This last Saturday I smoked my usual salmon, but did two batches. My wife requested some cold-smoked salmon. We normally do warm-smoked for the kids' breakfasts (they don't seem to get tired of this), so I ended up doing both. These types of salmon are what you might spread (cold) on crackers, toast or bagels. While it tastes great immediately out of the smoker, a day in the fridge helps the flavor. For those who aren't familiar, in warm smoking, you actually heat up the salmon and cook it, usually to about 140*-150*. The heat source must be above this temp, and I normally try for about 175*. If it is above 200*, you have a very different result as the salmon retains too much moisture. The result is a dry, cooked salmon. I explain the warm-smoking process in this post here:
which gives details on the curing process and the warm-smoking process that we use. There are MANY different ways to do this, but we're comfortable with this one. The only change I made this time was that I did not individually wrap the salmon in cling wrap. This saved time and cling wrap. I did not notice a drop-off in quality, so we'll probably skip this step from now on. I simply spread about half the sugar/salt mixture into the plastic bag that was in the cake pan, lined the salmon pieces on top, and coated them in the rest of the mixture. For the other details, see the above link. What I show below is focused primarily on the cold smoking. If you're interested in the warm smoke, you can go to the above link, but since I was doing this too, I do have a few pics.
I prepared two fires: 1. a low-temp (175*) charcoal fire in the Oval with a chunk of cherry, and 2. a very low temp one from only a couple chunks of crushed cherry branches in my offset:
The branches were pretty dry and they burned better than I had hoped, but that was ok. Cherry smoke is absolutely wonderful to smell. The cured cold-smoked piece was rubbed in EVOO, and one side was covered with dill. Of course there are many ways to do it, but we hadn't done this way in a while, and I just do what I'm told.
That beautiful deep red color is the result of the cure. This is placed in the offset as far from the heat source as possible. With the cold temps, I don't feel bad about smoking this without ice. The temps in the offset were below 80* the entire time.
The cherry smelled so nice from the offset, I put the other salmon in there for about 15 minutes to get some additional smoke:
I then put these in the Oval to finish them:
These took about 2 1/2 hours:
Meanwhile, I cold-smoked this piece for about the same amount of time in the offset. The purpose for this is just to give it smoke. The salmon previously has been cured, remember. The cure is only about 18 hours, so it is not overly salty. It is more like Nova salmon than lox:
Here it is sliced the next day: