View Full Version : Cold Smoked Salmon - Nova Lox (tutorial + heavy pron)

Big slick
03-10-2013, 01:20 PM
Luck had befallen me and I got a whole fresh salmon belly for free. I have been wanting to try cold smoking and my dad loves lox, so I figured I'd give it a try. My tutorial is not original. I followed a recipe by a blogger that goes by the name thirdeye. Not sure if I got it from here or not, but I enjoyed the process and figured I would share with you all.

1 whole salmon belly split in half and skinned.

Dry cure
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup salt

Wet cure
1 1/2 cups of salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 Quart of water

So i started out with my salmon. I decided to skin it and split it. The recipe I found didn't call for this, but out of habit and lack of following directions I skinned it. After that I split it in half.

I mixed my dry cure which is 50:50 salt and brown sugar


I then sprinkled some of the dry cure on some plastic wrap and laid the fillet on it. I then coated the other side o the fillet and wrapped it up. I then placed both fillets in a big ziploc bag and placed it on a cookie sheet.


The recipe said to weight the fillets down. I used another cookie sheet and a few dozen eggs. I left these in the fridge for 12 hours.


Here's what the bag looked like after 12 hours.

I rinsed the fillets and mixed up my brine. I put the fish and brine in another ziploc bag and threw them back in the fridge for 12 hours. I flipped the fillets every 3-4 hours. I didn't get any pics but you can figure it out.

After 12 hours I rinsed the fillets and soaked them in cold water for 10 minutes.

I then placed them on cooling racks and patted them dry.

I set up the WSM for the cold smoke. I used a coffee can with a soldering iron. This works REALLY REALLY well. I highly recommend this method.


I then seasoned them with fresh black pepper and a little sugar.

They have been smoking for 3 hours with a mix of alder, maple and apple. I just pulled them off the smoker and returned them to the freezer to firm up a little.

Ill let you know what the results are later on.

Big slick
03-10-2013, 08:31 PM
Finished product

My opinion. Ehhh... It's lox. I dropped off a bunch for my dad and I'm waiting for his opinion. He loves lox and I am curious to hear what he thinks.

03-10-2013, 08:55 PM
Looks like Lox :icon_smile_tongue:!

Nice job! Let us know what Dad thinks?

03-10-2013, 09:00 PM
Looks good!

03-10-2013, 09:03 PM
Thanks for the post. I plan to make some lox here soon. What exactly didn't you like about it or do you just not like lox in general?

BTW, Thirdeye is a forum member here.

03-10-2013, 09:05 PM
It looks like you did a great job on that. Nice color and firmness. It's hard to get cold smoked fish dialed in sometimes. I've had some that was way too mushy, but your's looks good.

I'd like to share a tip here, pertaining to your salt selection. It's best not to use iodized salt, it can give you an off flavor when curing and canning meats.. More importantly though, fine grain salt (like table or canning salt) is not interchangeable with kosher salt by measure.... The size of the grain is the reason..... In other words there is more salt in a cup of fine grain salt than in a cup of coarse kosher salt. So,...If your fish is a little salty, this is the reason.

The good news is, it's possible the soak times helped dissipate some of the salt. but I guarantee your next batch will be better with salt control. Often in brines and such, I weigh the amount of salt I use. Then I can jump to kosher, sea salt or canning salt and always get the right amount.

Big slick
03-10-2013, 11:08 PM

Your recipe is great. Very easy to follow and very simple process. Thanks for the tip. It was a tad salty, but not overly salty.

I myself am not a huge lox fan, but I always wanted to try cold smoking. I'm not into smoked cheeses or nuts, but I thought this would be good.

Still waiting to hear from my dad about the lox.

Fatback Joe
03-11-2013, 08:48 AM
Nice job.

I did the exact same thing, just sliced it yesterday, will try to get pics etc posted. What are the odds of having 2 Thirdeye Lox threads posted on the same day?

03-11-2013, 09:01 AM
Looks beautiful! :hungry:

03-11-2013, 09:34 AM
Sure looks good! Great job!

Big George's BBQ
03-11-2013, 09:54 AM
Very nice Love Lox. thirdeye has great recipes and tutorials IO have used several of them and they always turn out Great

Big slick
03-11-2013, 03:28 PM
Well the old man demolished half of what I left him between last night and this morning. So it was a major success I guess.