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Thread: Smoked Salmon

  1. #1

    Smoked Salmon

    With Christmas coming up I thought this might be of interest to some of the chaps out there with cold smokers. I've found that curing and smoking salmon is incredibly easy and that you can get pretty good results with very little effort. This method also gives good results with the farmed salmon you get on sale at the supermarkets at this time of year, I picked up a whole fresh salmon for just over ten quid at morrisons today.

    Anyway, I'm making a side for a party at the weekend and one to keep my wife happy so I'll update the thread as I progress it.

    So so far I've just got as far as putting the cure on the fish, here's how I do it

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    The he cure is sea salt, brown sugar and dill. I use approx 80% salt to 20% sugar. There's enough mix in the bowl for two sides of fish, I don't weigh it out but I'd say there's maybe 350g of salt. Mix all the ingredients together and break up any lumps in the sugar.

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    Lay your our fish on a decent length of cling film.


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    Spread ad on your cure, no need to massage it in, it'll soak in during the curing time in the fridge.

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    Wrap apt it up tightly in cling film and put it in the fridge for 24 hours. It's worth putting it on a tray as the cure will draw out a fair bit of liquid and it will leach through the wraps of cling film.

    ive just put these in the fridge to cure, I'll post more tomorrow if it's of any interest.

    cheers

  2. #2
    It is of interest!
    I am taking 2 Sea Trout to be smoked this week, but i will be interested to see how yours turns out.
    Cheers
    Richard

  3. #3
    Yes please
    Cracking post and of the type we are short of for a while on SD
    Good on you ,

    Look forward to rest of the thread / results
    Paul

  4. #4
    Can't wait for 7:30 onwards.

  5. #5
    I'm glad you're finding this of interest gents.

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    The salmon has now spent the best part of 24 hours in the cure, this isn't quite all the liquid that leached out, but it shows how the cure is doing its job drawing the water from the flesh. I think I read somewhere that it should ideally loose 17% of its original weight, but to be honest I don't bother weighing it now, I just go with the approx amount of cure in the first post and 24 hours curing. I must have done up to 50 sides using this method and I've not killed anyone yet.

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    Unwrap the the fish and bung them in the sink and rinse off the remaining cure. Then pat them dry - use a tea towel rather than kitchen roll as the latter sticks to the flesh and can be a pain to get off.

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    Hopefully you you can see the texture of the fish has changed, it's much firmer now. You can also see how the fish was hacked to bits by the bloke on the fish counter!!

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    Last process before fore smoking is to allow a 'pellicle' to form on the fish. This is a sheen or glaze on the outside of the flesh caused by the enzymes in the flesh reacting with the salt (I think). This is done by leaving the fish completely uncovered in the man fridge or cool spot for ideally another 24 hours. The pellicle helps the fish take the smoke better. My fish will get 12 or so hours as I need one ready for the weekend. To be honest I've smoked them straight out of the salt without waiting and they've turned out OK but I do prefer to leave them if I can.

    thats it for now, smoking tomorrow.

  6. #6
    Keep it coming please! I think I'm off to Morrisons soon! It's only 4.00 a kilo too!!!

    Cheers

  7. #7
    Last leg now, smoking. In order to show how straight forward this is and that you don't need loads of geari, I'm smoking the fish in a cardboard box.... Nothing at all to do with moving house recently and not getting the new smoker built yet...

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    This is is a pro q cold smoke generator, probably one of the best bits of food related kit I've ever bought. If you fancy a bash at smoking, buy one of these they really are brilliant. Load it with wood dust, get it going with a tea light candle and then leave it to smoulder, I get approximately 18 hours of smoke from mine, literally fill it, light it and forget it. My last smoker was a 220 litre drum and this little unit would produce more than enough smoke to keep it constantly full of smoke. Can't rate it enough.

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    Smoker filled and lit, lid is now on the box and I'll leave it to smoke. I find 18 to 24 hours is perfect with this setup. Hopefully you can see how straight forward and uncomplicated it is.

  8. #8
    Great article, I use almost exactly the same system. Dry curing is so much easier than brining. Those Pro Q smoke generators are the business, mine runs for about 10 hrs per fill so I do two or three runs per smoking.
    What wood dust do you use? I find Oak is as good as any.

    You can get all the bits you need from smokedust.co.uk

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by NoIDeer View Post
    Great article, I use almost exactly the same system. Dry curing is so much easier than brining. Those Pro Q smoke generators are the business, mine runs for about 10 hrs per fill so I do two or three runs per smoking.
    What wood dust do you use? I find Oak is as good as any.

    You can get all the bits you need from smokedust.co.uk
    i really like oak and beech NoIDeer, to be honest I've tried quite a few and found it fairly hard to distinguish between a lot of them so I just stick to those too now.

  10. #10
    All finished now. I took them out of the smoker this morning, trimmed them up a bit to tidy them up (I find it easier to do this after the curing and smoking as you're tidying the finished article so to speak).

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    Last thing to do is to either vac pack or wrap them tightly in cling film for 12-24 hours before eating. This seems to balance the smoky flavour through the flesh as it can taste a bit strong or acrid if you eat it straight away.

    It also freezes really well so you can portion it up if you like. I probably shouldn't say this but as it's been for my own consumption and I'm happy to risk it, I've also thawed out frozen salmon & trout, cured/smoked them then frozen them for future use - and I'm not dead yet.

    Cheers

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