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Cold-smoked salmon from start to finish (with pics)

Cold-smoked salmon from start to finish (with pics)
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  • Post #31 - February 10th, 2009, 11:16 am
    Post #31 - February 10th, 2009, 11:16 am Post #31 - February 10th, 2009, 11:16 am
    CTBoss wrote:Looks great, I'm going to cure some salmon today with some lemon, orange rind, cracked black pepper and fennel. But I am going to to use 2.5% sugar and 4.5% salt which is much saltier than your version. I'll see how it turns out.


    I'd also be curious to hear how the orange rind effects the finished flavor. That sounds intriguing.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #32 - February 10th, 2009, 11:41 am
    Post #32 - February 10th, 2009, 11:41 am Post #32 - February 10th, 2009, 11:41 am
    stevez wrote:
    CTBoss wrote:Looks great, I'm going to cure some salmon today with some lemon, orange rind, cracked black pepper and fennel. But I am going to to use 2.5% sugar and 4.5% salt which is much saltier than your version. I'll see how it turns out.


    I'd also be curious to hear how the orange rind effects the finished flavor. That sounds intriguing.

    Definitely. I'd like to hear how it turns out, too. It sounds great.

    Hopefully, you will be starting with some good, fatty, wild fish because the more I do this, the more I've come to think that is -- by far -- the single biggest factor in the quality of the finished product.

    Good luck! :)

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #33 - February 10th, 2009, 11:48 am
    Post #33 - February 10th, 2009, 11:48 am Post #33 - February 10th, 2009, 11:48 am
    My wife and I cured about 2 lbs of Faroe Island Salmon (from The Fish Guy) over the weekend (we did not smoke it). We tried a little of the salmon raw before we cured it and it was among the best I can remember.

    I don't recall the full ingredient list for the cure (we made it up on the spot, with a little inspiration from Charcuterie), but it did include brown sugar, white sugar, salt, pernod, orange rind, a little grapefruit rind, and a variety of toasted spices. The orange and grapefruit rind gave it really nice citrus essence to the finished product.
  • Post #34 - February 15th, 2009, 6:51 pm
    Post #34 - February 15th, 2009, 6:51 pm Post #34 - February 15th, 2009, 6:51 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Hopefully, you will be starting with some good, fatty, wild fish because the more I do this, the more I've come to think that is -- by far -- the single biggest factor in the quality of the finished product.


    Any suggestions on where you get your fish?
  • Post #35 - February 15th, 2009, 7:19 pm
    Post #35 - February 15th, 2009, 7:19 pm Post #35 - February 15th, 2009, 7:19 pm
    lougord99 wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Hopefully, you will be starting with some good, fatty, wild fish because the more I do this, the more I've come to think that is -- by far -- the single biggest factor in the quality of the finished product.


    Any suggestions on where you get your fish?

    Locally, I've had reasonable success year-round at Burhops in Wilmette (definitely not Glenview) and at Foodstuffs, specifically during Copper River season. As for Foodstuffs, I used the Evanston store but I suspect that their Glencoe location would be equally accomodating.

    Last time out (in mid-December '08), I was making it for a large party and sourced it via the internet from Pure Food Fish Market at the Pike Place Market in Seattle, WA. The wild Alaskan King salmon I got from them produced excellent results -- possibly my best ever. If you're making it for an occasion and you have some leadtime, I highly recommend them.

    =R=

    Burhop's - Wilmette
    1515 Sheridan Rd
    Wilmette, IL 60091
    (847) 256-6400

    Foodstuffs - Evanston
    2106 Central St
    Evanston, IL 60201
    (847) 328-7704
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #36 - February 15th, 2009, 7:46 pm
    Post #36 - February 15th, 2009, 7:46 pm Post #36 - February 15th, 2009, 7:46 pm
    lougord99 wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Hopefully, you will be starting with some good, fatty, wild fish because the more I do this, the more I've come to think that is -- by far -- the single biggest factor in the quality of the finished product.


    Any suggestions on where you get your fish?


