There are so many great conversations on the Hotline -- it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it, once a week, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge -- and to keep the conversation going.
Today: Take the time to get to know it -- you might just find that smoked salt is one of the most versatile spices in your pantry.
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Some condiments have all the fun. Vinegar, mustard, hot sauce, and lemon juice are the cool kids of Flavortown, and don't get us wrong -- their popularity is well deserved. But while they're in the spotlight, other punchy flavor-bringers meet with more controversy. Cilantro never meant to be so polarizing. Mayonnaise can't sleep at night when it thinks about all its dissenters. Olives just say "haters gonna hate," and keep doing their thing.
So it's a cruel irony that sea salt gets all the glory while smoked salt, its edgy cousin, is a bit more of a handful. But don't let that scare you: Take the time to get to know it and it'll open up -- it might just be one of the most versatile spices in your pantry. This week, @allheartpr wrote to the Hotline in search of some tips, and the community made a good case for the stuff:
Use the salt for grilling, like Pegeen, who uses it for "meat, pork, or poultry, or in a grilling spice rub." Trena prefers it with grilled fish, and aargersi adds that it's "also a good addition to homemade BBQ sauce."
Or, use it in lieu of grilling: The Lard of Avon suggests using it "when you can't grill and still want that smoky quality real flames impart, or roast anything in the oven and still get that grilled flavor. The possibilities are endless."
Akrainey puts it in brine for turkey: "It adds a great layer of flavor. I'm sure it would be equally good in brines for other meats."
Good news: It works like a charm on vegetables, too. Emilie Puttrich uses it "to season sautéed edamame in their shells," and Julie combines it with lemon juice for steamed kale. HalfPint "likes to sprinkle a few grains onto fresh tomato slices...or over roasted vegetables."
Try adding it to your drinks -- Dave on the grill makes Bloody Mary seasoning with a mix of smoked salt and sea salt or celery salt, and suggests embellishing sriracha lime salt with a pinch of smoked salt.
You know you love salted sweets, so why not branch out from fleur de sel? Arcane54 sprinkles it on caramel, and suggests trying it "on vanilla ice cream that's been drizzled with dulce de leche."
And, a quick note on technique: QueenSashy points out that "you can always use half smoked and half 'traditional' salt to dampen the flavor a bit."
What's your favorite way to use smoked salt? Tell us in the comments!