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Cold Smoked Salmon - I'm In Love!


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This is a "just for fun" post... I've always loved "oddball" expensive foods, like cold smoked salmon and beef jerky, and since getting started on kamado cooking this summer, I've starting playing with making my own. This forum and YouTube are truly wonderful things! I hosted a scotch tasting the other day, and I pulled out my first hickory smoked salmon plate, and it disappeared in no time... It was a bit salty to my taste, but it was good. Yesterday I pulled off my second, and I left the salmon in the water bath for twice as long, to bring the salt level down. To my tastebuds, this is superb, and exactly where I want it:

 

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The other thing that I'm discovering is higher quality knives, and I've included my knew Global knife, which I used to get the slices thin enough to put on crackers and such:

 

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I'll be doing this again... Sorry, gotta to, the jerky's calling me on the Big Joe! Thanks for checking this out.

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That's truly high praise and much appreciated, mstewart. It's only the second batch, but I think I've got it down. The three keys are piping in the smoke to expose the salmon to no heat, enough time in the water bath after salting it, and taking care with a really good knife. I actually found my favorite process on YouTube. It's one of the few that doesn't use sugar: 

Try it; you'll like it! Cheers. 

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6 hours ago, Rob_grill_apprentice said:

Your cold salmon looks awesome.  

Thank you, Rob. Very kind of you to say so. I highly recommend watching the YouTube video I shared and trying this yourself. If I can do it, and I've only been Kamado cooking since June, anyone can do it!

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Okay, so I watched the video.  VERY similar to what I've done, except the freezing.  I was surprised to see that he freezes the salmon for 3-5 days to kill off any parasites.  Did you do that?  I will admit that I added brown sugar when I made mine, but I want to try with just the salt.  

 

My other concern is "cold" smoking outside when it's 75-85 degrees outside.  I only do this in the fall or winter at home.  Should I be concerned cold-smoking when it's that warm outside?  

 

 

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Hi again, mstewart. Yup, I did the freezing thing, too. I always follow the instructions and ingredients to a tee the first time I try and new recipe; I start playing with it after I've done it once. I found that the freezing thing wasn't a big inconvenience, and in most cases, we love salmon so much that I usually buy a half dozen 2 lb/1 kg size pieces and freeze them 'til we decide we want them, so I've usually got a frozen piece already waiting anyway. I didn't add the brown sugar, because I tend not to like sweetness on my meats and fish; I use little to none in my rubs and sauces.

 

On the cold smoking, I'm not that far north from you, my friend, and I made this in late July/early August, so I suspect PAj's about the same temperature as Ottawa at this time of year. The main thing is that you don't want to cook it; it's gotta stay raw. I guess the ceramics of the kamado insulates it some from the ambient heat, and it's not getting any direct sunlight, so it turned out just fine.

 

All the best on your next salmon smoking, mstewart. Lemme know how it goes!

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@El_Norteno60 that's great looking smoked salmon.  I make a similar smoke salmon during the winter months so I can make sure i'm cold smoking.  my setup is a little kludgy, and works well.  The temp off the Joe Jr is 250-300 ish. and cools down close the ambient winter air temp.  Last time I cold smoke, the temp never went above about 50FDSCN7888.thumb.jpg.46d38b8705d03753ef4df0fefc30bef7.jpg

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On 8/9/2017 at 10:21 AM, mstewart39 said:

except the freezing.  I was surprised to see that he freezes the salmon for 3-5 days to kill off any parasites.

 

I didn't hear the temp of the freezing in the video, I need to go back and listen again. , freezing should kill parasites, and is dependent on the freezing temp and duration. here's some FDA info http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/UCM252393.pdf

  • Freezing and storing at an ambient temperature of -4°F (-20°C) or below for 7 days (total time);  OR
  • • Freezing at an ambient temperature of -31°F (-35°C) or below until solid and storing at an ambient temperature of -31°F (-35°C) or below for 15 hours; OR
  • • Freezing at an ambient temperature of -31°F (-35°C) or below until solid and storing at an ambient temperature of -4°F (-20°C) or below for 24 hours.
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On 8/9/2017 at 10:21 AM, mstewart39 said:

My other concern is "cold" smoking outside when it's 75-85 degrees outside

 

Temp control does be come more challenging at those temp.   What you can do to help counteract or keep the temp is check is to take your largest/deepest water pain (aluminum pan), fill it with water and freeze it.  Then put that block of ice in your kamado when you want to "cold" smoke.   it certainly helps I did it once years back, it's effectiveness will depend on the size of the size, location of your smoke source (inside or outside of your kamado) and the ambient temp.

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@In2Fish, I love your "cold smoke" setup, and I actually have the two kamados to set it up. I may try it this winter, when lighting a single piece of lump becomes much less comfortable than when it's warm and sunny outside in July ;-). On the other hand, the beauty of the way I've been doing it so far is that there's less to set up, and I only use one piece of lump for a three-hour cook. More importantly, I'm basically a cold whimp, so there's still some doubt that my intention to continue kamado cooking throughout the winter will actually become reality... I've often wondered about the irony of being born Canadian, but lacking the blood to survive the cold :-D.

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14 minutes ago, El_Norteno60 said:

@In2Fish, I love your "cold smoke" setup, and I actually have the two kamados to set it up. I may try it this winter, when lighting a single piece of lump becomes much less comfortable than when it's warm and sunny outside in July ;-). On the other hand, the beauty of the way I've been doing it so far is that there's less to set up, and I only use one piece of lump for a three-hour cook. More importantly, I'm basically a cold whimp, so there's still some doubt that my intention to continue kamado cooking throughout the winter will actually become reality... I've often wondered about the irony of being born Canadian, but lacking the blood to survive the cold :-D.

 

my winters are not as cold here in Virginia, and I too don't like cold weather, but not enough to keep me from kamado-ing all year long.

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It's not just the cold, although that's by far the worst of the battle... My kamado sits on my tiny deck just outside the backdoor, and I'm gonna have to keep the deck clean of snow as long as I want to get to them. Last winter the snow was about 4' high on that deck... Gonna have to decide whether my need for smoke outstrips my aversion to shovelling and sub-zero winds...

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