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1st Smoked Salmon

PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:36 pm
by Davea
I'm going to try making some smoked salmon tonight.
I've bought a fresh farmed whole salmon(sorry to say from Tesco :( ) on special at £5 per kilo
I'm going to folow this recipe from Saucisson:
Here's my recipe, make sure you follow it precisely

20g salt, 10ml honey, 50ml whisky per kilo of salmon.

rub the salt mostly onto the flesh of the fish, in a ziplock bag, then rub in the honey, add 15ml of the whisky and seal the bag up in the fridge overnight. Drink the other 35ml of whisky at your leisure to check it was suitable for the cure . This latter quantity may be adjusted according to your own tastes. Next day rinse briefly, pat dry and smoke. I tend to let it form the pellicle in the smoker while it's smoking.


My questions are:
1) Do I need to place a weight on top?
2) What is the shelf life at fridge temperature, after curing and smoking?

I'm going to use honey from my own bees- so it should be a bit special.
What does the whisky do to the flavour- I'll be using Teachers or Jameson's.

Any comments, tips or hints would be appreciated!!

I'm still pretty new at this game
3 batches of sausages and 1 of bacon under my belt so far- all successful

Thanks guys and gals


PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:01 pm
by saucisson
You don't need to put a weight on it, you will get a firmer product if you do so it's up to you... Shelf life depends on whether you vac pack it or not. Vac packed should be OK for a month in the fridge (can anyone confirm/refute that ?) but if you want to keep it longer then it's probably best to freeze it.


PS: The whisky taste depends on the whisky :)

PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:08 pm
by quietwatersfarm
Had a couple of drams of Talisker last evening, had forgotten how lovely it is :D

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:37 am
by Davea
Smoking in progress!!

Should I put in fridge uncovered or wrapped in clingfilm for 24 hours?



PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:04 am
by saucisson
I would clingfilm it as it will dry at the edges very quickly if uncovered.


PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:00 pm
by Davea

I've just tried a snippet of my salmon before I put it in the freezer- fantastic- Thankyou

BTW, why in this recipe is it not neccasary to dry before smoking?

My wife now wants me to do some smoked haddock, could someone point me in the right direction?

Thanks again- this site , partcularly the people here are brilliant. :D


PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:42 pm
by welsh wizard
Hi Dave

Re 1 month vac packed could be open for debate. There is a lot of discussion over this at the moment and the EH dept advice is against vac packing because if you have the slightest trace of bacteria on the fish it multiplies so much quicker in vac packed conditions.

I sell my fish vac packed but with only a 7 day shelf life on it. Of course it is different for home consumption ie you can get away with what you want. However my advice (to be almost bullet proof, if there is such a thing) is to freeze the fish first to kill off the toughest bacteria, thaw, cure, smoke and either eat fresh of re freeze. Frozen salmon is very easy to cut with a heavy sharp knife. Evidently one of the resturants I supply freezes the fish on arrivial and then uses a heavy duty potato peeler to take salmon peelings off the frozen fish...............

Cheers WW

PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:17 am
by saucisson
Thanks for that WW. I would certainly follow WW's advice on that Dave.

Can you expand on what you mean about drying it?

PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:39 pm
by wheels
Current FSA vacuum packing advice is here: ... ck0708.pdf



PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:35 pm
by Davea

Re: Drying

I noticed in the forums that in other methods of curing/smoking salmon drying for 24 hours or so was recommended before smoking , however with your method you said to wash , pat dry and smoke and let the pellicle form in the smoker while it's smoking.
I just wondered why


PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:29 pm
by saucisson
I'm impatient :)

More seriously the first time I did it I was so excited I forgot to do it and as it seemed to come out fine I don't usually bother.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:40 pm
by Richierich
I put a salmon in to salt this morning, it will be out this evening and given an overnight drying, 10-12 hrs in smoke tomorrow.

Used grisells suggestion of 65g salt/kg, no sugar and some ground black pepper, hope it can make Tesco's £5/kg salmon in to a thing of beauty!