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Looking for a way to add a smoky touch to your dishes without the need to actually smoke it? Welcome to the world of smoked salt seasoning.
In this guide, we will tell you all about smoked salt, how to prepare it at home, and some alternatives you can use.
What is Smoked Salt Seasoning?
Smoked salt is an aromatic salt that has been smoked with bark-free wood for several days. It is composed of sea salt and smoke, and it is used to impart a smoky flavor and delicious aroma to dishes. Smoked salt is usually added to fish and meat, but it can be used on nearly every kind of meal.
The method used to impart the smoky flavor on the salt is decisive for the final taste and the aromatic properties of the smoked salt. According to the traditional preparation method, sea salt is smoked over firewood for up to 14 days. During this process, the condensate of the smoke is deposited on the sea crystals, which produces the unique flavor and brown color of the smoked salt.
Smoked salt originally comes from the USA and is a typical component of American cuisine. You can use it to enhance your favorite dishes or add the flavor of a grill to your regular cooking. Once you try smoked salt, these will become essential in every kitchen.
Smoked fish is a particularly delicious option for those who enjoy smoked food. Read our guide on smoked Halibut to learn how to prepare this amazing meal.
What Does Smoked Salt Do?
Smoked salt is often used as a “finishing” salt since it is added to finished dishes instead of being used as a part of the recipe during the preparation process. It will infuse a wonderful flavor to your meals which resemble the one achieved by traditional food smoking.
The main factors affecting the taste of smoked salt are:
- The type of wood you used.
- The type of salt you want to smoke
- The duration of the smoking process.
The most common wood used to produce smoked salt are apple wood, oak, hickory, alder, and mesquite wood. Depending on which kind you use, smoked salt offers a unique array of flavors ranging from salty and smoky to sweet and bold.
Salt is usually smoked over wood from 12 to 14 hours. During the smoking time, the wood imparts its own characteristic taste to the salt. For this reason, you want to pick a salt with no extra flavors and which isn’t overly salty.
Is Smoked Salt Seasoning Good for Vegetarians?
While smoked salt is usually added to meat and fish, it can be used on many dishes, including vegetarian ones.
Smoked salt is especially interesting for vegetarians and vegans because it imparts any dish a smoky flavor without using meat or bacon pieces. It is therefore perfect for vegetarians who want to add a unique flame-grilled taste to a meal.
Smoked salt is also a wonderful way to add aroma to vegetarian dishes because these have a less natural aroma than meat-based ones. A little smoked salt added to a tomato soup or sprinkled on top of roasted vegetables will give the dish an illusion of meat that vegetarians can fully enjoy.
Best Smoked Salt Seasoning Products on the Market
We chose the smoked salt seasonings we’ve recommended to you in this guide based on availability, affordability, and positive customer reviews.
Hickory Smoked Sea Salt
Hickory smoked salt is one of the best-known smoked salts and the most popular smoked salt in the US. Pure sea salt is gradually smoked over a Hickory wood fire for a delicious and robust BBQ flavor. In addition, hickory salt adds an aromatic bacon flavor to any dish it garnishes.
Hickory sea salt is fine grain and does not contain artificial coloring or flavoring agents. This salt is perfect for meat as it is commonly used to intensify the smoky flavor in BBQ dishes. Their dynamic flavor profiles will make them a popular addition to any kitchen.
Viva Doria Hickory salt will usually cost you up to a few dollars per ounce.
Applewood Smoked Sea Salt
Applewood Smoked sea salt is produced by smoking sea salt over aged applewood. It adds mildly sweet and smoky aromas to the food with a subtle crunch kick to it. It has a small flake texture that makes it a perfect fit for spice blends and rubs.
You can buy this salt if you prefer a natural product without additives, chemicals, or liquid smoke. You can use it to add depth and aroma to all kinds of dishes, from pork and poultry to seafood and steamed vegetables. It can also add a rich finishing touch to many kinds of snacks and confections.
Applewood smoked sea salt is gluten-free, soy-free, and sugar-free. It also contains zero calories, zero carbs, and zero fat. This makes it a very healthy option among these products.
You can usually buy Applewood smoked sea salt for under $5 per ounce
Maldon Smoked Sea Salt Flakes
If you prefer a more natural option, Maldon Smoked Sea Salt is the right one for you. It gives the food a subtle smoky flavor without overpowering it. This salt is produced by smoking sea salt flakes over English Oak for several days. The Oak comes from sustainable, renewable forests.