    The Fish Guy
    4423 N. Elston Ave. Chicago, IL 60630.
    Phone: 773-283-7400
    http://fishguy.com/
  • Post #37 - January 26th, 2010, 5:05 pm
    Post #37 - January 26th, 2010, 5:05 pm Post #37 - January 26th, 2010, 5:05 pm
    I made some lox a couple weeks ago. It turned out great, but I had forgotten that I don't really care for lox! :D
  • Post #38 - January 26th, 2010, 5:07 pm
    Post #38 - January 26th, 2010, 5:07 pm Post #38 - January 26th, 2010, 5:07 pm
    razbry wrote:I made some lox a couple weeks ago. It turned out great, but I had forgotten that I don't really care for lox! :D

    I guess that makes you a very dedicated chef. I still can't get the vegetarian in our office to cook me a steak, though. :D

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #39 - November 14th, 2010, 7:33 am
    Post #39 - November 14th, 2010, 7:33 am Post #39 - November 14th, 2010, 7:33 am
    I made a cold smoker which I modified suggestions from here

    First I took a cardboard box and cut an opening in the front and a round hole in the side. I bolted a dryer vent fitting into the round hole on the side.
    Image
    IMG_0093

    On the other side I cut a round hole and bolted a computer fan that I got at Fry's
    Image
    IMG_0094

    I replaced the opening on my WSM with a piece of cardboard that I bolted the other end of the dryer vent fitting.
    Image
    IMG_0095

    I put a hot plate into the box and put a piece of aluminum foil on top of the hot plate. I laid the hard wood directly on top of the foil and closed the box up and turned on the fan. My first attempt was homemade andouille sausage, which I brought to the cajun exchange at Jen's yesterday.
    Image
    IMG_0096
    Last edited by lougord99 on December 25th, 2010, 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #40 - November 14th, 2010, 9:30 am
    Post #40 - November 14th, 2010, 9:30 am Post #40 - November 14th, 2010, 9:30 am
    lougord99 wrote:I made a cold smoker which I modified suggestions from here

    First I took a cardboard box and cut an opening in the front and a round hole in the side. I bolted a dryer vent fitting into the round hole on the side.
    Image
    IMG_0093

    On the other side I cut a round hole and bolted a computer fan that I got at Fry's
    Image
    IMG_0094

    I replaced the opening on my WSM with a piece of cardboard that I bolted the other end of the dryer vent fitting.
    Image
    IMG_0095

    I put a hot plate into the box and put a piece of aluminum foil on top of the hot plate. I laid the hard wood directly on top of the foil and closed the box up and turned on the fan. My first attempt was homemade andouille sausage, which I brought to the cajun exchange at Jen's yesterday.
    Image
    IMG_0096


    And it was delicious...great smoke flavor (but still subtle) --I was cursing you later though because I definitely ate a few pieces too many considering how much other food I wanted to try :P

    Loved the chicken and dumplings too by the way (going to be my lunch today as well!!)
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #41 - November 14th, 2010, 1:21 pm
    Post #41 - November 14th, 2010, 1:21 pm Post #41 - November 14th, 2010, 1:21 pm
    Awesome, Lou! I love that Weber Bullet modification and may just have to try it out myself. Thanks, for the inspirational post.

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #42 - November 15th, 2010, 9:11 am
    Post #42 - November 15th, 2010, 9:11 am Post #42 - November 15th, 2010, 9:11 am
    This method was actually quite easy. It cost about $35 and took maybe 2 hours once I had the parts.

    What I really liked was finding these dryer vent couplers. One end attaches to the dryer vent and one end bolts to the box. Then, all you need to do is twist on and twist off the dryer vent. The web site suggests using 2 different dryer vent tubes and putting the fan directly into the vent. I saw no reason to do that.

    This method also allows you to have the food in the WSM rather than the cardboard box where you have more options for places to put the food. Also if you need it very cold, you can put ice in bowl of the WSM where you normally put water.
  • Post #43 - December 12th, 2016, 7:31 pm
    Post #43 - December 12th, 2016, 7:31 pm Post #43 - December 12th, 2016, 7:31 pm
    Hi all,

    Per multiple requests I've received (some very recently), I've gone back and restored all the pics to my original posts in this thread and well . . . I've learned a tremendous amount since I threw this thread up here over 9 years ago. I've cured and smoked salmon at least 4 dozen times since then.

