Every year my wife and her coworker put on a Christmas spread of foods for the staff as the school she works at:
I am in charge of the meats for the feast.
I watch for specials and make things getting ready for the event.
Recently I found a really nice three pound side of Norwegian salmon that was listed for the rediculously low price of $3 per pound.
Into a simple satuarated salt water solution for the 30 minutes I use to set the flesh. Over the years I have won a lot of money with this salmon recipe and method. I get asked about the secrets a lot. The salt I use for all types of smoking is important. So here is the salt secret I have used for making many many products that have a taste most people cannot put a finger on, but can taste when they pick the one they like best.
I have checked in Germany where the salt is made... it is pharmaceutical grade and well above FDA and USDA food grade. Do not use the Reef Salt they make, this mixture has the proper balance of minerals
to be the salt used of the ancients with modern protocols to be safe.
After 30 minutes in this solution its into the honey, maple, sorghum cure for 4 hours.
After 4 hours in this, wash it and let it dry a couple hours. Into the smoker, I like a heavier smoke on my salmon products. The oak and hickory mix with an alder background is my smoke of choice. Smoked in the correct order it produces magic, order is Alder light for 30 minutes, oak, hickory, for 60 minutes, back to alder for 45 minutes and then oak and hickory til we hith 142 F.
After this cools about 15 miutes, I will lay a sheet of plastic wrap (culinary duct tape) over it to get the surface of the salmon oil wetter with its own fats. Then I vacuum pack and freeze. If you have not checked it out, I did a salmon pictorial guide a long time ago.
Anyway if you get a chance to cure some salmon, take the time to do it. Very nice end product, and an excellent meat to learn the difference between smoke woods, the order of smoke and how it affects the fish, the cure mix and how smoke temperature affects the spicing of the cure, and lots of other advanced methods many many many of you are obviously ready to start to tackle and master.
I read most of the cure posts on the site and have been done so for years, some of you have been so successful at the curing... but don't get satisfied with where you are at.... there is a lot more food chemistry to learn after you master the curing and smoking... there is the search for perfection!