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Jrogers84
06-09-2017, 07:53 AM
I was thinking about cold smoking a little salmon for sushi. Ive never cold smoked a thing in my life. Going to use the a-maze-n tube. My question is how long should I expect to smoke it for to get a mild smoke flavor and whats the best way to get the proper temp on the fish considering I dont plan on cooking it after? Thanks fellas!

Stlsportster
06-09-2017, 08:30 AM
Most cold smoked salmon is brined first. Checkout thirdeye's method here.

http://playingwithfireandsmoke.blogspot.com/2006/08/thirdeyes-nova-lox.html

Jrogers84
06-09-2017, 08:35 AM
Most cold smoked salmon is brined first. Checkout thirdeye's method here.

http://playingwithfireandsmoke.blogspot.com/2006/08/thirdeyes-nova-lox.html

Ive done that but Ive also had a fair amount of smoked salmon in sushi. Has to be a way! I can get creative I just figured someone had already thought of a better way than I was going to come up with

roncoinc
06-09-2017, 08:46 AM
Cold smoking draws the line at 85*.
how long you want to let raw fish sit at that temp without any "protection" ??
with sashimi it needs to be really fresh and taken care of,be careful..

Jrogers84
06-09-2017, 08:51 AM
Cold smoking draws the line at 85*.
how long you want to let raw fish sit at that temp without any "protection" ??
with sashimi it needs to be really fresh and taken care of,be careful..

what do you mean "draws the line"? I am thinking it would be easy to rig up ice under the fish to keep it cool....I have no intention of letting the fish ever get to a danger temp for any period of time. I dont need it smoked that bad :idea:

MisterChrister
06-09-2017, 09:03 AM
Sashimi and sushi uses true sushi grade fish, which is handled and inspected differently than regular fresh salmon fillets at the store. Many times it's truly fresh, but I believe that more often than not, it's been flash frozen and held below normal freezer temps for a certain period of time to kill any baddies. The dry curing process can help a little with that, but won't take care of everything. The actual smoking part, at cold smoking temps, will do little to nothing to reduce the risk of food poisoning.

I'm not saying that I've never cured and or cold smoked regular store bought salmon fillets, because I have. I just know that it's a much different risk factor than true sushi grade fish. For the small amount of fish flesh that's consumed in even a large sushi platter, the increased cost is well worth it.

thirdeye
06-09-2017, 09:41 AM
Being mindful of the food safety suggestions mentioned so far in this thread, especially brining or curing, there is one more option that some recommend (and it is something I need to add to my write-up as well), and that involves freezing the cold smoked fish AFTER it is cold smoked to kill some of the baddies. HERE (http://www.kasilofseafoods.com/cold-smoking-nova-lox/) is a write-up that makes mention of this as well... and please note that Ed's method still includes a brine step, and note that his method provides for a long smoke time (12+) hours.

In your case, if you still want to proceed without a brining step, I think one approach would be to keep your fish as close to the 40 range as possible while flavor smoking it (I'm using this term instead of cold smoking since no brine step is involved)... Meaning, set up your smoker and move a chilled fillet into it. Monitor the internal temp of the fish every 15 minutes, and remove it to the refrigerator (or maybe the freezer) as often as needed to lower the internal temperature, then return to the smoker... repeating this cycle for a couple of hours. Then, freeze the fillet for at least 3 days. The A-Maze-N tube smoke generator is a wonderful tool provided your smoking chamber is large... something like a drum smoker or a cabinet smoker or even an offset smoker. Using it for cold (or flavor) smoking in a small pit could be too strong. In addition to the tube generator, I also have one of Todd's sawdust generators which I use in my smaller cookers, like for cold smoking cheese.

Jrogers84
06-09-2017, 09:44 AM
Sashimi and sushi uses true sushi grade fish, which is handled and inspected differently than regular fresh salmon fillets at the store. Many times it's truly fresh, but I believe that more often than not, it's been flash frozen and held below normal freezer temps for a certain period of time to kill any baddies. The dry curing process can help a little with that, but won't take care of everything. The actual smoking part, at cold smoking temps, will do little to nothing to reduce the risk of food poisoning.

