Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fine Mesh Salt Smoking Basket

So, I wanted to try smoking my own sea salt.  Admittedly, I only have my grill to smoke foods, so I knew I wouldn't get as concentrated of smoke flavor as I would if I had my dream electric smoker, but hey. The bigger problem, and one that I could not find anything to fix,was something to put the salt into.  Most of the recipes I found said to put the salt in a pie plate.  I wanted something that would allow the smoke to permeate throughout the salt, as well as something that I could use to grill small things in the future.  So... I decided to design one.

First, I procured a piece of very, very fine stainless steel mesh.  This particular mesh is a filter mesh; it's 80 Mesh / 177 Micron Screen (very very fine). The sea salt I'm using will sit in here without a problem; you could put table salt in this and it wouldn't go through.  The edges are pretty sharp, however, so first:

I use a ruler to fold the edges over.  I actually fold them twice over, so that the raw edge is completely covered 

Now I use a wet erase marker and the ruler to mark two inches in, to make the folds for the sides.

I fold along the ruler, making the corners into triangles.

And here is the fully folded box.

I still need something to hold the corners together and down; I've decided to hand-rivet the corners with brass rivets.  It'll be safe for food, but soft enough I can do the riveting by hand.  First I'll have to make holes for the rivets.

I use a 1/16th inch punch to mark where to make the individual holes.  The punch isn't strong enough to do all the holes at once (and probably won't be terribly good at punching paper after this...)

I punch through at the indentations.

Here I put the rivet thru the holes in one corner, and prepare to set it with a hand-riveting set.

The completed box!

Here's the box on the grill, with the wood smoking away.

And here's the salt added.  None of it fell through at all!

A couple of hours later, the completed salt (still hot).  The box obviously looks used/smoked, but it worked like a champ.

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