Cold smoked salmon problems (salty, smoky)

Started by ssieler, January 30, 2020, 07:18:09 PM

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I've tried a couple of cold smoked salmons (dry brine cure only, basically ala Alton Brown),
and found my results to be too salty and too smoky.

The too smoky has an obvious fix ... less time. 
How much smoke do other people use?

The too salty is a problem I'm not sure how to fix.  Suggestions welcome!
(Reducing brining time would probably do it, but is that safe?  (I've been doing 10 to 12 hours))


Hmm..."smokey" preferred to "smoky" on this site 810 to 464, according to google search counts :)


Hi ssieler and welcome to the forum.

I make a lot of lox style cold smoked salmon and there are a few variables that can affect the outcome in terms of smoke and salt, obviously smoking time is the main factor in terms of smokiness but fillet size is a factor as well for example.

I now use whole sides of skin on salmon, I cure for 5 - 7 days depending on how dry you like the end product in an dry 4:1 ratio of rock salt : molasses sugar and weigh the fillets down to ensure maximum fluid extraction. To my mind the trick is to then rinse the resultant product adequately, in this case under a running cold tap for a few minutes then soak in two changes of fresh cold water for between 30 minutes and an hour. When I started out my salmon was way too salty but this step solved the problem. I then oak smoke for between 4 and 5 hours, wrap tightly in plastic film for 24 hours then fine slice off the the skin, glaze with whisky and vacuum seal.

If you do a search on this forum there will be various methods for cold smoked salmon but in terms of saltiness a thorough rinse / soak in fresh cold water after curing has made a big difference.


Thanks, manxman ... I think the extended rinse/soak to clean the salt is what I need!