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Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 23:26
by Cabonaia
BTW, couple weeks ago I brined and sort of half grilled / half smoked some salmon. It was excellent! Salmon is so great on the grill, but can dry out quickly as you said. The brine made a huge difference in the final product, and much more forgiving along the way.

May we have more salmon years like this one!

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 16:25
by Baconologist

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 05:51
by Cabonaia
Progress report.

Started this lox on Saturday. Overhauling it daily. Tasted it today and it is good, but seems to need another day in the cure. You can see it let go of a lot of liquid.

Shot at 2012-07-17

Shot at 2012-07-17

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 08:42
by Chuckwagon
Beautiful! :wink:

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 16:12
by redzed
Looks good. Can you share the the ingredients in the cure?

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 17:49
by Cabonaia
I wanted to make gravlax but didn't have dill. So I made gravlax without dill, and from what I saw on various sites, this can as well be called lox. Curiously, many of the recipes are for "lox - smoked salmon" but do not have a cold smoking step. There are recipes for "smoked lox" that do have this step. so I guess those are for "smoked smoked salmon." Anyway, I am not cold smoking anything until my Amaz-n Smoker arrives. Following is what I did, and am withholding judgement until I see how well it comes out.

Cure mix:
2 lbs salmon
3 Tb salt (I used Mortons pickling salt)
2 Tb sugar (I used table sugar because I had no brown sugar, which I would have preferred))
1 Tb coarsely ground pepper

1. Trimmed and filleted 3 lbs of salmon, which left me with 2 lbs of skin-on fillets (made salty stock with the trimmings, and got quite a bit of tasty flesh off the bones and trimmings, which went into a cream sauce a day later)
2. Sprinkled half the cure mix on the bottom of a baking dish, laid the fillets skin down on that and then sprinkled the rest on the other side. Rubbed/pressed it in very gently.
3. Spread plastic wrap over the meat and then put a slightly smaller pryex dish on top, and put a few weights (jars of mustard and such) in the top dish, and refrigerated.
4. Each day I turn the fish.

Will check again today and see if it is done, and report back!

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 19:57
by ssorllih
I am not going to attempt any cold smoking until the outside air temperature is less than 90 degrees. Probably about November.

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 20:22
by redzed
When I make gravlax I usually use a bit more salt with 2 to 1 ratio with the sugar. Using more salt speeds up the curing process. I also fold two fillets together, skin side out and wrap them tightly in saran wrap, and weigh with brick. My gravlax is usually ready in 3 days. Sometimes I give it an hour of cold smoke as well. Also, I never use truly fresh salmon to make gravlax, I always freeze it for a week to make sure that no parasites are in the fish. When I cold smoke I now always use Cure #1.

Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 04:13
by Cabonaia
Here's how it came out. It tasted a little salty and fish the first day out of the brine, and was a little mushy. But after rinsing it, wrapping it in cling wrap, and giving it two days in the fridge it improved markedly. I didn't expect this. Now I'm quite happy. Have to say this was about the easiest thing to make. If it took 5 times the effort it would be well worth the trouble. But now Redzed has gotten me thinking about parasites....I used fresh fish.

Shot at 2012-07-20

Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 16:49
by redzed
Looks good! No question that it's sockeye with that bright red color. The chance of parasites is very minimal. And unless you purchased it directly from a fisherman, it's highly probable that it was already frozen, then thawed and sold as fresh.

Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 17:01
by Cabonaia
Redzed - thanks for putting my mind at ease. I got this fish at Costco and I'll bet you are right that it had been frozen, thawed, and sold as fresh. A friend who fishes commercially in Alaska says the same thing about "fresh" salmon sold in Califofornia.


Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 05:03
by redzed
I spent 8 days standing waist deep in cold water trying to hook coho salmon. In the end I caught 5, however two were wild and had to be released, one was a jack weighing less than 3 lbs. Two were nice hatchery marked fish. One of them is in the pic below, weighing just under 10 lbs. My other coho was stolen from the freezer at the RV park. Hope the sob that took it chokes on it. Also caught a bunch of pinks, there are still thousands hanging around the river estuaries because it has been very dry here and the water levels are low. The pinks are getting dark and the meat is soft but I picked the better ones for smoking.
10 lb (almost) coho
Hot smoked pinks, and coho tails
Cold smoked coho