I'm not saying that I've never cured and or cold smoked regular store bought salmon fillets, because I have. I just know that it's a much different risk factor than true sushi grade fish. For the small amount of fish flesh that's consumed in even a large sushi platter, the increased cost is well worth it.

"sushi grade" to my knowledge is not a real grade by an governing body in this country. Opinions are all over the place. That being said, I am going to be using sushi grade from a place I trust. This is not my first time making sushi by far, just my first time cold smoking.

Jrogers84
06-09-2017, 09:46 AM
Being mindful of the food safety suggestions mentioned so far in this thread, especially brining or curing, there is one more option that some recommend (and it is something I need to add to my write-up as well), and that involves freezing the cold smoked fish AFTER it is cold smoked to kill some of the baddies. HERE (http://www.kasilofseafoods.com/cold-smoking-nova-lox/) is a write-up that makes mention of this as well... and please note that Ed's method still includes a brine step, and note that his method provides for a long smoke time (12+) hours.

In your case, if you still want to proceed without a brining step, I think one approach would be to keep your fish as close to the 40 range as possible while flavor smoking it (I'm using this term instead of cold smoking since no brine step is involved)... Meaning, set up your smoker and move a chilled fillet into it. Monitor the internal temp of the fish every 15 minutes, and remove it to the refrigerator (or maybe the freezer) as often as needed to lower the internal temperature, then return to the smoker... repeating this cycle for a couple of hours. Then, freeze the fillet for at least 3 days. The A-Maze-N tube smoke generator is a wonderful tool provided your smoking chamber is large... something like a drum smoker or a cabinet smoker or even an offset smoker. Using it for cold (or flavor) smoking in a small pit could be too strong. In addition to the tube generator, I also have one of Todd's sawdust generators which I use in my smaller cookers, like for cold smoking cheese.

Thanks! I figured i could keep it below 40 degrees while it was in the smoker. I didnt think hours were needed to get a light smoker flavor but I have never cold smoked....so thats why I am asking! I dont have a large cooker available, I was just going to use a kettle. I did not consider it being too small for the job. Thanks again for the info and the link

MisterChrister
06-09-2017, 10:02 AM
"sushi grade" to my knowledge is not a real grade by an governing body in this country. Opinions are all over the place. That being said, I am going to be using sushi grade from a place I trust. This is not my first time making sushi by far, just my first time cold smoking.

That's true in that the FSIS or gubmint doesn't have a definition or inspection standard. The seafood and food service industries do have a de-facto standard that is widely enough accepted to be considered "sushi grade" by pretty much anyone.

I'm glad to hear that you're using the right fish for this, I'm sorry if you took my previous post to sound like you didn't know what you were doing. I wasn't sure what you had in mind from your original post, and I think many times when folks (myself included) respond to questions on here, our answer is also written for posterity of written record, knowing that other people who come along later and read the thread may need to learn something that the rest of us (yourself included in this case) already know. Obviously, it's a much more critical issue in cases like this, than in preference issues like what spices people prefer in their favorite rub etc.

Hopefully you'll get a chance to share your salmon smoke and finished product, I LUBS me some sushi, and have never had it with cold smoked salmon before, save for the time I used store bought lox.

Jrogers84
06-09-2017, 10:08 AM
That's true in that the FSIS or gubmint doesn't have a definition or inspection standard. The seafood and food service industries do have a de-facto standard that is widely enough accepted to be considered "sushi grade" by pretty much anyone.

I'm glad to hear that you're using the right fish for this, I'm sorry if you took my previous post to sound like you didn't know what you were doing. I wasn't sure what you had in mind from your original post, and I think many times when folks (myself included) respond to questions on here, our answer is also written for posterity of written record, knowing that other people who come along later and read the thread may need to learn something that the rest of us (yourself included in this case) already know. Obviously, it's a much more critical issue in cases like this, than in preference issues like what spices people prefer in their favorite rub etc.

Hopefully you'll get a chance to share your salmon smoke and finished product, I LUBS me some sushi, and have never had it with cold smoked salmon before, save for the time I used store bought lox.

