Cold smoked salmon for Christmas

Shopping List for many adults

The salmon in the picture weighs 4.6 kg in gutted weight
I used 2 salmon of the same size for this recipe

10% brine made of:
666 grams of coarse salt
50 grams of sugar
6 liters of boiled, cold water (5 C max)
15 to 20 l smoke sawdust beech and/or alder (mix half of each)
l juniper mulch provides a good, strong flavor
but be careful with the dosage
Obviously a smoke oven
A lot of patience, it takes 3 to 4 days in total
The fish were salted 36 hours in a refrigerator
Smoked for 36 hours at an average temperature of 16 C
Used 18 l smoke sawdust mixed as described above
The salmon smoked weighs 2.9 kg. Wastage 1.7 kg or 37%
I am an angler in Scandinavia
Recipe No. 66
One big, smoked salmon becomes sandwiches for many people
One big, smoked salmon becomes sandwiches for many people

Procedure without liability: Let it be said right away, you can only cold smoke, if air temperature is below 10 C. There must be a difference between air temperature and the temperature in the Smoking Oven. Today - in late December 2013 - is the air temperature about 6 C at day time and at night time 2 C. Perfect for cold smoking, which is below 27 C.

Start by cutting the head off. Put the sharp knife just behind the breast fin and sloping up towards the back behind the gills. Cut through the back bone and down to the lower breast fin. Cut then the upper file off by passing the knife through the fish along the upper side of the back bone. The fish turned and the other fillet cut off in the same way.

Fillets refined for the cutted ribs and back bones at the top, and the nervous bone that sits out from the body. Place the two fillets skin-side down in a suitably large plastbox suitable for food. Pour 666 grams of salt, 50 grams of sugar and 6 liters of cold water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, untill the salt and sugar are dissolved. Set the brine to cool overnight. When the brine has a temperature of 5 C pour the mixture over the fish. Keep the fish in the brine with a dish. Place all in the fridge - if necessary - and keep the temperature below 5 C for 36 hours. This kind of salting called wet salting and provides a more uniform salty taste of the fish. In dry salting the fish are placed on a salt layers and on top pour so more salt to the fish is covered. This dry salting I use for small, freshly caught fish at a maximum of 3 kg and time is only 3 to 6 hours.

After 36 hours remove the fish from the brine and rinse well in fresh, cold water. Wipe with a clean tea towel and put a string in the tail and tie the following way: Prick a hole through the skin 5 cm from the tail tip and put the string through. Tie a knot on the left side and then the right side. Do not tighten too strong, so the string cut through. Hang the fish to dry for several hours before being hung in the oven. I use my Smoking Oven with advantage to this, with the door and the hat open, there are drafts and the fish hangs in the shade.

NB: If the temperature gets too high, the albuminous substances (protein) in the fish begins to coagulate and the meat will release the skin, which then fall down and just skin hanging back in the string. If the temperature can not be controlled and kept below 27 C, I recommend putting the fish on the grates with skin side down. If necessary, use eel mountings hooks together with string.

Now it is smoking time. The fish are taken out of the Smoking Oven before lighting up. Fill the labyrinth sawdust tray with smoking wood dust. A small cup of rubbing alcohol ( cup) into the front of smoking wood dust and ignited. The door is ajar and smoking wood dust starts to burn by itself. Now the fish is hung into the Smoking Oven when the alcohol is burned off. Leave the door ajar throughout the process.

The fish hung by the tail in the middle of the oven. In the beginning keep an eye on the temperature and after 1 hour it will stabilize at around 11 C. Ambient temperature is only 1 C, so there is a difference of 10 C between the temperature inside and outside. Gradually the ambient temperature increaseo 6 C and cause the temperature in the Smoking Oven to rise to 16 C, which was the average temperature in the entire process. In the firing process, where there are flames, the temperature inside Smoking Oven rise to 25 C for a short period. That's why I do not have fish in Smoking Oven before the flames are extinguished.

The fish was smoked for 36 hours, so I had to filled up twice with smoking wood dust. I let all smoking wood dust burn out before there was filled up again. Start at 10:00AM burned out at 10:00PM. Did a new refill and that burned out during the night. Again 09:00 the next morning was a refill and 20:00PM it was burned out. The fish hung overnight and cooled in the Smoking Oven. The smoked salmon seen above and is ready to be divided into 3 pieces per side and packaged for the freezer.

Garnish: Dill or cress is suitable for garnish.

Drink: A cool, good, dry white wine in the summer. A beer and a dram in the winter.

Hint: Come boiled, frozen prawns in a colander and put them into the Smoking Oven for the last 12 hours and you get fantastic shrimps.

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