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Discussion in 'Fish' started by SmokinAl, May 2, 2011.

  1. SmokinAl

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

    I have made lox following bbally's instructions several times over the last year or so. I grew up on lox & cream cheese with a slice of onion on a good bagel. This was a weekly event at our house. Over the years I have tried lox many times & I can honestly say I have never had lox as good as what I can make at home following this recipe.

    Here is the recipe that I followed:

    Salmon Lox (revised recipe 12-10-16)
    1. Start with 2 Salmon filets, skinned & dry. We get ours at Sam’s Club.
    2. Trim the belly & tail off so you have two pieces with uniform thickness shaped like a rectangle & weighing about 5 lbs. total. Also cut the brown fat out that runs the length of the salmon on the skin side
    3. To 1 gallon of water add 2 cu. of pickling salt. Put salmon in a food safe plastic container and add salt water & enough ice to cool the salmon down to under 40 degrees for 30 minutes.
    4. Mix up 1 tsp. cure #1, 1 ½ cu. kosher salt, 1 ½ cu. raw sugar, 2 tbsp. white pepper. If you don’t have 5 lbs of filets then adjust the cure amount to what you have.
    5. Zest 1 orange & 1 lemon. Mix zest with the cure mixture.
    6. Remove salmon from salt water & dry off. Dry out the container. Put the filets in the container & coat both sides with the cure mixture. Use all the cure mixture, making sure both sides are coated well.
    7. Place a board, ( I use a bamboo cutting board that is the same size as the container ), on top of the filets. Then take a 1 gallon zip lock bag & fill it with ice cubes & put that on top of the board to weigh it down. Put a cover on the container & place it in the fridge for 48 hours.
    8. After 48 hours, remove the salmon and rinse them off. Then soak them in ice water for 90 minutes. Remove from ice water & dry off. Then put them on a cooling rack in the container, put the lid on the container and put it in the fridge. Let them dry in the fridge for 18 to 24 hours.
    9. Remove from fridge & cold smoke with light smoke for 4 hours, making sure the salmon never gets above 90 degrees IT. You may need to put a pan full of ice in the smoker to keep the temp down. I like apple pellets the best for salmon. Now I fill the Amazen 12” tube & put it in the firebox of my Lang. This time, however I used dust in my Weber kettle. Remember too much smoke is worse than too little.
    10. After smoking put them back in the fridge on a cooling rack in a covered container for 24 hours.
    11. After the 24 hours they are ready to be sliced. Slice them very thin at a 45 degree angle to make wider slices.
    12. As an extra precaution I vacuum pack the slices in ½ lb. batches & put them in a freezer set at -4 degrees for 7 days. This will kill any parasites that may be present. This is probably overkill, but why take a chance.
    I started with 2 skinless salmon fillets from Sam's.


    Out of the package.


    Next I trimmed them, I cut the belly & thin section of the tail off. I wanted 2 nice uniform pieces for the lox. I also remove the thin layer of brown fat running down the center of the skin side.


    The tail & the belly will be going on the grill tonight for dinner. EVOO & Cajun seasoning for blackened salmon, but I will get to that later. Here's the 2 pieces for the lox.


    Next step is a salt water bath for 30 minutes. Take 1 gallon of water & dissolve all the salt the water will take. Then ice it down & soak the salmon.


    Take the salmon out of the water, dry it off and then we put on a dry cure rub. Consisting of:

    1 1/2 cup Kosher salt

    1 1/2 cup white or brown sugar

    2 tsp white pepper ( I used black, didn't have any white )

    1 tsp cure #1


    Mix together well.

    Zest 1 lemon & 1 orange & add it to the rub.

    Dredge the fillets through the rub & coat both sides very well with the rub mixture. Next place them in the container & sprinkle the remaining rub mixture on top. Then place a board on top of the fillets, I used a bamboo cutting board and a zip lock bag filled with ice for weight on top of the board. Put a top on the container & put in the fridge for 48 hours.


    After 48 hours take the salmon out & rinse it off. Then back in an ice bath for 90 minutes to desalinate the fillets. After desalination they go on wire racks & back in the fridge for 18-24 hours in a covered container to dry.
    This photo is of my old method, I know dry them in a covered container. I put some paper towels under the racks in the fridge.


