My wife is away on business, my son is sleeping, the snow outside is melting, and my kitchen is flooding. I'm assured that the plumber will be here before 10pm but in the meantime, all I can think about is the fact my plans for an early night have been washed away a leaking dishwasher. If you're a fan of my Facebook page, you will have seen me talking about how to make smoked salt at the end of last week. My buddy Chris, the Epicurean Pig, kindly shares his culinary wisdom in today's guest post. This is how to make Smoked Salt at home.
Last January, my wife and I took a road trip up the Pacific Coast Highway and spent the weekend with Chris and Jennie. It was the first time I met Chris and his wife, but we bonded instantly over our love of food. The weekend we spent in their home was one of the highlights of our visit to Northern California, and Chris and I have continued to share recipes, books and foodie stories ever since, and now, it's his turn to share this dish with you:
Smoking things, and salt. Two things I love. Both elements can completely change the nature of a dish or cause you to look at a flavor profile in a totally different way. Let's take chocolate chip cookies. Yum right? Try it next time with some coarse sea salt flakes on top. You now have sweet and savory, where as before you simply had sweet.
If you've ever seen smoked salt on a shelf in a grocery store before, you probably noticed one thing in particular. It's crazy expensive! Based on the price, you would think you were buying pixie dust imported by Tinkerbell herself. For what it is, it shouldn't be expensive… or difficult to make on your own.
Here's what you need:
- 2 cups wood chips, soaked in cold water for 1 hour, then drained
- 2 cups coarse salt (kosher or sea)
- A weber or charcoal grill (if you have a smoker, even easier- see other options below)
Set up the grill for indirect grilling (putting all your hot coals to one side and leaving a cool side to work from). Toss the wood chips on the coals. Spread the salt in a thin layer in an aluminum pan and place it on the grate away from the fire. Cover the grill and adjust the vent holes to medium heat (350F deg.).
Smoke the salt for 1.5 hour. Be sure to give the pan a shake or two midway, so the smoke is evenly distributed. Cool the salt to room temperature, then move it to a jar and cover.
If you have a smoker, simply put the salt in the aluminum pan, and put the pan near the vent. If you have a gas grill, don't despair. Simply take your soaked wood chips, wrap in aluminum foil, making a foot long package (think burrito) and leave the top open. Put the foiled chips in the bottom of the gas grill, near the burners. Then follow the same steps.
Your reward: Enough smoked salt for you and your friends. Now sear up some fish or poach some salmon and get sprinkling with that smokey goodness!
Now… if you want to taste this smoked salt for yourself, sign up for This American Bite via email AND leave a comment telling me what you plan to cook with it. If you share this post on Pinterest or Facebook, make sure to mention it in your comment and I'll pick my two favorite comments and send a little sample your way! (I can only ship within the US, sorry)