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Help wanted for cold smoking a whole salmon

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I purchased a frozen whole salmon recently and I have plans to hot smoke 1/2 and cold smoke the other half.  Once thawed should I remove the skin, remove the bones and cut it into fillets or leave it whole with skin on? Any help is appreciated. 


I have an annual fishing trip with my brothers and I would like to treat them to some salmon.



post #2 of 7

I've elicited the help of a salmon smoker!  

post #3 of 7

when you fillet a salmon you are removing the meat from the bone. once you fillet it you can run the knife between the skin and meat startng at the tail and working the way toward where the head was. cant help you with cold smoking it. but when we smoke salmon we soak it in a brine first.

post #4 of 7

Timothy, morning.....  Fillet the fish... Remove all the bones including the pin bones......  Brine using cure #1 and salt for several days in the refer... (1 day for every 1/4" of thickness).... Leave the skin on the fish...  Dry the fish in front of a fan for several hours until a firm pellicle forms.... Keep smoker below 80 deg F.... smoke on and off for several days (3-5 days, depends on humidity).....   Usually 8 hrs smoke, 16 hrs no smoke.. and mild air  circulation is necessary for proper drying....  Be sure the smoke is the Very Thin Blue Smoke... thick white smoke will give the fish a creosote flavor..... Alder wood is probably the leading wood for smoking fish....   Dave



Here is a film that shows a pretty good cold smoked salmon technique..... Starts at about 3 min in...


Edited by DaveOmak - 5/13/12 at 8:21am
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you, I appreciate your advice.

post #6 of 7

Hi Dave,


I always hear people saying to keep the smoke at a "thin, blue smoke", but being a complete newbie, I have no idea how to achieve this.  If I'm using sawdust in a cardboard box smoker, how can I control the smoke so that it's not completely cloudy and white?  It seems that everytime I smoke cheese, the smoke is the thick, heavy stuff (smoking with sawdust blocks made from the cherry blossom tree).

post #7 of 7

Zayas, morning and sorry I'm late to the thread.....  What is a sawdust block ??  Try cutting it into 1/4's for less smoke....  What type of smoke generator are you using ???  Dave

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