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Cold Smoked Salmon

Discussion in 'Other' started by pigknuckle1957, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. This recipe was approved by my mom.  So I think  you all will enjoy your cold smoked salmon prepared this way.  Take a 2-3 lb salmon fillet make sure you buy a fresh or frozen at sea fillet or you'll end up with a smelly mess.  Clean the fillet and set aside, take 3cups of kosher salt, 3 cups of sugar and one bunch of fresh dill.  Mix the equal amounts of salt/sugar in a bowl, chop the fresh dill up, pour 1/4" of the salt/sugar mixture into bottom of a plastic container and place salmon on top of this,  cover salmon with fresh dill and pour rest of salt/sugar mix onto salmon, cover and place in frig for 12 hrs.  Take salmon out and rinse off with cold water, clean out plastic container and fill with enough water to cover salmon, place salmon into water and cover place back into frig for 1hr, take out and dry off salmon and place on cookie rack and back into frig for 12 hrs to get the pellical on salmon.  Place in your cold smoker and load your Amaz N Smoker with you favorite Amaz N Dust for 4/6 hrs. Vac seal the salmon for a couple of days and enjoy.
  2. thebarbequeen

    thebarbequeen Smoking Fanatic

    That sounds like good ol' Scandahoovian salmon to me!  lotsa fresh dill!  I gotta put this one on my short list!   can we have a pic, please?
  3. Next time I make some more I'll take a pic. My mom has already ate it all.
  4. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Is Mom Happy?

    All That matters!!!

    Great Job!!

  5. coyote-1

    coyote-1 Smoking Fanatic

    I have two slabs of salmon on the Weber kettle right now, using the A-Maze-N cold smoke generator.

    Saw Bobby Flay in Ireland on TV. He did a feature with a guy who cold smokes fish, and is reknowned. The recipe? Coat the fish with salt for 2.5 hours, then rinse off the salt and smoke it for 20 hours. Couldn't be simpler.

    I bought the salmon yesterday afternoon. Coated it for 3 hours (close enough for jazz), then rinsed it and put it on at 10pm. Used a combo of cherry and maple for the fuel. As of 7am this morning, the A-Maze-N had burned almost half its fuel. So by the time I get home at 4:30pm or so, it ought just recently have finished.

    Wife and I are both very much looking forward to sampling the result  :)
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
  6. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Can't wait to see the results!!

  7. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Interesting, looking forward to the results as well!
  8. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That is pretty close to how I do mine. Do you apply any heat to your smoker or are you truly cold smoking them without any heat?
  9. coyote-1

    coyote-1 Smoking Fanatic

    No heat. Temps last night were around 30F, and today never got past 50. Came home to delicious cold-smoked salmon!

    Guess I'll have to take a pic and post it.

  10. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    thatcho likes this.
  11. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yea...What Al Said!

  12. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    As I've been sitting at home sick for the past few days and I have been pondering about this post and wondering a few things and was hoping you guys could explain a few things to me. When I do my salmon I do it pretty close to how  pigknuckle does as far as using a mixture of  sugar and salt and letting the fillets sit in it over night. My mixture has far less salt though. Also when I am smoking mine I am actually applying some heat to it (Around 150 degrees) and I  am actually cooking the meat until it hits an internal temp of 140. The thing I don't understand is with pigknuckle's recipe is there so much salt in the dry rub that it cures it to make it safe to eat? It seems like the meat would still be raw after cold smoking for only 4-6 hours. I have heard of some people curing the meat then cold smoking the meat for days and then I can see how the meat would be save to eat but with this recipe  it only calls for 4-6 hours of smoke. I'm guessing the salt must be what makes it safe to eat but 12 hours doesn't seem like a long time in the rub either. I was expecting to  hear  of some type of cure being thrown in the mix or something. I know enough about curing to be  dangerous but if you get to far into things and you lose me so I was hoping someone could educate me on this as it has been stirring in my head for a few days since  I first read the post. Thanks guys. I sure would  love to see a pic of the finished Salmon.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011
  13. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    I gotta agree with Ross,

    I could be wrong, because I never used more than 1/3 of that amount of salt.

