Smoked Salmon by Smokin Chef Sandy

Salmon is traditionally cured before smoking.  Lox is a cold smoked salmon, or possibly just a cured salmon.  Hot smoked salmon is cooked in the traditional sense and therefore has more of a cooked fish texture.  Smoked salmon is great mixed with cream cheese and lemon juice and served as a cold dip with crackers, fabulous on salads or sandwiches. If you are a wine drinker, smoked salmon is wonderful with a Pinot Noir - I had mine with a $10 Pinot Project Pinot Noir and the wine and the salmon sang!

Smoked salmon is a fabulous dish to prepare in your SmokinTex smoker- not many smokers out there can maintain a low temperature for an extended period of time, which is critical when smoking a delicate piece of fish.

Vacuum seal and freeze if you plan on keeping it more than a few days.

Hot Smoked Salmon Recipe:

Adapted from Alton Brown's recipe on

Enough for 2 large salmon fillets, pin bones removed


3/4 c kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
Optional ingredients: zest of one lemon, dill weed 

Combine cure ingredients.  Rinse and pat salmon dry. Check one last time for pin bones, and remove strays with tweezers.

Get one very large piece of plastic wrap, large enough to have several inches of overlap when wrapping salmon pieces together. Sprinkle 1/3 of the cure ingredients on the plastic wrap where the first filet will be placed, skin side down.  Place 1st filet on the cure mixture, cover with 1/2 of the remaining salt mixture.  Place second filet, skin side up (2 flesh sides together) and cover with remaining cure mixture.  Rub to spread salt mixture evenly on fish. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then place wrapped fish on a rack in a baking dish. The fish will lose moisture as it cures in the refrigerator. Place in a baking dish and weight on the fish to make sure it is pressed together tightly. Fish should cure about 24 hours, and should be rotated, top to bottom about 4 times over the 24 hours. Remove the baking dish from the refrigerator, dump all of the accumulated liquid and flip the fish over so the bottom filet becomes the top filet. Salmon should be kept very cold in the refrigerator throughout the process. When the cure is complete, discard any remaining liquid and the plastic wrap. Rinse the fish thoroughly to remove any remaining cure. You should notice a texture change in the fish - the flesh has become much firmer and the meat color is darker red.

Return the fish to the rack in the fridge, uncovered for several hours until the fish surface is matte and dry. If you have a cool dry area other than the fridge, that would be best.  Drying the surface of the fish allows the pellicle to form, which is meant to make the smoke adhere to the surface. This step can be skipped if you are pressed for time or do not have a place to safely keep unwrapped fish.

Use a small 1oz chunk of your favorite wood - Alder is traditional- Cherry or Apple are great too- in your SmokinTex smoker. Place the fish in the smoker, and set the temperature to 150F. Place a thermometer probe in the thickest part of the bigger filet and smoke for about 60-90 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the fish is 150F.

Salmon Dip:

6oz cream cheese
8oz smoked salmon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. fresh dill, minced
Hot sauce to taste, if desired

Mix ingredients thoroughly and allow to chill together about 30 minutes before serving.  Serve with crackers or toasts as desired.

Double Salmon Sandwich:

Toasted Ciabatta Roll

Spread each side of the roll with Salmon Cream Cheese Dip and add flakes of salmon to taste.  Add capers or Italian sweet pepper rings and garnish with lettuce and tomato.


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