Getting ready for first cold smoke,brine or cure salmon?

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Original poster
Oct 5, 2022
Hey all, new to the site getting amped up to do this i have 30lb of frozen chum from last weeks catch.I have read that frozen salmon should use a dry method.Im getting confused between guy brining and curing.I have never done a cold smoke before.Im using a bradley electric smoker with the cold smoke adapter.What im trying to figure out is to brine or cure the fish,i also see people cold smoking it for 18-24 hours,i am so confused with all these options.



Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Sep 15, 2012
Welcome to the forums. It sounds like your trying to make Lox. You'll need cure #1 for that. I use a dry brine when I make it. It's not a hard process to make lox, but there are a few steps that you can't deviate from. So I'm not going to try to explain it from memory. My best suggestion would be to use the search function in the upper right hand corner of the page, and search cold smoking salmon, or Lox. You'll get numerous detailed instructions on how to do it properly. You'll also find a calculator that will tell you the amount of ingredients you'll need. Off the top of my head you'll need a good metric scale and cure#1.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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Meat Mopper
SMF Premier Member
Jul 29, 2011
St. Petersburg, FL
Usually I brine salmon with little fat. Like coho. If you got sockeye you want to brine it and use some sort of added moistener like soy or honey based marinade. Sockeye is very lean.

With atlantic salmon you want dry method since its very fat.

Smoking time depends on amount of smoke taste you aim and smoke intensity in your smoker. Smoke sticks better in hot temps.

Perfect cold smoke weather is bellow 60F.

I add cure#1 if i plan to hang fish for a long time at temperature above those in refrigerator.
If i only smoke my lox for an hour, you are good to go. No one cures sushi after all)))

If you use right amount of salt and give fish time to spread it all over - it is safe to eat.

With wild caught fish it is safer to freeze it for a month to make sure all the parasites are dead.
Properly sourcing and handling of fish is important.

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