Maldon Salt is made by natural methods and contains no chemical additives. This makes it pure and natural to the taste. It will be a great addition to fish, meat, and vegetables.
You can usually get Maldon Smoked Sea Salt for a few dollars per ounce.
Homemade Smoked Salt Seasoning Recipe
What makes smoked salt even more appealing is that you can make it at home instead of buying it, which is sure to save you money in the long run. In this recipe, we are going to cover all the steps for making smoked salt at home.
The process of making smoked salt at home is straightforward. Basically, it involves placing salt in a smoker and smoking it over a wood fire for a certain time. Inside the smoker, the salt will become brown and will absorb the flavors surrounding it.
To make smoked salt at home, you are going to need a smoker. Feel free to read our guide on how to find the best smoker and all the information you need.
You will need the following ingredients to make this smoked salt recipe:
Salt: Use a salt with a large surface area such as coarse salt or flakey sea salt. Don’t use regular kitchen salt.
Wood for smoking: I recommend that you use applewood but you can use other kinds such as cherry or hickory wood.
A smoker or BBQ (such as the Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker)
- Prepare the smoker for cold smoking. The temperature should be under 80 °F.
- Spread the salt on a rimmed baking pan. If you want to make your own baking, fold the edges of a piece of aluminum foil
- Place the pan with the salt inside your smoker, close the lid, and smoke the salt for several hours. The minimum smoking time is 4 hours. I recommend letting the salt smoke for about 12 hours. You can stir the contents every hour to agitate the salt and evenly expose the salt to the smoke.
- Once the salt has reached your desired levels of color and flavor, remove the salt from the smoker.
How long you smoke the salt is a matter of personal taste. Use less time on the smoker for a lighter touch, or let the salt smoke for a longer time span if you want to get a stronger smoke flavor.
After carefully following these steps, you should have a wonderful smoked salt that can be used to add extra flavor to your cooking.
Another advantage of preparing your own smoking salt at home is that you avoid all the artificial colorants and preservatives that are sometimes added to commercial smoked salt products.
Alternatives to Smoked Salt Seasoning
Here are a few alternatives to smoking salt which is available to you:
Liquid smoke is a water-soluble additive that can add a smoky flavor to meat or vegetables. It is made by condensing smoke from wood.
These salts contain a smoke-flavored additive that is used to impart the grilled flavor. Since the additive is not natural, it is not considered a natural salt product.
You can also give your meals a smoky flavor if you first salt the food and then smoke it over wood.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What Kind of Wood is Recommended for Smoking Salt?
Answer: The great thing about smoking salt is that you can use any kind of wood you like. If you are a beginner at smoking salt, I recommend using applewood as it will give the salt a delicious, mildly smoky flavor. Hickory wood is another popular option for salt smoking. It imparts a bolder taste to the final product.
Question: What Kind of Salt is Recommended for Smoked Salt Seasoning?
Answer: There are several kinds of salt I recommend for smoking. The most important thing is to select a salt that has a larger surface area or a bigger granule size.
During the smoking process, the smoke condenses on the surface of the salt, so a larger crystal size will be beneficial for this. Some great options to prepare smoked salt are Morton kosher salt and coarse sea salt.
Question: How Long Should I Leave the Salt in the Smoker?
Answer: The ideal smoking time will vary according to the degree of color and flavor you want to achieve. After 4 hours, you will get a yellow salt with a mild smoky flavor.
After 6 hours, the salt will start to get a brown color and a stronger flavor. After 12 hours, you get a salt with an intense color and a robustly smoky flavor. I recommend 12 hours to get a strong BBQ taste.
Question: How do I Store Smoked Salt?
Answer: You can store smoked salt in the same way that you would store regular salt. The best way to do it is to put it in glass recipients. Keep in mind that you should use airtight storage recipients if you plan to store the salt for a longer time period.
Smoked salt is a great option to give your meals a nice smoky flavor without using a smoker. It is very versatile, and it can be added to nearly any kind of meal. Add it to a steak before grilling for an extra smoky touch, or sprinkle it on top of your vegetables to give it a richer aromatic taste.
If you want to take your cooking to the next level, consider using smoked salt seasoning during your next BBQ.