    Moving forward, I'll start posting some updated notes. For now, all I'll say is that the fish I used when documenting this process wouldn't even make the cut today. Since then, I've become an insufferable snob for wild, line-caught Alaskan King Salmon because the fat and marbling are so tremendous, and they produce the ultimate unctuous, lush and silky final product. For this type of project, I'm not sure I'd even bother with anything less at this point. I suppose there are exceptions, though.

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #44 - September 11th, 2017, 7:37 pm
    Post #44 - September 11th, 2017, 7:37 pm Post #44 - September 11th, 2017, 7:37 pm
    Ronnie,

    I have made your/Ruhlman smoked salmon many times. Tonight, as I put together my cure, I realized that I no longer had any pink salt, which Ruhlman calls for, but you do not mention. As I think the process through, I cannot see the need for pink salt if everything is kept cool enough through both the curing and smoking process. Do you agree?
  • Post #45 - September 11th, 2017, 7:47 pm
    Post #45 - September 11th, 2017, 7:47 pm Post #45 - September 11th, 2017, 7:47 pm
    lougord99 wrote:Ronnie,

    I have made your/Ruhlman smoked salmon many times. Tonight, as I put together my cure, I realized that I no longer had any pink salt, which Ruhlman calls for, but you do not mention. As I think the process through, I cannot see the need for pink salt if everything is kept cool enough through both the curing and smoking process. Do you agree?

    Yes, completely. I have never used pink salt for this and see no need to.

    By coincidence, last week, for the first time ever, I made this using a couple of previously-frozen king filet pieces, rather than whole sides. The fish was from our monthly Sitka Salmon Shares box; so very high quality and cryovacked very well. With the smaller pieces, the cure time was shorter - just under 24 hours (and I was careful to check it frequently during that time). I'm happy to report that the final product turned out just as nice as it typically has when I've used larger pieces of fish.

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #46 - September 11th, 2017, 8:13 pm
    Post #46 - September 11th, 2017, 8:13 pm Post #46 - September 11th, 2017, 8:13 pm
    When you check it, what are you looking for . I assume, it is the stiffness. I have always let it go 36 hours without checking it.
  • Post #47 - September 11th, 2017, 10:24 pm
    Post #47 - September 11th, 2017, 10:24 pm Post #47 - September 11th, 2017, 10:24 pm
    I used to do equal portions of salt and sugar, but eventually I reduced sugar by half. Spices are matter of personal choice, of course.
    Restaurant Depot has sockeye for $7.95, approx just below 2Lb pieces.
  • Post #48 - September 11th, 2017, 11:08 pm
    Post #48 - September 11th, 2017, 11:08 pm Post #48 - September 11th, 2017, 11:08 pm
    lougord99 wrote:When you check it, what are you looking for . I assume, it is the stiffness. I have always let it go 36 hours without checking it.

    With pieces this small, I was looking for some minor stiffness and some surface tackiness, almost like soft leather. I wanted to avoid anything even approaching desiccation on the exterior because with pieces this small, I knew that would cut significantly into the yield. With whole sides I generally go 36 hours without concern but that just seemed like too long in this case.

    On the plus side, using these smaller filet sections, unlike with whole sides, they were pretty uniform in thickness, so I didn't have to worry about uneven curing. With a whole side, the tail end typically cures much faster than the head end, which creates a bit of a ballet.

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #49 - September 11th, 2017, 11:10 pm
    Post #49 - September 11th, 2017, 11:10 pm Post #49 - September 11th, 2017, 11:10 pm
    Lenny007 wrote:Spices are matter of personal choice, of course.

    So true. I've continued to cut back the white pepper in mine. I probably use less than half of what I used to use. A little goes a long way and even a bit too much can be way too much.

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French

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