    Also I don't think cold smoking fish for 4 to 6 hours is doing much of anything to that fish---20 or 30 hours maybe.

    Maybe something is happening there that I'm not aware of, but it sounds like very salty raw fish to me.

  14. coyote-1

    coyote-1 Smoking Fanatic

    That is NOT cold smoking. The whole point of the cold smoke process is to preserve rather than cook the food. Salt (or salt/sugar) act as curative agents, and the smoke enhances that process. The most typical example on the market is Nova lox. It is definitely NOT cooked. It is merely cured in brine, and then cold-smoked. Coating the fish with salt/sugar/etc is functionally identical to liquid brining from a curing standpoint.

    You don't even need to smoke the stuff! My wife makes gravlax, which is cured in salt/sugar/spices in the fridge with no 'cooking' at all.
  15. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Correct I don't cold smoke mine. I apply heat so I am hot smoking  and cooking my salmon.

    Lets use pigknuckles recipe just for a reference since this is under his post. (Sorry if i have high jacked this thread.) Can you explain how the salt/smoking makes it safe to eat. I have eaten raw salmon before at sushi joints so I know you can eat it raw but obviously that isn't what he is going for here. Is the salt content great enough in the recipe that it cures the meat? To me it would seem it would need to sit in the salt for much longer than 12 hours or need to be cold smoked for much longer than 4-6 for it to be considered cured enough where it's not still at a raw fish state. I'm hoping you or someone can explain it to me as this has been something that I I have wondered for a while now. I make pickled fish all the time so I know you don't have to cook the fish but when you are pickling the fish it is sitting in the brine for up to or over a week for the vinegars/salts to pickle/brine/cook what ever you want to call it to make it safe to eat where it isn't raw. I hope I'm not coming across the wrong way. I'm in NO way trying to bash this recipe or its process merely trying to understand so I can further my knowledge. Thanks for the info guys.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011
  16. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    You don't even need to smoke the stuff! My wife makes gravlax, which is cured in salt/sugar/spices in the fridge with no 'cooking' at all.
    That does make the best tasting fish. I have made that many times. Some folks can't bring themselves to trying it though. Personal preference.

    I have also taken that same recipe and smoked to 130-135. Dense smoke, high temp to make a kippered salmon. Moist and awesome. 
  17. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Dave, Dave, Dave......don't tell them how great kippered salmon is.....now everyone is going to want some....we'll have a shortage for pete's sake.  Why do you think we're always telling visitors to Washington it always rains here, practically everyday (besides the fact that it seems to anyway): so they won't move here.  Personally, I like to take my salmon to the candy stage.  Now that I've added the AMNS to the smoking weapons, it's getting easier and easier, not that it wasn't that hard in the first place.  The concept "Low and Slow" was started with salmon, to my way of thinking (a frequently less traveled path).

  18. coyote-1

    coyote-1 Smoking Fanatic

    I'm no expert on the process, or on the possible medical aspects. But 12 hours brine plus 6 hours cold smoke ought be sufficient, and most recipes that come down the line do so because they've been successful; they are appealing to the taste buds, and they don't make people sick.
  19. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    In case anyone is interested, I found the report below.

    It sounds to me, if done properly, and you like it, it can be done.


    Also: If you're interested, and you can't read the part in the middle, it is on this page, at this link:


    [font=arial, helvetica, sans serif]Colorado State University Extension[/font]  
    [font=arial, helvetica, sans serif]SafeFood Rapid Response Network[/font]

    Go to Table of Contents  for this issue


    By: Janice Brown, CSU Food Science Graduate Student - Fall 2008

    [​IMG]Approximately 50% of farm reared Atlantic salmon reaches the consumer as a cold-smoked product. Many of us love the taste of smoked salmon and consider it a delicacy. However, not many of us have thought about the delicacy of the processing methods used to produce this product.

