Well, you asked for it. Here, Smoky answers the most commonly asked questions. He is direct, honest and offers an insight into the time proven techniques to preparing great barbecue that is unavailable elsewhere. If you are unable to locate the exact answer you are seeking, feel free to contact him directly and ask!
He returns all questions . . . . . . .
Topic: To Iodize or not to Iodize . . . . From: Karie,
Subject: Why should the salt be of the non-iodized persuasion?
Dear Smoky (Bein' a Univ of Tenn Alum, I LOVE that name,
I've read the FAQ and almost thought I had found my answer, but alas, I was disappointed. I made sausage today, and the recipe called for non-iodized salt. Then I see your rubs, sauces, et al also call for the non-iodized variety. well, not keeping kosher, and not yet pickled, I had none on hand, so I used some different seasoning salts, including my favorite coarse ground Crazy Salt. Now my question. If I were to use iodized salt, would either me or my grill/barbecue/smoker blow up or would the FDA come and arrest me? Why should the salt be of the non-iodized persuasion?
Karie, formerly of the GREAT Smokey Mountains
Actually, if you used regular table salt, only two things would happen. 1. You would be less likely to grow goiters from lack of iodine. 2. The Crimson Tide will ROLL all over your Alma Mater. Number 2 is going to happen anyhow, so you may as well go ahead and get your iodine supplement.
Normally, table salt has not only iodine, but flow enhancers or moisture absorbers. Sometimes, but not always, one can detect the slight off color flavor. In instances, where a lot of salt is used, such as curing meat, the taste of iodine may become quite pronounced. For ordinary cooking, on an importance scale of 1-10, I rate non-iodized about a 0.50. For seasonings and curing, probably about a 5.
Another reason that I mention pickling salt is to combat the stupidity inherent in the pompous proclamation, "Sea salt." As a UT Alum, you are well aware that all commercially available salt comes from a sea. Whether the sea is alive or dead is immaterial. And, as a matter of fact, at various locations in the currently available seas, the constituency of the water varies significantly. Therefore, all salt offered for sale in this country undergoes analysis and may be tweeked somewhat before marketing.
The politically correct (and profoundly ignorant) advocates of "sea salt" and "honey, because it will not kill you instantly like that horrible refined sugar" not only perform serious disservice to those beginners who don't know better, but lead them to waste money on items especially over-priced for the naive.
After that little sermon, sorry you had to leave the GREAT Smokey's but happy that you are still making sausage.
The only real criteria for salt is, "Does the food taste good?"
You sound like a person that I don't have to remind to . . .