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.
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.
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.
Small mason jars filled with smoked (and herbed) salts makes for great gifts too.
- 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.
- 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
How To Smoke Salt (Instructions)
- Turn on your smoker to around 220F to get the smoke going.
- 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.)
- 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
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.
- 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.
Put your smoked salt in airtight jars or other containers. It may lose some flavor over time if improperly stored.
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.
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.)
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.
- 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.
- 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.