Cold Smoked Salmon
Home cured and smoked salmon is absolutely devine. It’s also way, way cheaper than shop bought smoked salmon, and so much more satisfying knowing you have made it yourself.
What I really love about making it myself, is that I can choose how much I cure it. A shorter cure will leave you with a really soft texture, a long cure will draw out more moisture and leave you with a much firmer result.
You also get to play with the flavour, something you can’t do with shop bought smoked salmon. You can do this in two main ways:
- Add flavours to your cure. A plain cure is just salt and sugar but you can add all sorts to this to give a different flavour (and colour). How about a beetroot and gin cure, or a fennel cure?
- Choose the wood you smoke the salmon over. Oak is fabulous but try beech or alder or a mixture. This is where you get to experiment and see what you like.
- A full side of salmon.
- 250g salt (I use PDV Salt)
- 250g granualted sugar
- Your choice of flavourings – betroot, gin, vodka, fennel, horseraddish
- Mix the salt, sugar and your chosen ingredients in a bowl to make your cure. Make sure they are thoroughly mixed.
- In a non reactive tray (not metal), place about 1/3 of the cure across the base.
- Lay your salmon fillet, skin side down onto the cure.
- Now cover the flesh side of your salmon with the remainder of the cure.
- Place your salmon into the fridge and leave to cure for between 6 and 24 hours (see notes below).
- Once cured, take your salmon out of the fridge and wash off all of the cure under a cold running tap. The mixture will be sticky as you wash it off, this is normal.
- Pat the fillet dry with kitchen towel and put in the fridge overnight on a rack. You are leaving it for the skin to form a pellicule, a sticky surface to which the smoke will adhere.
- After leaving your fillet overnight, setup your Big Green Egg with the ProQ CSG filled with sawdust smouldering and placed either on top of the charcoal or on top of the fire grate if you’ve emptied the charcoal.
- Place the stainless steel grid in your Egg and place the salmon on top of the grid.
- Setup your Egg with the bottom vent open about 2cm and the top open about the same your would have for a cook of 150°C. Leave to smoke. I usually leave the ProQ to burn through all the sawdust.
- Once smoked either wrap your fillet in cling film or vac pac it and leave it for a week in the fridge to mellow.
To serve, use a large sharp knife to thinly slice the salmon.
We like to serve this on Christmas day in crunchy baskets with a horseradish and creme fraîche dressing.
You can cure the salmon for anything from 6 to 24 hours. The longer you cure the salmon for, the more moisture will be drawn out of the salmon. The salmon will change in texture as the moisture is drawn out, making the flesh of the salmon firmer. I personally love a less firm salmon so I only cure for 6 hours. I’ve done cures of 24 hours and find the salmon too dry.
The ProQ Cold Smoke Generator will make home smoking really simple. It’s such a simple idea and works flawlessly it you keep it clean.
To clean it, I use a brush from a dust pan and brush set. I rub the ProQ hard with the tip of the brissels.
You can buy the ProQ cold smoke generator in my shop. Use CWS10 at the checkout for 10% off your first order.