Nuts contain roughly 60% fat, which makes them perfect for smoking. Here’s how!
Use a mix of nuts of your preference. I’m using walnuts and Brazilian nuts for this cook. They are smoked on the grill, then allowed to cool off before chopping them. These will be used in a salad.
Fire up your grill, prepare it for indirect grilling. Have it running at 225° – 250° F. Use the snake method if you’re using a kettle grill, or even better, a Slow ‘N Sear. Place the nuts on a frog mat on the indirect side and close the lid. Use an aluminum pan if you don’t have a frog mat. This is just to avoid the nuts falling through the grates. Add some wood chunks for smoking on the glowing embers, close the lid and smoke the nuts for 20-30 minutes.
In order for the smoke to stick you must spray them with water. Use a fine mist setting. The moisture will attract smoke, and it also helps salt (and other spices) stick better to the surface of the nuts. You can soak them in a bowl with water also, but don’t leave them in the water for more than 5 minutes, to avoid the surface/skin getting soggy (especially true for almonds). I spray mine with an ordinary spray bottle filled with water.
Completely depending of what the nuts are for, if you like a good snack then here’s how to add a little extra kick. Before smoking, add the nuts to a bowl. Drizzle golden syrup all over, and brush them to cover them with syrup on all sides. Ordinary caster sugar can be used also. Now proceed with the smoking procedure as described above.
Instead of using plain water, the nuts can be sprayed with vinegar, soy sauce and other flavored sauces. It all depends on what flavor profile you’re looking for.
Smoked the nuts on indirect heat for 30 minutes. If you’re unsure of the time, remove some of them to test their flavor. I use two beech wood chunks for smoke, as they generate a mild and pleasant smoke flavor. Any type of wood (made for smoking) works fine though. Use a frog mat, aluminum pan or other ‘tool’ to make sure the nuts don’t fall through the grill grates.
Nuts contain fat in the form of various oils, so they should be stored in an air tight container. If you store them in the fridge they will last for weeks, so I highly recommend storing them there.