11-30-2012, 08:01 PM
Join Date: 10-05-08
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Some comments inserted below
Originally Posted by Suntower
Thanks for the helpful replies. That 'warm smoking' recipe looks very promising. I'm looking more for the cold 'breakfast' style I used to have as a kid... my aunt had a small shed. But this was in Ireland 40 years ago and I'll I can recall was that it was cold as hell outside. She hung things up on these 'rods' in vertical strips---like a sauna. It sure wasn't -hot-. Took a couple of days? Anyhoo.
Some follow up...
1. You can use -Kingsford-? I was told my someone else to NEVER use 'regular' charcoal (ie. for burgers/weenies) and to ALWAYS use a 'special' charcoal made from 'wood' with no oil or other chemicals. True? The stuff I see labelled 'natural wood' tends to cost 3x as much so it's a consideration.
For cold smoking, I use exactly the same technique of curing -- you can season it any way you like, or not at all. Then I smoke it the same way, but keep the temperature of the salmon down (some people put it on ice) -- or you can build a smaller fire. If you have something with two chambers, it works very well -- like an offset smoker. This is not rocket science and you don't have to make it so. There are hundreds of techniques all over the world developed for cold and warm smoking fish. I personally do not like kingsford for smoking salmon as it has a strong flavor and you'll be tasting kingsford rather than the wood. But really for this, you don't want the heat provided by the charcoal, but the smoke provided by the wood. Here's another link showing both cold and warm-smoked. This might be more like what you have in mind:
I have a friend from Norway who wraps his salmon in salt for three days and doesn't smoke it at all, but just slices and eats it. There are MANY techniques. The one I linked above is just a very easy one and it produces something we very much like.
Incidentally, the warm smoking recipe we do eat for breakfast cold the next day spread on toast or bagels. The cold smoking produces a product like lox or Nova salmon. You usually see both of these products together at European breakfasts.
2. Cherry? I have a bunch of cherry and apple firewood that's been drying for about a year. Is that OK, or should I stick with the store-bought stuff. Does it -really- affect the taste of salmon?
Absolutely no need to buy anything if you have it growing and dried. I just collect thick branches in my neighborhood after a storm goes through. Usually they're fine after a month (for branches). If they're too thick, I'll pound them with the dull part of my ax. These will burn a bit better. There are a number of devices to make this easier, like the A-Maze-in cold smoker mentioned above. Or you can simply use a soldering iron. Absolutely the wood affects the flavor. You want fruitwood and I prefer apple or cherry. You can definitely tell the difference between fruitwood and other wood. Distinguishing between types of fruitwood is harder. Definitely you can tell the difference between wood and kingsford.
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