I smoke a LOT of almonds, more than any other food. However, I became increasingly dissatisfied with the results. For almost two years, I have been trying variations on Todd's smoked almond recipe that comes with his AMNPS smoking tray. They are tasty, but there is no way to avoid the sticky gooey coating (the recipe uses butter, honey, and brown sugar). What's more, they don't keep well because the considerable sugar used in the coating absorbs moisture (they are hygroscopic). So, I started poking around for a better alternative, and ended up starting from scratch. Boy, am I glad that I did. I left the security of this forum and searched the Internet for ideas of how to make a different almond product that would be less sticky and which would also showcase the smoke flavor. Ever since I started using the AMNPS in my "mailbox mod," the smoke flavor is much cleaner and more pleasant, but even with this "better smoke," the almonds never came out quite right. What I found in my searching is that a lot of people brine their almonds. What's more, I came across one guy who did a LOT of research and performed many trials, and what he found is that you only need to brine for ten minutes. Wow, that is quick prep! I figured I had nothing to lose, so I tried his recipe, without any variations. I instantly fell in love with the technique and the results. I then began to experiment. I brined for twenty minutes, but found that the almonds became soggy (exactly what he had warned) and that the sogginess never came out. I tried adding other ingredients, but found that even with some pretty strong spices, not much ended up in the almonds. I then tried spraying them a few times during the smoke, using sugar water to try to make them sweeter, but found that this too made them a little soggy. After a dozen attempts, I have now settled on the world's simplest almond recipe. I have made it almost a dozen times and have given away quite a few of these to people to whom I previously gave my sugary, sticky almonds. To a person, they all like this newer recipe better. So here it is: a new (to me) way of smoking almonds. Make sure you have a way to monitor and regulate the smoker temperature, because it is easy to burn almonds if the smoker gets too hot. 1. Prepare the brine using two cups water, 1/3 cup table salt, and 1/3 cup sugar. I also use three shots of Jack Daniels (two into the brine, and one for me). Stir until dissolved. 2. Place 1-1/2 pounds of almonds (half of a Costco bag of almonds), along with the brine, into a Baggie, remove the air, seal, and let stand for ten minutes. Resist the urge to let them soak longer. 3. Drain the almonds, reserving the brine (unlike marinades for meat, I think it is OK to re-use this 2-3 times, keeping it in the fridge). 4. Spread the almonds out on a Qmatz (I got these from Todd). 5. Place the almonds in the smoker preheated to 160 degrees. Smoke for 45 minutes. Remove the almonds, move them around a bit, rotate the trays, and put the trays back in the smoker using a different shelf order (important in my MES because it has hot spots). Smoke for another 45 minutes. 6. After this 1.5 hours of 160-degree smoking, increase the heat to 230 degrees. Cook for one more hour, turning halfway through (and exchanging the shelves). 7. Let cool down on the cooking racks for as long as you can (if I smoke them in the morning, I don't put them away until the evening). You want as much moisture to escape as possible. I have a salt grinder that I use to sprinkle salt on them as soon as they come out of the smoker. Don't jostle them after you've added this salt, and you'll find that a surprising amount of this extra salt will stick or get absorbed. I just did some more of these yesterday, and I cannot stop eating them. I'll be interested in hearing from others whether they like this product.