Author Topic: Cold Smoked Whiskey Salmon  (Read 857 times)

Smokey

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Cold Smoked Whiskey Salmon
« on: July 29, 2015, 01:26:00 AM »
This is quite easy to do if you have a way to create smoke for a length of time, and a vessel to smoke in.
The pics below show my set up and it works perfectly.
First up, there is all sorts of recommended temps out there for the smoking process.
Some say 25.5°C is optimum and no more than 26.6°C. Others say no more than 23°C.
I’m in the latter camp and prefer to do this in the winter time when its between 12-18°C.
It just works for me and provides me with a degree of confidence that I am within safe tolerance to a large degree.
Once I make this it is cryovaced whole to mellow for a few days then sliced into 250g serving packs, re cryovaced and FROZEN.
Freezing kills bugs that would not normally be killed if eaten straight from the cold smoker.
Its just another tool to stay in the safe side and it does not take away from the finished product. In fact it improves it.
Its also worth buying a whole fish as its usually cheaper. Have it filleted and ALL pin bones removed and leave the skin on.
The dill is optional, The real stars of the party is the Scotch and the dark brown sugar. I’ve done this with other spices added and they seem to crash the party to the point its not smoked salmon you can taste. Let the salmon do the talking.

Onto the recipe.

Ingredients
Atlantic Salmon or Ocean Trout slabs Skin on (Important as it holds the fish slab together until slicing time)
3 to 1 Salt / Dark Brown sugar mix - You will need a lot of salt, I buy 20kg bags of butchers flossy salt for around $15.
Half cup of Scotch Whiskey
Dried dill (Optional)

Method

Dry brine the Salmon
Make up a 2cm thick bed of salt/ sugar mix in a large non reactive deep pan and lay the slabs skin side down.

Then pack more salt/sugar mix over the top like this and then place in the fridge for 24 hours.


Soak
After 24 hours take it out and rinse off the cure then soak it for an hour in cold fresh water. This 1 hour just seems to work.
Use plenty of water, Say in a large "clean" sink. Change water once or twice.
Then paper towel dry them and place onto a drying tray.

Drying/ Flavoring/Pellicle/ salt equalization
Once on the drying rack skin side down, Brush on a wee dram of the Scotch Whiskey and set back into the fridge for 12 hours
Add more whiskey every hour for the first 3-4 hours then let it for a pellicle. A pellicle looks like a dry shiny outer crust.
[url=https://flic.kr/p/XAPcgm]

Ready for cold smoking
At this point you have a product called LOX and is ready to be eaten. Its just not smoked.
For the smoking I bought a new old style garbage can and a cold smoking product called a Smokai.
It burns pellets or small wood chips and is kept chugging along via an fish tank type air pump.
The extension tube is a 16mm hanger tube and is there to help cool the smoke. Probably not needed depending on your "smoke house"
I was just fore thinking to keep the smoke as cold as I could.
Here are a pic of my set up
[url=https://flic.kr/p/WA1VkL]

Onto the smoke
Another area that most confuses is how long to smoke for. Some say a few hours and some say up to 24 hours
Both are at the extreme IMO.
I smoke to color and not time. Once it gets a nice golden color I take them out.
Generally this takes six hours on my set up
On with the Salmon, The smoke I use is beech / hickory blend but mostly beech
[url=https://flic.kr/p/XRM7Ca]
[url=https://flic.kr/p/WA1Nmf]

After the smoke
Once they are done they need wrapping and mellowing in the fridge straight away.
Glad wrap or cryocac will do.
At this point you add the dried dill if you like. Just a sprinkle on the flesh side then wrap and store for 24-48 hours.
This is them out of the smoker and wrapped and ready for mellowing
In this updated process I covered them with cling wrap in a wax paper lined tray and let them mellow a week.
[url=https://flic.kr/p/XfMHL1]
[url=https://flic.kr/p/XDxd1k]
Two layers of cling wrap, One down tight over the flesh and another over the top.