    In the cold smoking process, fish are held at temperatures ranging from 20 to 30°C/68 to 90°F for less than 24 hours (AFDO, 1991). The "less than" inference can mean anywhere from less than 6 hours to less than 24 hours depending on the temperature of the smoker and the desired product. Under the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) program, a critical control point is a point or process at which the organism of concern is eliminated, or a combination of preserving factors can guarantee that growth of the organism does not occur. To insure the safety of cold-smoked salmon, these critical control points have been identified:
    • Receiving raw materials: salmon can be fresh caught or frozen. To reduce the risk of potential parasite contamination, frozen is recommended, along with correct procedures for thawing.

    • Brining: a liquid brine solution must be used to produce a final salt content of between 3.5 to 5%. This critical step has specific procedures that must be followed, including the use of fresh brining solutions to avoid contamination of the fish with salt tolerant microorganisms like Listeria monocytogenes. An injection procedure or bath procedure for brining can be used.
    • Draining: this step is critical due to potential cross-contamination if drying hooks or draining areas are not kept clean.
    • Cold smoking: fish must be of uniform size and shape and arranged to allow for uniform smoke absorption, heat exposure, and dehydration. Smoke can be generated, or a liquid smoke used or a combination of both. Temperatures of smoking should not exceed 90°F (32°C) for more than 20 hours, not exceed 50°F (10°C) for more than 24 hours, or not exceed 120°F (49°C) for more than 6 hours.
    • Cooling: cooling to 50°F (10°C) within 3 hours and to 37-38°F (3.0-3.3°C) within 12 hours.
    • Packaging: either air packaged or vacuum packaged. Air packaging must contain 2.5% WPS (water phase salt content).
    • Storage and shipping: temperatures of 37-38°F (3.0-3.3°C) must be adhered to as any deviation will compromise both the safety and quality of the smoked product.
    Like other ready-to-eat meats, the organism of concern for cold smoked salmon is Listeria monocytogenes. Listeriosis is a severe but uncommon infection caused by Listeria monocytogenes  and has been a nationally notifiable disease since 2000. Listeriosis is primarily foodborne and occurs most frequently among persons who are older, pregnant, or immunocompromised. The reduction of L. monocytogenes  to the lowest possible levels must rely on prerequisite programs adhering strictly to Good Hygienic Practices (GHPs) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). Focus must be on education of staff, cleaning and sanitation, redesign of equipment, and proper flow and separation in the processing plant. The prevalence of L. monocytogenes  can be dramatically reduced in a smoke house by strictly adhering to GMPs and targeting spots where the organism had been found to reside with appropriate cleaning and disinfection procedures. Special attention to brining, injection needles and slicing equipment must be a priority. Other methods of preservation that have been found to inhibit L. monocytogenes  include the following: 1) Extended frozen storage; 2) Carbon dioxide; 3) Nitrite; 4) Lactate; 5) Sorbate; 6) Bacteriocins; 7) Background microflora; and 8) High Pressure Processing.

    Cold smoked salmon is considered safe for healthy, non-immune compromised persons; however, as with other raw or semi-raw meat products, it is risky for pregnant women, the frail elderly and others with compromised immune systems due to disease or medical therapy. Many countries, including the U.S., recommend these groups avoid cold smoked fish. The shelf life of smoked salmon is very short, one to two weeks in the refrigerator and about one month in the freezer. Storage time is another critical factor in the proliferation of L. monocytogenes.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011
  20. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Cool thanks bear that is what I was looking for. So basically what it looks like is if you get at least a 3.5%-5% salt solution brine and cold smoke it the meat is safe to eat. It appears that it is still considered a raw or semi-raw fillet of fish but it is safe to eat. That's the part I couldn't get over. My thinking was "How can't the fillet still be raw after 12 hours in a brine and 6 hours of cold smoking?" Thanks.