO good.

Small mason jars filled with smoked (and herbed) salts makes for great gifts too.

A close up of various gourmet salts, including smoked maldon salt, on a wooden spoon on a dark background.

Ingredients

  • Salt | You can use any type of salt you have: Himalayan salt, Maldon, Kosher salt, Celtic Sea Salt, Black Salt, Pacific Sea Salt, Andes Mountain Rose, Hawaiian Black, Jacobsen Salt. I only recommend you do not use iodized salt.
  • Wood | What flavor of wood works best? Different types of wood will have very different flavors! It’s up to you to experiment. I’m partial to hickory and cherry wood myself, but I’m really not picky.
  • Optional Add-ons | Fresh herbs like rosemary, basil, thyme, marjoram, lovage, celery leaf, savory, sage etc.

Equipment

  • Smoker | I’m using my Traeger grill here, but you can use whatever you have on hand. I’ll show you a variation of smoked salt below in the recipe card that used liquid smoke instead.
  • Baking Sheet
A medley of different salts on a wooden cutting board.

How To Smoke Salt (Instructions)

  1. Turn on your smoker to around 220F to get the smoke going.
  2. Lay your pure sea salt on a pan and make a shallow layer. (You can use heavy-duty foil, and bend it to the shape of a pan/baking dish at the edges instead too.)
  3. Place your pan of salt on the smoker grates towards the vents so that it can get all that smoke before it exits the smoker. You can close the vent about halfway to minimize a lot of smoke going out all at once. You may lower your heat to 170F and smoke for a minimum of 2 hours. Check throughout the smoking time to see color changes.

Substitutions & Variations

Fresh Herbs: After your salt has finished smoking, you can place it in jars with a sprig of your favorite fresh herbs. I love to do this with rosemary and lovage from my garden especially.

Dried Herbs: Same as above but with any dried herbs or even herbal tea combinations, black tea or green tea (trust me).

Spices: garlic powder, onion, paprika etc. What do you like? Get creative and make amazing smoked salt spice combinations.

Top Tips

  • Spray the salt with water using a fine mist spray to escalate the smoke penetration. Smoke loves moisture so the salt will absorb the smoke better.
  • The longer you smoke the salt the smokier the results.
  • If you want to check the progress you can taste the salt or do a color comparison by adding about a teaspoon of unsmoked salt on top of the salt in the pan to see if there is any color difference.
  • One idea is to add a small pan of salt alongside other food you are preparing on your smoker when there is room to spare. This way you will always have smoked salt in your pantry.

Storage Tips

Put your smoked salt in airtight jars or other containers. It may lose some flavor over time if improperly stored.

FAQ

Does smoked sea salt go bad?

Smoked salt will not go bad, ever. It might clump up from moisture but it will never spoil. In the long run, it might lose the smoke flavor, and each time the jar is opened a little smoke aromatic dissipates.

What wood is best for smoking salt?

It’s a matter of personal preference as different wood provides different smoke flavors. I use hickory and cherry wood for a more bold smoky flavor or Alderwood. You can try out different woods in small batches to find your preferred smoke flavor. (Apple and cherry wood chips seem to work for sweet treats, try sprinkling it on caramel ice cream for a delicious smoky treat.)

What color should my smoked salt be?

The color can be anything from yellowish to a golden brown. Color is influenced by the length of smoking the salt as well as the method used.

A close up of a wooden bowl filled with dark brown smoked salt.

Easiest & Best Smoked Salt Recipe

Up your BBQ game with smoked salt! This simple recipe breaks it all down.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Cuisine: North America
Keyword: salt, spices
Servings: 2 lbs
Author: Jana Dziak

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs salt of your choice in your desired amount. I recommend: sea salt, Celtic sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, Kosher salt, or Hawaiian black salt.
  • wood pellets I recommend hickory, cherry, or alderwood, but ANY wood pellets will produce wonderful results.

Instructions

  • Turn your Traeger (or other smoker) on Smoke setting for 5 minutes with the lid open until a fire is established.
  • Pour your salt onto a shallow pan or rimmed baking sheet in a fairly even and shallow layer.
  • Place directly onto the grill grates and close the lid.
  • Check after an hour to see if the desired amount of smoky flavour has been achieved.
  • I recommend 2 hours of smoking for optimal results.

Notes

How to cold smoke sea salt

Cold smoking means smoking anything below the 80 F mark. 
You will need to have a smoke tube also known as a pellet tube smoker. You will fill it up with wood chips then start the fire only to put it off after 5 minutes. Put that in the smoker, you can set the smoker to 60 F because the smoke tube will also release some sort of heat. You follow the same guide as when doing the hot-smoking method. 
The cool thing about cold smoking is that you can smoke anything from sweet treats to have that sweet smokey flavor to all sorts of vegetables you can think of.  Cold Smoked cheese has become our family favorite  as well.

Substitutions & Variations

Fresh Herbs: After your salt has finished smoking, you can place it in jars with a sprig of your favorite fresh herbs. I love to do this with rosemary and lovage from my garden especially.
Dried Herbs: Same as above but with any dried herbs or even herbal tea combinations, black tea or green tea (trust me).
Spices: garlic powder, onion, paprika etc. What do you like? Get creative and make amazing smoked salt spice combinations.
 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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12 Comments

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  2. Is there a way to get bacon flavoring in the smoked salt? I buy smoked bacon Sea salt at the local spice store (for a fortune) and I’d love to make it in my smoker.

    1. I’m so sorry I don’t know! However, now I’m intrigued and determined to find out. I wonder if there is a way to achieve this naturally by just cooking bacon? Or by using liquid smoke that has bacon flavouring?

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  4. I finished off most of my hickory pellets and it smells great. Looking forward to using it. First attempt coarse kosher salt. I will probably smoke some pink salt next time.

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