Cold Smoked Nuts

We love to cold smoke.  It’s great fun to experiment with, and can be used on a wide variety of foods – such as cured sausages and fish, cheese and nuts.  You can even cold smoke salt and a range of spices.

We use an ingenious piece of kit called the ProQ Cold Smoke Generator (take a look at the images below). It’s designed to last for up to ten hours when fully loaded, giving plenty of time to smoke a variety of foods. Hours of fun!

Look up www.macsbbq.com for more information on how and where to purchase one.

On the site you can also find the different woods you can use – for cold smoking on this equipment you’ll need wood dust.  Wood chips will not be suitable to use on the ProQ Cold Smoke Generator, you’ll need to use dust as it’ll burn easier. Just like hot smoking, you can use a range of different woods – oak, cherry, hickory, apple, beech to name but a few.

Your choice of wood is crucial – a mild wood such as alder will result in a light flavour (ideal for fish), whereas mesquite (better suited to red meats) will give the food a heavier taste of smoke.  Whisky oak is a favourite of ours, made from the chippings of old whisky barrels.  We use this on the bacon recipe you’ll find elsewhere on the blog.  For this recipe, for nuts, most types of wood are suitable.

You’ll need a suitable smoking chamber for this recipe. A search online will return a variety of ideas of what to use for cold smoking.  You can even start up by using a cardboard box with a few adjustments, but we use our bullet smokers, the same we use to hot smoke our meat.  But be careful when smoking fish, its advisable to use a separate smoking chamber as you’ll not want the strong aromas from the fish to taint any other food.  Also, take care when cold smoking cured meats and fish in the summer time.  High outdoor temperatures may mean that the heat will start to cook the meat or fish (fish, for example begins to cook at around 85°F/29°C).

Time is essential to delivering a great end product.  The longer the smoke, the more intense the flavour.  Nuts in this recipe wont need long, 3 hours is long enough.  But meats such as bacon, and fish like salmon will need longer.  We find a mild smoked bacon should be in the smoking chamber for around 8 hours, but for a real depth of smokiness it could be smoked for at least 24 hours.

For best results, whatever you’re cold smoking, give it some time to rest before eating.  This will allow the smoky flavour to mellow a little and become more palatable.  24 hours for the nuts in this recipe is fine.  Whenever we are smoking bacon or fish, we also leave in the fridge for at least 24 hours before tucking in.  Cheese needs a little longer, at least a few days is best.

Be sure to check out our recipes for cold smoked bacon and salmon elsewhere on our website.

Ingredients

  • 200g almonds
  • 200g cashew nuts
  • 80g butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 8 teaspoons sugar

Method

Heat your oven to 350°F/180°C. Put the almonds and cashews on a baking tray, then roast for 10-12 minutes. Keep an eye on them so that they do not burn.

Melt the butter in a medium sized pan.  Remove from the heat as soon as the butter has melted. Add the nuts to the pan, coating them with the butter completely.  Add the salt and sugar. Stir this mixture into the nuts until they are completely covered in the mix.

Leave the nuts to cool. Move them onto a baking tray or a wire mesh tray and place in your cold smoker.

Fill the ProQ Cold Smoke Generator with wood dust of your choice, light and smoke the almonds and cashews for 3 hours. Use a wood such as oak or hickory, but most types of wood will work well with nuts.

Once they’ve smoked, put them in a sealable container and shake well, until all the sugars and salts are distributed evenly.

They are ready to eat straight away, but let them rest for 24 hours and this will give the smoky flavours a chance to mature.

If you have a vac packing machine, seal them and they will last for weeks.

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