Making Lox a picture guide.

Discussion in 'Fish' started by bbally, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. scraper

    scraper Newbie

    Love it, I used this exact recipe except that i substituted lake trout.  Lakers are actually a char and are quite oily which makes them perfect for smoking. 

    My only question is will it keep if frozen?  I would like to vacuum seal some and save it.
  2. Is cure actually needed?  I have a family of Migraine sufferers and we are trying to stay away from Sodium Nitrates which is why I am looking at doing my own lox.
  3. pokey

    pokey Meat Mopper

    Lox keeps fine vacuum sealed and frozen for months. We do it all the time.

    Cure is not necessary. Salt alone is enough. We've found the cure changes the texture of the fish in a way we don't like, so as of today's batch, I've gone back to only salt.

  4. Just finished reading this great tutorial. Thanks again for sharing and taking the time to show us newbs at cold smoking! Now if I can just find the time...
  5. I am going to try this recipe next week. I have a buddy in a deployed location. After I follow this recipe and vacuum seal it, is it safe to send unrefrigerated in the USPS or will it arrive ruined and unfit for consumption???
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It needs refrigeration......   read this about smoking fish......   ....  Lots of good info on food safety in that link.....

  7. That's so very beautiful! Cheers! - Leah
  8. In your drying stage, do you leave the lid to the container off it sealed for the 36 hr???
  9. twocubdad

    twocubdad Newbie

    So salmon was on sale last week and I have about 8 pounds in the fridge about half-way through drying.

    This is my second run with this method and the first one was great.  My two sons, just home from college, went through the whole 10-pound batch in about four days.  Yeah, it was that good.

    My only drawback was I didn't feel like I got much smoke on.  Could not get my 44" Smoke Hollow down low enough.  The temps kept spiking and I was afraid I would cook the fish.  I finally left the cabinet door open and just let it smoke free-style.

    So for this run I bought an AMNTS.  Came home from the store with the fish, immediately ordered the tube and it arrived before the fish finished curing -- thanks Todd!  Here's my question.  With only the tube burning, do I need to worry about the temps at all?  Can I just light it, chuck it in the smoker and come back a few hours later or do I need to gear up with all the thermos and keep an eye on it?  I usually run with three thermos -- one in the cabinet and another one or two in the meat (depending on how much I'm smoking.)

  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Lox is not cooked..... Don't use heat.....   It is chemically cooked with salt and cure and sugar..... If you have the AMNTS running, keep the temp below 70 deg F.......

    From bbally's recipe in post #1

    Once dry we are ready to smoke. The thing that makes lox is the mouth feel. So lox must be cold smoked. That is to say we take steps to insure the product never goes above 90 F while smoking. This is referred to as cold smoking. The nitrite has “cooked” the salmon and is rendered harmless as a nitrate. So all we are looking for here is: water removal, shrink the protien enough to tighten it up and during the tightening to have the protien pull in some smoke! I am smoking here under light smoke for 4 hours.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  11. pokey

    pokey Meat Mopper

    You can let it get close to 80* without cooking the fish. You only need to monitor the temp in the cabinet. I use the AMNPS and place a tray of ice above the AMNPS and below the fish to cool the rising smoke. Enjoy!
  12. dan - firecraft

    dan - firecraft Smoke Blower

    I am making some of this ASAP
  13. twocubdad

    twocubdad Newbie

    Thanks.   So the second batch is in the ziplocs. Very, very good.  I love this recipe!  Two slight modifications -- first batch was a bit too salty for my tastes, so I bumped the desalinization time to two hours.  Using the AMNTS was the other.  As I said, the first batch didn't have much smoke at all.  So bumped smoke time to 5 hours.  I suppose I under estimated the amount of smoke the AMNTS puts out.  The smoke on this batch is a bit much -- not bad or bitter, just overpowers the flavor of the fish.  With the AMNTS I'll drop back to the recommended three hours.

    As far as my question about monitoring the temps, I  just lit the AMNTS, put it on the bottom rack and forgot about it.  It was a cool day and every time I looked at the built-in thermo (which is way off anyway) it was never above 100.   The one thing I do like about the longer smoke time is the fish is much drier and firmer.

