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Hot-Smoked Salmon

Introduction & method

Smoked salmon is one of the most luxurious things there is, and its price reflects that. But you can make hot-smoked salmon at home, quite quickly and without any special equipment. 

Hot-Smoked Salmon Recipe

Prep the Salmon

Trim the salmon into individual portions and remove any pin-bones. Mix the sugar and salt together and coat the pieces of salmon all over. Put them in the fridge for 30 minutes to let the cure do its stuff. At the end of that time, rinse the salt/sugar mix off the fish pieces and pat them dry on kitchen paper. Put them back in the fridge, uncovered, to air-dry for at least an hour, but preferably overnight.

Prep your Smoker

You need to rig up something like a smallish roasting tin (not your best one because it will get wrecked a bit) that can hold the smoking woodchips in the bottom, with a wire rack or trivet over it onto which you place the fish. Hmm. So I didn't have a suitable wire rack and I made myself a trivet from bamboo skewers tied and woven together. Now, your smoking chips: hickory, oak or applewood are good choices. Read the instructions on the packet, but mine needed a 20 minute soak in cold water so they'd produce smoke and not burn up too quickly. After the soaking, drain them and spread them out in the bottom of the roasting tin. Paint the fish pieces all over with olive oil, place them on the rack and wrap the whole thing in foil. Don't let the foil touch the fish, but make sure you have a tight seal around the edges.

Smoke the Salmon

You can smoke the salmon in the oven, or on the stove top. For the oven, heat it to 200°C (392°F) fan, 220°C (428°F) conventional, gas 7. On the hob, set the burner or ring to max, and make sure your kitchen is well ventilated: open windows/doors, extractor on. Put the smoking box in the oven or on the stove and after a few minutes, wisps of smoke will appear. Turn off the heat at this point, but leave the smoker in place for 30 minutes. I do mine on the hob and give it 2 or 3 extra blasts of heat during the 30 minutes. The salmon is ready to eat straight away, but is delicious cold too.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Hot-Smoked Salmon on YouTube.

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Ingredients & Info

 500 grams salmon fillet
 50 grams salt
 50 grams sugar


Water for soaking woodchips. Olive oil for coating fillets.

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 4 
Prep time: 10 minutes.
Curing/drying fish, soaking woodchips time: 1 hour 30 minutes.
Cooking time: 30 minutes.
Total time: 2 hours 10 minutes.