Home-smoked Salmon

smoked salmon - plateFinally I got round to curing and smoking some salmon. It took me a long time to source a whole salmon. I either wanted a sustainable wild salmon (the ideal), but decided I would settle for a whole organic salmon. This was a lot harder than I thought. There was nowhere to buy something like this locally so I bought one on-line from Craig Farm Organics

My two whole salmon arrived frozen – one for smoked salmon and one for gravadlax. My first job was to defrost and fillet one of them. This was much harder than I thought (duh – everything is harder than I think – except cheese making and lambing, but then I thought lambing would be impossibly hard so it was probably going to be easier than I imagined) – I digress.

No photos of the filleting – I was watching a Youtube video (what did people do before YouTube?) and using my rubbish knives that were not sharp enough. Suffice it to say that I did successfully fillet the fish, but it was a little ragged – I need more practice and a proper flexible knife.

I cut the fillet in half as otherwise they wouldn’t fit in my smoker. I then cured them in a salt mix (50% salt and 50% sugar with some ground black pepper added) in a big Tupperware box for an hour or so.

salting boxI put a metal rack from the oven in the box and put silver foil on top with a few holes in to let any liquid drain out. Then the salmon went on top and was covered in salt mix (I used 1kg of mix in total)

saltingAfter an hour or so I took them out, washed off the cure, patted them dry and left them in the fridge overnight to develop the pedicle.

salmon with pedicle

The next day I was ready to smoke

ready to start smokingI used oak and smoked the salmon for about 24 hours in my trusty smoking box in the outside workshop.

Smoking in progressThen I sliced the salmon. It was good, but I think I will cure it for a little longer next time as it could have done with a slightly saltier flavour. I will also experiment with other flavours, namely adding whiskey to the process.

We ate it with fresh cucumbers from the garden and some sweet pickled cucumbers I made a month or so ago, wasabi creme fraiche and bread. It was wonderful.

Smoked salmon dinner

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