At this point your done.
After mellowing, I then skin them and cut them into portion size and re pack for freezing.
I make enough in the cold winter to last the year, Last winter’s cold smoking I did three whole large Salmon.

The great thing is I have salmon more often, Made savings on retail and it tastes better than factory product.

Thanks for reading

« Last Edit: August 19, 2017, 06:49:25 AM by Smokey »

skuzy

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Re: Cold Smoked Whiskey Salmon
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2015, 11:26:49 AM »
hhey mate can i ask something about this..

when i smoke this i often end up with some crusty edges after cold smoking (over night)... whats causing this you think? not enough basting in the fridge? too long a smoke?


Smokey

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Re: Cold Smoked Whiskey Salmon
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2015, 01:05:08 PM »
Not sure,
My guess would be the smoke is too warm or smoking too long.
You need to check it and if the thin bits are curling up its done and one or two of the above has happened.
Just trim the bits and bag it into the cold.
Take a note of what you did and alter things so the fish dont dry out.
With this, Looking IS cooking.

skuzy

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Re: Cold Smoked Whiskey Salmon
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2015, 12:07:43 AM »
cheers mate.. heat definitely wasnt the factor this time.. but i did run that smoke for a long time lol

hopefully theres enough time to do another batch with this..  really enjoying this stuff at home

Smokey

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Re: Cold Smoked Whiskey Salmon
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2016, 03:27:25 AM »
Its getting that time of year were I'm starting to think about another batch.  Ill definitely be using Ocean Trout again, Last years batch was was the best I've done.
Its more oily but texture and flavour IMO is a little better than plain salmon.
It cost's the same so if anyone is doing a batch this winter, Try it if you can get it.

Smokey

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Re: Cold Smoked Whiskey Salmon
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2017, 06:52:16 AM »
I did this again last week, This time a 5 kg salmon. Got some fresh pics to replace the lost photobucket ones.  :)

Smokey

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Re: Cold Smoked Whiskey Salmon
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2017, 05:20:12 AM »
sliced and packed today  :)
Here are some of my maths reckoning,
5kg Salmon cost $150.
Salt and sugar = $15
The Salmon frame was kept and used to make a huge Chowder that fed a family of four for three nights.= $?
Total weight of sliced, skin off smoked salmon was 2.6 KG
Coles sell real smoked salmon for $79 per KG therefore, I have made $204 worth of equivalent product just not packaged as nice.

Win  ;D
Ten packs of just over 260g each

[url=https://flic.kr/p/WDX2rB]
 


Gus65

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Re: Cold Smoked Whiskey Salmon
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2017, 07:51:26 AM »
Can't beat the value and it always tastes heaps better.

I always bag mine up in 100g lots, makes it look like I've got more than I have.

Snags

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Re: Cold Smoked Whiskey Salmon
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2017, 12:17:27 PM »
How long does it keep cryovacced?

Meat Addict72

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Re: Cold Smoked Whiskey Salmon
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2017, 07:26:46 AM »
Nice job! I love doing cold smoked salmon. My wife Is a fish filleter and when salmon goes on special for $19.90 she knows just to bring a slab home. Heres mine, and try the last one smoked fish roe!
smoke it, cure it, ferment it, emulsify it, roast it, char grill it, EAT IT!!!!!!!

Gus65

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Re: Cold Smoked Whiskey Salmon
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2017, 08:43:17 AM »
How long does it keep cryovacced?

According to my vac sealer instructions it should keep for a couple of years. Not much chance of that round here though

Snags

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Re: Cold Smoked Whiskey Salmon
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2017, 10:04:36 AM »
I found some in the back of the fridge still looks good but it is years old

Smokey

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Re: Cold Smoked Whiskey Salmon
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2017, 10:55:45 AM »
I found some in the back of the fridge still looks good but it is years old
Throw it mate,Will keep that long in the freezer though.   
I figure this batch will go @ one pack per fortnight. So twenty weeks. However the missus always buys it when on run out special so I am likely to get up to a year out of it.