    Next question -- now that I'm getting this method under my belt, can anyone give me some pointers on buying salmon?  I got this from the grocery at about $7/lbs. and have no idea what type of salmon it is.  There seems to be a fair bit of variation between pieces in terms of "grain" and texture.   This also seems to have a very thick strip of "dark meat" on the bone side.  What do you guys look for in good salmon?
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    TCD, morning.....    Look for wild caught sockeye....  It's pricey but......  makes the absolute best lox there is..... second choice, wild caught anything....   IMHO, farm raised salmon is a poor choice...   bland flavor....   they artificially color the meat...      I would use it if there was no other choice...   add garlic, onion, dill and white pepper to help the flavor out...  

  15. I agree with the wild caught sockeye as the protein of choice. I used farm raised Atlantic the first time and while it did take the smoke and it worked okay, I was a bit disappointed.

    I used wild sockeye the second time and it was 10X better, tasted amazing and it really took in the smoke, the Atlantic tasted like smokey sushi, the wild sockeye tastes like the lox that I was hoping for.
  16. mds51

    mds51 Meat Mopper

    Has anyone ever used a light coating of Olive Oil or any other cooking oil on your Salmon before you cold smoke it for Lox? The last batch i smoked had a little harder coating on the tops of the fillets than I normally get when cold smoking. It was a cool day and the smoker temperature never got even close to 100 degrees. Because of the cool temperature i did not put a frozen bottle of water inthe drip pan and this was the only difference in smoking this batch. Any advice or comments are appreciated.

  17. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    after you smoke it, coat if you must....   Your pellicle was too dry and formed too much...   a light pellicle is recommended.....   after the rinse and dry, maybe an hour under the fan and straight into the smoke....   the meat should be "tacky dry" and not "dry dry and shiny" like I do for kippered salmon to lock the moisture in....
  18. mds51

    mds51 Meat Mopper

    Thanks Dave and what you said makes sense. I put the fillest in the refrigerator the night before to form the pellical and this must have been too much for this delicate flesh. I will cut down the drying time and see what happens.
  19. I gave this a whirl, followed everything to the "T" and not sure where I went wrong. Prepared 5lbs of salmon which I caught about a month ago.

    There are 2 things that I don't like, and I'm sure it's something I did so hoping someone out there can help me discover the issues.

    #1 - Its super salty. In fact all I really taste is the salt. I soaked in saturated salt water for 30 min as was recommended and went through all the steps, desalination was done, soaking for 90 min as described at the end before drying in the fridge.

    #2 - It's super smoky - maybe almost creosote smelling? I'm not entirely sure what creosote smells like but this fish doesn't have nice light smoky flavor/aroma like the other salmon I have smoked at higher temps. It almost "stings" your nose when you take a good whiff, if you know what I mean. The aroma has mellowed out since last night but I wonder if the smoke was hanging out in the smoker to long before exiting up the chimney? I let them in the smoker for 4 hours, cabinet temp was 56 degrees when i started and 76 degrees when i pulled them. I am using an AMNPS in a 1/2 size holding cabinet smoker.  My AMNPS burned fine the whole time and smoke was coming out the chimney. I have had over smoked food but this takes it to a whole new level. I checked the salmon at 2 hours and There did not appear to be much of any smoke aroma at that point.

    I cant get past how salty this is...and if I was able to get over the saltiness then i would have trouble getting past the "smoky aroma" that is present. 

    Please help, what did I do?

  20. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    PB, evening......   If have used this exact recipe... the fish came out perfect...  

    I looked at all your pictures.....  I don't see any vents in the smoker.... 

    When smoking any meat, you need lots of air flow to remove moisture from the meat and not have a lingering smoke to sour the fish.....  That causes a tingling taste on the tongue.... creosote.... 

    I have seen too many manufacturers try and make an "oven" type smoker with no or inadequate venting....  Personally I don't care for their products...   they are trying to reinvent the wheel forgetting how to properly smoke food...  food that was smoked in a wooden shack that leaked air worse than the Titanic leaked water.....   You can't improve upon perfect.....

    Your fish should be more translucent and all the blood should have been removed in the soaking/brining process ....  Did you process your fish frozen or partially frozen or in a refer that was set to 32-36 degrees...  When processing/curing meats, too cold of a temp will slow or stop the process...

    Next time, please start a new thread when you are trying to get feed back .....  It really helps for you to get help....  this post of yours will get lost in the shuffle... 


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