Can anyone offer advice on cold smoking salmon, I have looked at various books and the times vary from 1 hour to 24 hours.
I have the salmon curing now and intend smoking on Friday
Hello and Welcome. I can't help with this one. Wade is the fish smoking man here. I am sure he will but if he doesn't chime in soon look him up at the link below. "RATTLE HIS CAGE" ( he is getting older and dozes off now and then ) and send him a private message and ask him to look at your Thread. You will see that option on the left side of his personal page. Send him the link to your thread in the PM. He will sort you out. Hope it goes well. Keep Smokin!
Thanks for the intro Danny
What kind of smoked salmon are you looking to produce and what equipment do you currently have?
Smoked Salmon can mean different things to different people. Are you looking for a traditional sliced smoke salmon, a smoked salmon fillet to cook or something like Gravadlax?
I usually smoke my traditional salmon as salmon halves and then thinly slice them. You can smoke ready filleted sides of salmon though. It is important to ensure that the salmon is as fresh as possible and that it still has the skin on. You are looking to cure (preserve) the salmon using a combination of techniques 1) increasing the salt content 2) reducing the moisture content 3) using the smoke as a mild antibacterial. The important two are the salt and the moisture reduction. The smoke has more to do with flavouring.
It is prepared in 2 stages:
Firstly the salt is added and used to begin removing the moisture. This can be done in a metal tray lined with clingfilm. Simply make a 50:50 mix of salt and caster sugar and liberally coat both sides of the fish. Place it on a wire rack in the fridge for 24 hours. After 24 hours you will find that a large amount of water has collected in the bottom of the tray.
Rinse off the fish under running water to remove any remaining cure and pat dry with kitchen towel.
Secondly you need to place it in your cold smoker with plenty of air flow so that the fish takes on flavour for the smoke and continues to lose moisture. This will take a further 24 hours. By the end of the smoke the fish should have reduced in weight by about 18% due to the water loss and will have taken on a sheen.
Place in the fridge for several hours (or overnight) before slicing.
If you would like to see a step by step them you can look here
If you would like to go into more detail then please let me know.
Hello Wade! I knew you would be around soon buddy. Just had to get that early afternoon nap out of the way and you are good to go for another hour or so before the mid afternoon nap.
There you go Jo. Wade knows his stuff. His smoked salmon is a favourite with my missus. Can't go wrong with his instructions. Keep Smokin!
Thanks for the informing
I have a Bradley smoker which we have built a cold smoking kit for.
We have making gravadlax for some time and that seems to work OK
What I was confused about was the amount of time to actually cold smoke as I had seen various times mentioned but you have cleared that up
Will let you know how we get on
That is great. The important thing is to get the water content down. You can regulate the smokiness by using different woods and different times exposed to the smoke. If you don't like it too smoky, after you have smoked it for a while you can even leave it in the smoker without smoke (but with good air flow) until you achieve your weight loss.
Sorry for the delay in replying to you, work interrupted.
I followed you advice and the salmon turned out beautiful.
We smoked for about 20 hours using apple and when it had rested sliced very thinly.
Once put out for people it disappeared very quickly.
Thanks again for your help