How to make your own cold smoked salmon

9779121266?profile=originalStep 1 - Fillet your Salmon. I'd prefer to buy the whole fish from somewhere you trust has a good reputation. Pin bone before salting.

9779121873?profile=originalStep 2 - Cover both Salmon fillets in a 3:1 ratio of salt and brown sugar. I used 3 cups salt and 1 cup sugar on this occasion. You want to take caution not to over salt the thinner parts of the fish. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 12 hours. Put a tray or chopping board on the Salmon to weigh it down. I'd put in a large plate but didn't have one big enough. Alfoil was used instead.

9779122091?profile=originalStep 3 - Take out of the fridge and wash well under cold running water. Let soak in water for 20 minutes. Lightly glaze in maple syrup to stop the curing process. This is not for taste.

9779123476?profile=originalStep 4 - Put in the fridge for 24 hours at 2-4 degrees. I used a spare fridge so the temperature didn't fluctuate with the door opening and closing.

9779123695?profile=originalStep 5 - Light your wood. I used Beech wood as it's light flavored and delicate. The last thing you want to use is something rich like Hickory. I like to use pellets and have a maze to put them in. This allows it to burn for 12 hours.

9779124875?profile=originalStep 6 - Place the maze inside the oil drum

9779125077?profile=originalGood idea to do this on a cold night in winter. You don't want the temperature above 20 degrees Celsius/

9779125486?profile=originalStep 7 - Put Salmon on a tray and close lid. 

9779126461?profile=originalStep 8 - Open lid and refrigerate the Salmon uncovered at 2-4 degrees for 24 hours

9779127084?profile=originalStep 9 - Take inside and slice

9779127862?profile=originalStep 10 - Eat


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  • You lucky girl Susan, with the brothers giving you fish. My Dad is now quite elderly and doesn't fish anymore so it's all store bought stuff for me these days :( though for decades I just wouldn't touch it.

    The smoked crab sounds incredibly delish!

  • My dad has a smoker and does lots of seafood in it.  My absolute favourite is Smoked Mud Crab - absolutely delicious.  I am very fussy when it comes to seafood having been raised in the "coastal" country where everything from oysters to mudcrabs were in plentiful supply and caught ourselves. Since moving to Brisbane away from the family at 17, I find I don't eat seafood very much because a) I resent paying for something which has always been "free" for me and b) I resent it even more because I am paying huge amounts of dollars for something not even 1/4 as good as what I'm used to.  That's ok though, I have 3 brothers and a father who love to spoil me and will go out specifically to get oysters/muddies/reef fish when they know I'm coming home so I always have a big feed waiting for me.  They also freeze packs of fresh fish for me to bring home so I don't have to buy it.  Last time, my brother sent me home with 10 kg of fresh (as in 2 days ago caught and frozen) salt water barra.  Delish!

  • Great post Craig! Made my mouth water. My Dad used to smoke his own fish in a 44gal drum and I can still taste it, delicious.

  • is sold at my local butcher

    Frozen, imported and cut into portions which all are problems.
  • Perhaps my questions should have been: what is a reputable source?

  • I'm sure my perch as antibiotic free, with no induced colour or over-crowding.

    Great post mate.  I was interested to see your cure. The maple was a bit of a lesson for me too.  Nice work. 

  • Well there is no wild Atlantic salmon found in Australian waters so it's certainly farmed Salmon from Tasmania. Whilst off topic, you do raise an interesting point about Salmon and how it is farmed. We see things like Pork and Chicken specify free range these days but it hasn't rolled over onto fish as of yet. I guess the answer is that I don't know, but buying the fish from a reputable source is probably a great place to start.
  • Nothing quite like smoked Salmon! Many recipes for marinate include herbs seen on TV programmes from overseas. All sound absolutely scrumptious!

    How can you be sure you have a Salmon which has not been fed antibiotics and other drugs and reared in an overcrowded pond? According to David Suzuki, the fish are fed colouring material to make their flesh look appetising. That's a total turn-off and makes me wonder if it's as delicious as I hope. Interested to know if there's any truth in these comments.

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