    After drying it's time to cold smoke the salmon, now were getting close to making lox. I'm going to cold smoke them with my AMNS with hickory dust in my Weber kettle for 4 hours. I filled the AMNS up & lit both ends. Since the temp here is in the 80's & I don't want the salmon IT to get above 90 degrees. I'm going to put a big pan of ice under the salmon & put the AMNS next to the ice pan. My new method is putting a full 12" AMAZEN tube in the firebox of my Lang. Then put the salmon on the top rack by the stack. The tube will burn for about 4 hours.


    You can just see the TBS rolling.


    It's been 4 hours & you can see the salmon IT never got above 76 degrees.


    It's ready to come off. It's starting to look like lox!


    Take a look at the AMNS. Is that a perfect burn or what? In another hour the 2 would have hit each other dead center in the middle row. I couldn't have done this without my AMNS, well I guess I could have, but it sure wouldn't have been this easy.


    Next the salmon goes back in the fridge for 24 hours. Fast forward 24 hours later. Here it is homemade lox ready to slice.


    Here's the first few slices. I'm just using a long slicing knife. I don't think a meat slicer would work for this. Start slicing from the tail end skin side down.


    Here's a pile of lox ready for the foodsaver.


    Bagged up & heading for the freezer. Kept one nice bag out for the next couple of days snacking. Each bag is about 1/2 lb.


    This is what I've been waiting for. A bagel, cream cheese, slice of onion & a mess of lox!


    That's all folks. Thanks for looking.

    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
  2. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member


    Looks Awesome from here!!!!

    Bears love lox!

    Ever hear of "Goldie Lox & the 3 Bears"?

    So I can't spell,

    Jabiru likes this.
  3. SmokinAl

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

    Thanks Bear. I know bears like fish of any kind, or fish eggs!
  4. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Nice job on the lox Al...I never had it but it sure looks tasty..... Will want to try it some time... thanks for the link.....
  5. Wow, nice job. I love lox, but it's so expensive. You just gave me another reason to order a AMNS to go with the WSM. Thanks for an excellent post.
  6. shooter1

    shooter1 Smoking Fanatic

    Nice job Al, the money shot looks delicious!
  7. cowgirl

    cowgirl Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Looks excellent Al!!  Love the bagel shot! [​IMG]

    Bob's recipes are always on the money...... the guy knows what he's talkin' about. [​IMG]
  8. SmokinAl

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

    You should give it a try. It may be an acquired taste, but I think you will really like this recipe.

    It is expensive & the reason is, it's so time consuming to make it right. This way I have enough for about 4 more bagels in the fridge & 4 lbs. in the freezer. 

    Thanks Shooter

    Thanks Cowgirl, Bob has helped me on other issues before & he is such a great asset to this forum.
  9. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Excellent post!  I have made lox, but never cold smoked them.  This will be on my to do list for this week! Thanks to you and to bbally both!

    Good luck and good smoking.
  10. SmokinAl

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

    Thanks Merv, It's definitely worth the effort.
  11. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Well, I was waiting to see what your 'project' was....nice load of lox there, buddy. Glad it turned out so well for you. Whats next....gefilte fish?....now that's an acquired taste
  12. fife

    fife Master of the Pit

  13. SmokinAl

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

    Hey Willie, Thanks. I just can't even get gefilte fish close to my mouth, much less eat it. 
  14. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Wow---I finally had a chance to take a closer look.

    I have to add to my other post that you really did a great tutorial on this.

    You & Bob are gonna have a lot of people following the two threads!


  15. saugeyejoe

    saugeyejoe Fire Starter

    Al,  That looks delicious, Off to the store I go for some salmon.......
  16. SmokinAl

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

    Thanks Bear, It's well worth the effort to go through for the result you get.

    Thanks Joe, Your gonna love this stuff.
  17. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    AMAZENs rock!!

  18. SmokinAl

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

    Thanks Craig! The AMNS sure made it easy!
  19. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I think a high jack is totally in order on this one.  Thanks Todd.  The AMNS has opened up new worlds of smoking pleasure for many people.

    Good luck and good smoking!
  20. NICE    [​IMG]