How to roast almonds on your smoker and use them to make a delicious and unique smoked almond butter. So good!
One of the very first things we ever experimented with cooking on the smoker was almonds. I love crunchy oven roasted almonds so I was curious how they would come out slow smoked. The answer? Awesome! Now, whenever we have any extra real estate on the smoker (i.e. a few extra inches of space) I add a handful of almonds for good measure. Gotta fill up that space, right?
Smoking some tri-tip and pork tenderloin and have some room left for something else on the smoker? Add some almonds.
They make for a great snack while you’re waiting for the rest of your smoked deliciousness to cook up. I also like to save them for a healthy midday snack to get me between meals instead of snacking on chips or other junk.
It wasn’t until recently though that we started experimenting with smoked almond butter.
I love me some almond butter, and between the boys and I we go through about a jar a week (usually Trader Joes creamy unsalted). That one is fine and does the job, but I never realized how bland it was until we started making our own almond butter. And it’s so easy, and so much cheaper than buying store-bought. Now I buy the ginormous 3-lb bag of whole almonds from Costco and smoke them in quantities of about 2 cups at a time, then process them to make my own smoked almond butter.
It’s so easy, and you get this unique mild smokiness from the almonds.
To make the smoked almonds:
Just set the smoker to around 225, using a mild fruitwood like apple, and place them in foil or on a baking sheet in the smoker for around 60-90 minutes.
I like to test one at around the one-hour mark to see if it’s crunchy enough. Just pull one off and let it cool a few minutes and test it. If you like the crunch then pull them off, but quite often we will keep them on closer to 90 min. Just check on them from time to time to make sure they don’t overcook and roast (you will know by the color, they will look burnt… no bueno).
Once you pull them off you can toss them in a bit of olive oil and some finishing salt (like Maldon). You can also add some extra touches too (cayenne for heat, smoked paprika for color and more smoked flavor, chili powder, you name it). We like to keep it simple with just the olive oil and salt to bring out the natural smokiness you get.
If you want to go straight to the almond butter just skip that step and toss them straight into the blender or food processor once they have cooled.
If you have a good blender (we have a Blendtec) then you can make the almond butter right in there. Otherwise use your food processor. Since we smoked them (heated them up) and got them crunchy, they don’t have as much natural oils as if you just put them in raw, so it’s likely you might need to add just a bit of oil to the blender to help them process into a butter. I add about 1-2 tablespoons of oil (like canola, vegetable, peanut, coconut etc. Just note the coconut will add some coconut flavor, which I like, but if you want to keep it mild stick to canola or veggie). Then process until it starts to turn to the smooth buttery texture you want, adding just a little oil at a time until you get to your desired texture.
This will take at least 1 min (most likely more, depending on how awesome your blender or food processor is). I usually process for 20-30 second increments, then scrape down, then keep going for 20-30 more seconds, until the texture is smooth. After you reach your final texture, add any additional flavorings, like salt, and mix them together.
Use for a healthy midday snack spread on bread and topped with sliced banana and chia seeds and drizzle of honey (the kids love this one), or just eat by the spoonful (guilty pleasure!). You can even go wild and add some smoked honey (a recipe for another post perhaps?).
- 2 cups raw unsalted almonds
- 1-2 tablespoons oil canola, vegetable, peanut, or melted coconut
- 1/4 teaspoon salt optional
Preheat smoker to 225 degrees using fruit wood. We like apple or cherry.
Place the almonds on foil, or a baking sheet, and place on the smoker for 60-90 minutes, or until the nuts have turned a few shades darker in color (but not burnt!), and are crunchy to the bite.
Remove from the smoker and let cool.
Place the almonds in a powerful blender or food processor and pulse for 20-30 second increments, until the almonds turn into a smooth, creamy, paste. If they aren't coming out smooth add 1 tablespoon of oil at a time, then keep pulsing until your desired creamy texture appears. Brush down the sides and then keep processing in 20-30 second increments until desired texture.
This is for a simple smoked almond butter. I you want to add more flavor experiment with small amounts of cinnamon (for sweetness), or for a more smoky/spicy butter add some chili powder or smoked paprika.
Salt is totally to your preference. I you want your almond butter completely unsalted just leave out the salt. I like to add just a touch to bring out the natural flavors in the almonds and the mild smoke infusion.
Got leftover Smoked Almond Butter?
A friend of mine recently shared her recipe for Almond Butter Cups that would be a-mazing with the smoked almond butter. It’s on my radar to make this weekend for a fun sweet snack for 4th of July!
What about you?
Do you make your own nut butters? Have you tried any with smoked nuts?? What did you think?
For more tasty recipes, BBQ tips and tricks, check out the Recipe Index.
Want more? If you liked what you read you can subscribe to Vindulge and have new posts delivered directly to your inbox.