Smoked salmon is one of our favorite types of ways to eat salmon. It’s so tasty, refreshing, and honestly versatile in the recipes you can throw together. Like most cooked salmon, smoked salmon is an excellent source of vitamin B, vitamin D, protein, magnesium, and selenium. It possesses a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, DHA, and EPA. All of them help reduce the risk of macular degeneration, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Most smoked salmon is cold smoked. Cold smoked just means that you can smoke it at a temperature that’s not hot enough to cook the fish or kill deadly bacteria.
There are two ways to smoke salmon: hot-smoking and cold-smoking. Each method brings a unique flavor and texture to the salmon.
Cold-smoked salmon is smoked below 90 degrees for 6 to 12 hours, while hot-smoked salmon is smoked above 120 degrees. If we’re comparing the two, cold-smoked salmon brings a fresh and less smoky flavor. It is also salt-cured and then smoke preserved, unlike hot smoked salmon.
How to Cold Smoke Salmon:
There are two ways to smoke salmon- either using a smoker generator or without it. Below are the steps on how to cold smoke a salmon without using a smoker:
Prepare your Salmon
Start by choosing the right cut. If you’re cutting it yourself, you’ll want to cut your salmon fillet into four even pieces and use tweezers or pliers to eliminate leftover pin bones.
Cure Your Salmon
Use a salt sugar mixture to cure the salmon. It prevents bacteria growth and seasons the salmon.
Wash and Dry
You need to soak your salmon in cold water. This will eliminate any extra cure from your salmon’s exterior and extract some of the salinity. Then, for drying, leave the fish in the refrigerator, uncovered for 4 to 8 hours.
Use a Pot and Add Wood Chips
Put two aluminium foils in the inside of a pot. Leave some foil to hang over the edges by 2 – 4 inches. Then, add a thin layer of wood chips.
You can even place a small bowl filled with rice, dill, rosemary, and tarragon on top of the wood chips. It will add an extra twist and hint of flavor to the salmon.
Place Salmon on a Cake Rack
Place the salmon on the wire rack with the skin side down. Bring the sides of the foil up, pinching the ends closed to create a tent.
Seal the Aluminium Foil Tightly
Make sure you seal the foil tightly. It will prevent the smoke from escaping into your kitchen. Also, place a lid over the top to secure the foil even more.
Place it on the Stove and Smoke
Place everything on the stove and turn the heat to medium-high for four to five minutes. Then turn it down to medium for 25 minutes. Make sure the temperature is less than 90 degrees F.
You can peek inside to check on the progress of the salmon.
Refrigerate The Salmon
After you finish smoking, get the pot out in the open and leave it without a lid. Now keep the salmon in the refrigerator for 24 hours and chill it fully before slicing and serving it.
Before you put fish in the fridge, place salmon tightly in a plastic wrap, followed by another aluminum foil layer. Make sure you consume the smoked salmon within two to three days.
Best Ways to Eat Smoked Salmon
Smoked salmon recipes are so easy to throw together. Honestly once you’ve smoked the salmon, the rest is easy! Smoked salmon has a rich, salty flavor without being too salty. This offers it that rich smoky flavor. Easily add it to your favorite breakfast or meal to add healthy fat and flavor. There is a multitude of ways to enjoy smoked salmon, here are some of our favorites:
Top a Soup with Smoked Salmon
Soup might not be your first thought when it comes to cold smoked salmon. However it’s smoky and salty taste makes it the perfect soup topper.
Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese and Bagels
Smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels are excellent options for breakfast or brunch. You can serve it with cream cheese, lemon wedges, thin slices of red onions, capers, and your favorite bagels.
You can totally use smoked salmon to make sushi rolls at home. Create a custom roll with anything you want. Cucumber, cream cheese, sticky rice, mango, avocado, and fresh lemon are some of our favorite sushi ingredients to pair with smoked salmon.
Serve it As Part of an Appetizer Tray along with Fresh-Cut Vegetables and Fruits
Smoked salmon make the perfect addition to any veggie or cheese platter. Plus it requires minimal effort to add it and pairs well with so many things.
Add Smoked Salmon To Your Favorite Salad
Use smoked salmon to top off a salad. Our favorite salads to pair smoked salmon with are typically with lemon dressing or fresh dill. You can even add it to your favorite pasta.
Make a Sandwich with Smashed Avocado and Cucumber
Smoked salmon makes for the perfect protein option for a sandwich or wrap. If you have smoked salmon in your fridge, you can throw a sandwich together in less than ten minutes.
Do you like cold smoked salmon?
Smoked salmon is such a yummy way to prepare and enjoy salmon. Don’t you think? We would love to know if you’ve ever tried cold smoked salmon or would try making it yourself? Share our favorite ways to eat cold smoked salmon with us too on Instagram @BluGlacier!
For more ways to enjoy salmon, see how to cook salmon fillets 8 different ways.