Why Smoked Salt Is Our Newest Food Obsession

Smoke and salt go hand in hand. They're both natural flavors that work on a nearly subconscious level, and they're both preservation techniques. So why not combine the two? Even though smoked salts have been around for a while, we're finally starting to experiment with it, and we're telling you: It should be a staple pantry item in your house.

Not all smoked salts are equal; some are milder, some have less of a kick. We're fond of the one produced by Portland, Oregon-based Jacobsen Salt Co., who smokes its mineral-rich and flaky salt over Cherrywood for a deeply smoky, campfire-like smell and flavor.

You can sprinkle it over just about anything to give it a smoky kick, but here are some good suggestions to get you started: burgers; as part of a spice rub for steaks and other meats, stews and chili; scrambled eggs; roasted cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts and cauliflower; pasta dishes; hummus; mashed potatoes; salmon and other oily fish; in brines; caramel; and on edamame. You can even use it to rim cocktails like Bloody Marys and margaritas. And it doesn't have to be the only salt you use; if you want to mellow out the smoky flavor you can use half smoked, half regular.

Honestly, this is the tip of the iceberg. Once you start using it, you'll most likely start sprinkling it over everything you can get your hands on.