Smoked Almonds

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Smoked almonds are one of my favorite snacks. Store bought smoked almonds are okay, but I like mine extra smokey and with lots of flavor. The only way to get the flavor profile you want in food is to make it yourself!

Having an outdoor smoker is such a fun hobby, and once your friends try your smoked foods they will be begging to be invited over again for your next smoke out. Any type of charcoal or electric backyard smoker will work for smoking. If you're unsure where to start with smoking, check out this my Smoker Class to learn more.

Here's what we'll need for this lesson:

This Instructable is a companion to the Meat Smoking Lesson, and relies on a basic understanding on how smokers work. Check out the smoking lesson and get a primer on outdoor smokers, and the difference between hot and cold smoking.

The most important thing to know when smoking is patience; once food is inside the smoker resist the urge to open the unit for an inspection. Opening the smoking chamber will drop the temperature immediately and release all the smoke, thereby defeating the point of smoking and causing your smoking to take even longer.

If you like this smoker recipe you're sure to like some other great food to make on the smoker, like pulled beef, homemade sausages, and even beef jerky.

Step 1: Almond Preparation

Start with raw, unroasted, unsalted, and fresh almonds. You can eat them like this and you'll be fine, but they are bland and have a softer texture. By smoking them and using low heat to drive off moisture the nuts will have a smokey taste and a snappy bite.

There's really no wrong way to make smoked almonds, and almost any ratio of spices and liquids will work. Here's a basic recipe to get you started, but customize however you like:

Smoked Almonds Recipe

  • Almonds: 2x 10oz (300g) bags of
  • Soy sauce: 2 tbsp
  • Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Salt + pepper: a healthy amount of each
  • Smattering of garlic powder
  • Blob of honey

The type of oil doesn't really matter here, you can even use butter instead if you like. Feel free to add more or less of any spices you like to your nut mix. In later batches I added chipotle powder, and a dash of spicy mustard powder.

Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and toss to coat all the nuts evenly.

Step 2: Smoker Placement

Make sure your reservoir is inserted below your cooking racks and has a small amount of water in it before starting. We don't want the humidity to be too high inside the smoker for almonds, since we're looking to remove moisture from the nuts. Start your smoker and let it get up to about 120°F (50°C), then add your nuts to a grilling basket so they don't fall through the grill. Spread the almonds around the basket to ensure maximum coverage.

Close up the smoker and monitor the temperature to ensure it stays around 110-120°F (40-50°C), and let smoke for 2 hours.

After a few hours open up your smoker and remove a few almonds, allow to cool and then taste. Are they crunchy? Do they taste smokey? You can easily add more wood to create more smoke and leave them in the smoker for longer until you get the taste you like. It's really tough to mess this recipe up, so experiment and have fun with it.

Step 3: Snack Time!

Allow the nuts to cool after taking them off the smoker, then enjoy! These smoked almonds are best enjoyed fresh, but can easily be stored in an airtight container for about a month.

Smoked almonds are a great introduction to how a smoker works, and operating at a low temperature. As with all skills, learning your particular smoker and refining the technique may take some trial and error, but it's really easy once you understand that the key to smoking is low and slow; if you do that you really can't go wrong!

For more on smoking, check out this my Smoker Class!


Share a picture of your smoky, slow cooked things in the comments below. I want to see all the delicious things you make and will try on my smoker, too!

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    12 Discussions

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    mikeasaurusLukeM146

    Reply 2 months ago

    That looks amazing. You weave bacon like a pro :)

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    CPUDOCTHE1.

    1 year ago

    I use a propane smoker. Electricity won't work when you do not have a source of electricity and charcoal temperature control is MUCH harder than propane.

    3 replies
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    mikeasaurusCPUDOCTHE1.

    Reply 1 year ago

    This might be true for temperature control, but propane has its own challenges with fuel and accessibility to smokers that use that fuel. ALL smokers have their pros and cons, and when you're getting into smoking (as the lesson this Instructable references) the most important thing is to get started with whatever you're most comfortable with. I recommend electric since it's probably the most accessible (no new fuels, and easier temperature than charcoal or wood).

    Thanks for sharing your experience. What are your favorite recipes to make when smoking? Also, can you give any tips for a beginner who chooses to use a propane smoker?

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    CPUDOCTHE1.mikeasaurus

    Reply 9 months ago

    The biggest tip is to make sure spiders have not built a web in the venturi. I fired my smoker up one time, all was good, checked the meat about 30 minutes later, and the venturi had gotten blocked and it carboned up the meat. Also, keep water in the water pan.

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    mikeasaurusCPUDOCTHE1.

    Reply 9 months ago

    The real tips are always in the comments. Good looking out! :D

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    mjreller

    1 year ago

    What kind of wood do you prefer with this recipe?

    1 reply
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    mikeasaurusmjreller

    Reply 1 year ago

    I use either mesquite or hickory for everything. I think these were hickory :)

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    DrKZ

    1 year ago

    If these are anywhere near as good as your smokey BBQ beans, they must be amazing!

    1 reply
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    mikeasaurusDrKZ

    Reply 1 year ago

    :D

    Smoking all the things is my favorite hobby!

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    Nancy JG

    1 year ago

    You can "roast" nuts in a slow cooker on Low for about 3 hours (stir once every hour) and use whatever flavors you like - sweet, spicy, salty, etc. Liquid smoke would work for these.

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    MichaelAtOz

    1 year ago

    "smokey taste and a snappy bite" ... yeh, took the side off a tooth a few weeks ago. Didn't stop me eating smoked almonds, just used the other side...

    Chipotle & mustard sounds good. Now if only I had a smoker...