I'm about to try my first cold smoked salmon. I perfected my hot smoking technique. I'm a bit surprised on the variance on brining and smoking times I've read on various web pages. Some advocate an overnight brine, some just a couple hours. I've found that more than a couple hours in a dry brine is way too salty. On the smoking, I've seen smoke times similar to hot smoking and smoke times of "2-5 days" !! My guess is that some people use more of a Lox technique by brining for a long time, they are letting the salt do the work for preserving. However I believe Native Americans cold smoked their salmon for many days with little or no brining. In that case the smoke is the preservative. So am I correct in assuming the brining and smoking are essentially disproportionate. The longer the brine the less you have to smoke. The less brine, the longer you have to smoke. I believe in fact you can make Lox without any smoke at all. Just a long brine time in the fridge. I was thinking on my first try to double the brine time of my hot smoking technique which would be a dry bring for a 2-2.5 hours. Let it cure in the fridge overnight after rinsing. And a 18-24 hour smoke at 50-90 degrees. Does this sound about right?
Edited by jazzy - 1/15/12 at 12:13pm