Author Topic: dry-cure for cold smoke salmon  (Read 5992 times)

Offline tsquared

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dry-cure for cold smoke salmon
« on: December 30, 2004, 04:34:27 pm »
Just put in 12 lbs of spring salmon (king)into the smoker for first time session of Bradley coldmoking. The following recipe is one I have used many times with great success. It comes from an excellent book called "Smoking Salmon and Trout" by Jack Whelan, published by Aerie Press here in British Columbia.(I think Jack is on his second edition which has been updated.) He calls it Scotch smoked salmon, although being a wise man he applies the scotch internally and uses rum as part of the curing process! Dry salt your salmon, injecting brine into very thick pieces. Lay the salmon on 1/2 inch of coarse salt. Times for dry salting vary according to the fattiness of your salmon and thickness.If your fillets are quite thick, score the skin diagonally across the fillet to let the salt in. Put very little salt on the tail of the fillet(I don't even smoke tails anymore, as it is tricky not to oversalt them.)Make sure you drain your fillet during this process.
1.Salt a 1 in. fillet of a fatty fish 12 hours and lean (chum) 7 hours. Fillet should spring back when pressed with your finger if it is done enough.
2. Rinse your fillet off, and dry for 6 hours. I do this by putting it uncovered in my beer fridge.
3. Rub it with vegetable oil and then back in the fridge for 6 hours.
4. Rub off oil with a rum soaked cloth. (Scotch may be applied internally at any time during this process.)
5. Cover the fillet with brown sugar just as you did with the dry salt, then back in the fridge for 6 hours.
6. Wipe off the oil again with a rum soaked cloth and salmon is ready to smoke.
Smoking
1.Smoke the fish AT NO MORE THAN 85f for between 2-4 hours depending on your smoker, how much smoke taste you like, and whether your smoker is forced air or not. Beware the temp rise and look at the thread that talks about putting the smoke generator in a remote firebox to keep the temp down.
2. Continue to dry fish for several more hours until the fish is firm enough for slicing. (Use the Mark 1 finger to test this)
3. Give the fish a polish by bringing the temp up to 100 F for 15 minutes. This has the effect of bringing some oil to the surface, giving it an attractive look.
4. Let fish cool, unwrapped in the fridge for several hours.
5. Enjoy!
In his book, Jack has much more detail than I give here. I can attest that I have used this recipe again and again with superb results.You can play around with different spices like fresh dill or juniper berries or diffent booze. The key is getting the fish to a good firmness for slicing. I know at first glance this recipe seems complicated but most of these steps take 2 minutes and then you stick the salmon back in the fridge and forget about it.  I modified the Bradley by using an old Little Chief smoker as a remote smoke chamber and hooked it up using dryer hose to the Bradley.Cut a hole in the side of the Little Chief and slid the Bradley smoke generator into it. Works great, and the temp in the Bradley is only 5 degrees over the ambient.Some people have successfully used a heavy cardboard box to achieve the same thing. The next batch of cold smoked salmon I do, I'll try Spyguy's recipe and see how it compares to this one. All in the name of science of course...[:)]
Tom