Make your own BBQ smoked almonds at home, perfect nibbles for your next barbeque get-together over the summer.
I have always loved the smoked almonds that you can buy at various markets. My first experience of smoked almonds was at the Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Markets many years ago. I loved them so much that I went back to buy several packets to take home, and now I can’t go there without indulging again. I’ve tried making my own spiced nuts but it just wasn’t the same.
Recently I have purchased a Weber Q BBQ for my new outdoor living space. One of my reasons for choosing the Weber was its versatility and ability to cook so many different things in it – from traditional barbequing to pizzas, casseroles, roasts, spit-roasts, desserts, you name it – a real outdoor kitchen. And it also has a smoker box set that comes with 2 boxes that are placed either side of the grill with the holes facing inwards to maximise the smoke reaching your food. I couldn’t wait to try it out – smoked salmon will be on the agenda but my first trial of smoking had to be smoked almonds.
For smoking, you set the barbeque up in roasting mode with a convection tray and trivet.
Soak the wood chips in water for 30 minutes.
Put dampened wood chips into your BBQ smoker box(es) and place either side of the trivet. Heat on high with the lid down until the wood chips start to smoke – this took about 25-30 minutes from cold until the wood chips started to smoke properly.
Whilst the BBQ is heating up, soak almonds in water for 10 minutes – don’t leave them longer than this.
Then drain the almonds and sprinkle them with table salt – about 4 tsp of salt for 450g almonds – and stir them around to get a good coating of salt.
Spread the salted almonds onto a BBQ grill tray with holes in it (or mesh tray) that will let the smoke circulate.
Once the barbeque is smoking, turn the heat down to low and put the grill tray with the almonds onto the trivet. The temperature should be low (around 100C), not the usual 180C that you would normally roast them at in the oven because you want time for the smoke to penetrate into the almonds. Wetting the almonds means that they take longer to roast as well.
Leave the almonds to smoke for about 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes.
Take the tray of almonds out of the barbeque and leave them to dry and harden – supposedly for a couple of hours but I certainly couldn’t wait that long, and they were delicious! The salt forms a dry powdery coating on the almonds, just like the ones I bought from the markets!
I used Apple Wood chips but you can use whatever flavour you have or prefer. You could also experiment with different spice flavours along with the salt.
Makes a great gift or to take along to a barbeque.