This hot smoked salmon salmon recipe produces juicy flaky results, ideal for adding to other recipes or eating as a stand alone dish. What’s the difference between this method and some other recipes for smoked salmon? Well this recipe takes more from the traditional methods of cold smoking salmon and by that I mean brine.
Just look at these fillets:-
There are essentially 3 stages to making smoked salmon:-
As we go through this recipe you’ll see the three stages in effect and finish off by hot smoking which means smoking and cooking at the same time.
The brine in this recipe is about 80% in strength which means you may need to warm it up to allow all the solutes to dissolve. In addition, you do need to be exact with your brining time, you can under-do it but don't overdo it otherwise you'll end up with something too salty.
Preparation Time:- n/a
Brining Time:- 1 hours
Curing Time:- 24 hours
Cooking Time:- 1 hour
Total Time:- 26 hours (start day 1, finish day 2)
For the brine
The first step in this hot smoked salmon recipe is to make the brine. Pour the water into a large saucepan, add the salt and sugar and heat up to dissolve. When everything has dissolved (you may need to boil the brine to achieve this) put it to one side to cool and once cool, chill in the refrigerator. When the brine is chilling it’s time to prepare the salmon.
I’ve chosen to use two sides of salmon (get your fishmonger to fillet a whole salmon) and then cut into steaks because it’s cheaper than buying the steaks. Any you don't use can be frozen for other meals. All you have to do is scrutinize the flesh for any bones and remove them then cut the sides up into steaks – I usually get about 6 or 7 steaks out of a side of salmon.
I always save the tail for the freezer and use in another recipe because it's thinner than the other steaks and so it will need less time in the strong brine. Rather than risk forgetting about it or risk it being too salty, save it for one of my barbecue salmon recipes.
Layer the salmon steaks in the super chilled brine and ensure that everything is totally immersed – you can do this with a plate of smaller diameter to the saucepan and a bottle by placing the plate on top of the salmon, fill the bottle with water and placing that on top of the plate. When you’re happy that everything is brining well, bung it in the refrigerator for an hour.
I use my barbecue grill grate (lightly brushed with olive oil) and you can too, under the grate I've put a sheet of kitchen towel. Just remember that the curing has to take place in a cool place (the refrigerator is pretty good) so make sure that your cooking grate fits in the refrigerator!
Remove the salmon from the brine, rinse under cold water, dab then dry with kitchen towel and place them on the grill grate. Now leave to cure for the day.
Start a low fire in the smoke box, add some pre-soaked wood chips and place your salmon in smoker. Gently bring the temperature up to 80°C or 175°F over a period of about 30 minutes and then smoke for a further 30 mins. You’ll know when it’s cooked because the skin will gently peel away to reveal perfect hot smoked salmon.
Try flaking hot smoked salmon onto a melba toast with a little crème fraiche and chopped chives to top it off. You can eat it immediately or if you want to freeze and eat later just let it cool, put it in a polythene bag and into the freezer it goes
You can use this recipe to make smoked salmon that's ideal for these recipes:-Smoked Salmon Lasagne