Smoked Salt

smokedsalt.jpgSmoked salt has been around for years, but I’ve really just discovered it over the past 6 months. It’s as simple as it sounds: sea salt that has been smoked — mine was with pecan shells and oak. When you take the lid off the container, it’s as if you’ve walked right into a campfire — it’s pretty powerful stuff.

I’ve sprinkled it on focaccia, added it to some salsas when I didn’t have any smoked chilis, dropped some into a soup or stew, and had it on some eggs. It’s really good on any seared meat or fish. Some people have used it with chocolates, caramels, and even ice cream (I’m sorry, but I’m not really in the mood for a smoky ice cream). If you use it with a light hand, it adds depth to dishes without becoming noticeably smoky or salty. Try it with one of your tomato-based pastas, or even with a cream sauce. It’s delicious.

I got my smoked salt at Whole Foods for about 7 bucks, but there are now many different varieties with different types of wood used for the smoking: alder, apple, mesquite and even oak from chardonnay barrels. Heck, McCormick used to make a hickory smoked salt, but they discontinued the line a couple of years ago (but you can, of course, still get it on eBay).

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7 Responses to Smoked Salt

  1. Joe says:

    WRT ice cream: It’d be interesting to see what it tastes like in butter pecan, since you need salt in that anyway.

  2. seahawg says:

    Never been much of a fan of smoked products, including salts. I have gained an appreciation for mineral rich sea salts with their unique flavors. I especially like one called Fleur de sel by Le Paludier. I got it as part of a sampler gift from a friend. While diving last year at Bonaire in the Dutch Antilles, we got to see them harvesting sea salt. They flood large flats and let the sun evaporate away the water. A salt loving algae turns the water a very pink hue as the salt concentration increases. A brine shrimp lives at bottom of these waters and is the main food staple of the flamingoes on the island. And that is how the flamingoes become pink! Cargill harvests over 500,000 tons of sea salt here a year, using solar evaporation and wind driven pumps. Talk about eco friendly salt.

  3. Mark says:

    Being a huge fan of smoked things (;->), I’ve finally decided to break down and buy this canister of smoked sea salt that I see every day on the way to the gym. The application that finally hooked me was a recipe for English sole in smoked butter with sweet and sour leeks…since I don’t have a smoker, thought I’d buy unsalted butter and use the smoked salt…FWIW.

  4. Brooks says:

    Pig Boy,

    You should make your own. Hickory and pork smoked salt is pretty swell. It doesn’t take a genius (yeah, yeah, I know, but still, I’m pretty sure that even if YOU are a genius you can still do it), It’s fun. Just buy some decent sea salt (Ann’s been buying it for us, from Portugal, on the cheap in some little Mexican grocery in DC, but I’ve found it here for low prices in the same kinds of places), start a fire, get the wood, and have at it. I have learned that the smokier and the colder the fire is the better it works-you’ll figure it out, smart boy-and you’ll love it because you’ll be saving lots of dough.

  5. A few years ago I started to create my own smoked salts as a way for a broke teacher to make Christmas gifts for my friends. As a former chef, I was never impressed with the “campfire” smoked salts. I found a way to add the roundness of smoke by using NW alder, then infusing the salt with other natural flavors. Olive, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Chocolate, Serrano pepper with lime, and Hazelnut. I use a high end Portuguese sea salt that is hand haversted as my base and source out local and organic products to add the flavors. They have been a lot of fun. Not only do I cook with them, but I also use them on my drink rims. A number of chef friends of mine put them on desserts such as chocolate, ice cream, brownies and cookies. I have a couple of more flavors coming out soon. Brooks is right about smoking your own salt and it being easy. Adding flavors that bind to the crystals is the tricky part. I say throw some salt in the smoker with your next pig! Bacon flavored salt is my favorite!

  6. Ken says:

    Not really a comment at all. But, I thought I would let you and your readers know the new link to the Atlantic Mesquite Smoked Finishing Salt is as follows:
    http://www.atthemeadow.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_89&products_id=324

    Please visit our shop to view our wide selection of salts.

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