I have no issue with your response. I would never want someone to take any information I already know for granted. Looking out for me is a-ok in my book :)

As for the smoked salmon...one of our favorite "cheap" rolls is a philly roll. Smoked salmon/cream cheese/cukes. Ive had it at about every place near me and some have great smoked salmon, some dont. I figured I would give it a whirl but didnt want to misstep with safety or cold smoking. I figured it didnt need long so keeping it cold w/ ice was an option. I hadnt thought about the size of the cooker being an issue or the smoke time. All information is good information!

thirdeye
06-09-2017, 11:12 AM
Thanks! I figured i could keep it below 40 degrees while it was in the smoker. I didnt think hours were needed to get a light smoker flavor but I have never cold smoked....so thats why I am asking! I dont have a large cooker available, I was just going to use a kettle. I did not consider it being too small for the job. Thanks again for the info and the link

In the case of a kettle, I think that might be too small for the traditional set-up, remember that cold food attracts smoke....

Think about this...you might try putting the tube in the bottom of the kettle then setting a couple of 2 X 2's across the bottom half, then the grate atop the wood, then the lid. Getting the fish higher up combined with the large air gap will allow the smoke to pass through instead of build-up inside. It might also carry some heat from the pellets out too.

Jrogers84
06-09-2017, 11:51 AM
In the case of a kettle, I think that might be too small for the traditional set-up, remember that cold food attracts smoke....

Think about this...you might try putting the tube in the bottom of the kettle then setting a couple of 2 X 2's across the bottom half, then the grate atop the wood, then the lid. Getting the fish higher up combined with the large air gap will allow the smoke to pass through instead of build-up inside. It might also carry some heat from the pellets out too.

If im understanding correct, wouldnt the fish be directly above the tube?

cowgirl
06-09-2017, 11:54 AM
Not sure if it's been mentioned but the wood flavor you use will make a difference on time. I use a blend of alder and cherry on cold smoked salmon, it's mild. A stronger flavored wood will take less time.

Jrogers84
06-09-2017, 11:57 AM
Not sure if it's been mentioned but the wood flavor you use will make a difference on time. I use a blend of alder and cherry on cold smoked salmon, it's mild. A stronger flavored wood will take less time.

Very good point. I believe that plays a huge factor in the different smoked salmon I have had in sushi. I hadnt thought about that but the one I dislike the most actually has a more traditional bbq taste. Maybe hickory. The others are far milder and smoother

m-fine
06-09-2017, 12:07 PM
I believe fish sold to be consumed raw in the US must be frozen following certain temp and time guidelines. Legal or not, that is an absolute must for wild salmon as the rate of parasites is quite high.

Your next issue is bacteria. All traditional methods I know of use salt or salt and sugar cures. I guess you could try to keep in under 40 while smoking but that will take some ingenuity. Even the little glow on the pellet smoker puts out quite a bit of heat if it is contained. I am thinking maybe and old refrigerator with a small air intake and smoke exhaust, plus ice blocks/trays might work. You will definitely need something cold between the smoke generator and fish as I have had meat start to cook that was too close above the AMNPS, forget staying below 40!

As for time, I usually run 8-14 hours for cold smoked salt cured salmon with chamber temps typically in the 60-80 range. The results are what I would call a mild smoke flavor.

cowgirl
06-09-2017, 12:08 PM
Very good point. I believe that plays a huge factor in the different smoked salmon I have had in sushi. I hadnt thought about that but the one I dislike the most actually has a more traditional bbq taste. Maybe hickory. The others are far milder and smoother

I get a mild smoke flavor from 2 hours of cold smoking using the alder blend. I "can" the smoked salmon for use year round. The canning process intensifies the smoke flavor a bit. I haven't tasted the smoked fish raw but would think you could get a nice flavor in under 3 hrs of cold smoking.

Good luck with it!

thirdeye
06-09-2017, 12:23 PM
I get a mild smoke flavor from 2 hours of cold smoking using the alder blend. I "can" the smoked salmon for use year round. The canning process intensifies the smoke flavor a bit. I haven't tasted the smoked fish raw but would think you could get a nice flavor in under 3 hrs of cold smoking.

Good luck with it!

I have canned fish for years, just never got around to canning smoked fish, but it's on my list. Also wanted to say I have your "smoked and canned salmon" post bookmarked for future use. In fact I gave it to a friend from work a couple of days ago.