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THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

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TIP OF THE DAY: Try Smoked Sea Salt

Smoked sea salt ranges from pale, like
Maldon (in photo), to dark brown. Photo


What can you do if you have a gas grill, but crave the smoky flavor of meat grilled over wood chips?

Michaele Musel, chef of Double R Ranch Co., producers of aged beef, suggests this option for those who grill without an open fire.

“There’s an easy way to replicate the smokiness of coal and wood, using a gas grill and smoked sea salt,” says Chef Musel.

Smoked sea salt is available at specialty food stores or online. Get a box for yourself, and a second box or jar as an inexpensive gift for someone who likes to cook. (Put smoked salt on your “stocking stuffer” list.)

Different artisan salt companies make smoked sea salt. Perhaps the most beautiful is the smoked version of Maldon sea salt, harvested from the Atlantic Ocean off the southeast coast of England in Essex.

Maldon salt has unique pyramid-shaped flakes which are visually arresting when used as a finishing salt. Here’s more about Maldon salt in our Artisan Salt Glossary.



Use smoked salt on deviled eggs, fish/seafood (yummy on salmon), grilled and roasted meats, pasta, roast chicken and other foods. We even use a pinch on an egg salad or tuna sandwich. It just might get some people to eat more veggies. You can evoke the flavor of bacon in soups and stews by adding this “vegan” smokiness.

Choose Your Style. In addition to flakes, smoked salt is also available in fine and coarse grain sizes. For the most flexibility, get the flakes or coarse grain, which can be used as decorative salts. If you need a finer grain, crush or grind the salt.

Make Sure It’s Natural. Before you buy a smoked salt, make sure that it is naturally smoked. A natural salt is slow-smoked in cold smokers over a wood fire, which infuses the salt crystals with delicious, smokey flavor. Companies that take a shortcut use liquid smoke flavoring that can create a bitter taste.

Taste Before Using. While any smoked salt can be used when a hint of smoke is desired, taste it first to judge the smokiness. Some brands are smoked much more heavily than others.



Here are chef’s Musel’s tips for achieving a smoky flavor from a gas grill. The chef likes to grill a tri-tip, part of the sirloin.

1. PREPARE GRILL. Prepare a gas grill for indirect cooking according to manufacturer’s directions for medium heat.

2. SEASON MEAT. Season the tri-tip roast or other cut with smoked sea salt and pepper. Place the roast on a cooking grid over direct heat. Grill, uncovered, for two minutes on each side.

3. INDIRECT HEAT. Move tri-tip to indirect heat. Grill, covered, one hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the internal temperature at center of thickest part of the roast reaches 135°F for medium rare; 150°F for medium doneness.


Photo courtesy Double R Ranch.


4. TENT MEAT. Transfer the roast to a carving board and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Temperature will continue to rise about 10°F to reach 145°F for medium rare; 160°F for medium doneness.

5. CARVE & SERVE. Carve the roast across the grain and serve on French bread with salsa or other condiments. Chef Musel likes to serve this dish with slow cooked pinquito beans and a green salad.


Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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