Cold Smoked Salmon

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
OTBS Member
Jul 21, 2006
Erie Colorado
OK, It's been a long cold winter here in Colorado. Smokes in the cold have been few and far between, I can't wait for summer! I decided to take advantage of the cold the other day and add cold smoked salmon to my "[size=-1]repertoire[/size]". Here goes...

I started with a whole side of fish; cut a few 6 ounce pieces off from the tail end for grilling. That left me with about a pound and a half piece of fish. I mixed a cup of kosher salt and a cup of plain old sugar together for a cure. I put half of the mixture down on a piece of plastic wrap so that it was the same length and width of my piece of fish (the salt/sugar mixture that is). I put the slab of salmon on top of the salt/sugar, and then topped the fish with the rest of the mix. I then wrapped it up tight (so that I could not see any of the fish; every inch of the salmon was covered with salt/sugar). I poked several holes through the bottom of the wrapped "package" for liquid to escape. I placed the salmon on a half sized sheet pan and covered it with a smaller sized sheet pan (inverted to sort of "cup" the wrapped fish). I then placed a heavy phone book on the "sandwich" of sheet pans and salmon, and slipped it into the fridge. I let it cure for 14 hours, removed it from its wrap, rinsed all of the cure off of it, then patted it dry (there was about a half cup of purge in the pan). After patting dry, I placed it on a cooling rack set in a sheet pan in the fridge (uncovered) for 6 hours. This dried the fish a bit more, and gave a nice "tacky" "landing pad" for the smoke. Here's where I got lucky; it was 22 degrees and snowing out. That made it pretty easy to keep my smoker temp under 90 degrees. I went with a small minion style set up in the fire box, and lit up a chimney of lump. I placed a few hot coals, and cherry chunks at a time on top of the pile of unlit coals in the fire box. I managed the temp CONSTANTLY to keep it under 90 degrees, using a small rock to prop the smoker door open at times. I smoked for 5 hours, wrapped, and refrigerated. The next morning (Easter) I sliced it up thin, and served it a bunch of ways. I must admit, it turned out very nice! You all know how critical I am of myself; I was impressed with the salmon, A+. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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