My first attempt at gravlax/gravlox

Naterjm

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My wife bought me a side of salmon so we could try curing and cold smoking it.

I found a recipe online, added a few more spices, and even added a tiny bit of my curing salts.

recipe called for 2 days of curing, I did 3. I’m worried that the salmon side was too thick for that recipe as it still felt a little “fleshy” even after 72 hours of cure, and 24 hours of dehydrating in the fridge.

Im encroaching on the 4 1/2 hour mark of cold smoking, and I think I’ll probably dry it out in the fridge for another 24 hours.

has anyone else tried cold smoking their own salmon before?

I’m not (edit: typo) sure I’m going to get my desired result as this is my first time, but it’s a starting point. And if it doesn’t work out, I’ll cook it and eat it hot. 😂
 

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eatyourpeas

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It is a staple for us in the Pacific Northwest! We make it with a grappa curing mix, and the flavor is delicious! The curing time depends on the fish (Chinook, Coho, etc.) as far as oil content and that determines the curing time. If you are not sure it is dry enough, you can always leave it uncovered in the refrigerator so it dries a bit more. You'd want to make sure not to oversmoke it or you'll loose the beautiful subtleties of the flavors in the flesh. Then you let me know when it is ready and I'll show up at your door with freshly baked French bread!
 

eatyourpeas

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Also, we put the chips in a restaurant pan covered with foil, when it starts smoking we turn it off, add the fish and let it sit in there covered for about 45 minutes, depending on the size of the fish.
 
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Naterjm

Naterjm

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@eatyourpeas did we just become best friends? 😂😂😂

I took the fish out of the smoke.

im using a smoking tube for pellets, this time I’m using hickory, it’s best available right now (F-COVID-19)

I am closer to east coast, so I tried it first with a store bought Atlantic salmon, pretty fatty compared to a coho or king from out west.

it was also probably farm raised.

anyways I took a slice closer to the tail end, it was wonderfully smoked, tender and had a great flavour.

the thicker part of the fillet closer to then head was not as flavourful, and still a little fleshy.

I wrapped it tightly with cure mix, and had it pressed between two pans, but I still don’t think the cure penetrated enough.

anyways, I’m going to give it another 24 hours uncovered in the fridge to see if I can dry it out more.

but damn, I am going to try this again, I’ll probably increase my cure mix a touch, and if I’m using Atlantic salmon again, maybe score the skin a touch.
 

eatyourpeas

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Also, don't be afraid to trim the fish so you have a more uniform thickness. I take the tail part and make a tartare out of it. We never get farmed fish because we are simply spoiled ;)
 
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Naterjm

Naterjm

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Well no need to brag... jeeezzzz.

I am south central Ontario in the middle of all the Great Lakes. We don’t have a lot of access to fresh wild caught salmon.

although I can get my hands of steelhead trout, I will try this next time I get a good deal on that too.
 

eatyourpeas

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Not bragging at all, it is just that I appreciate how lucky we are. When I lived in the East Coast I was lucky to try fish I had never seen before. I remember when branzino became the rage in US, and for us was, well, every day fish.
 
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Naterjm

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Ahhh, Branzino, I remember when that hit the menu of the restaurant I was working at at the time. People went nuts for it. That was about 12 years ago, oh man I don’t miss working as a chef.
 

eatyourpeas

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It is hard work! My son has worked as a pantry chef for three summers during high school and college and is now happy to have a desk job this coming summer. We all love to eat though. I was raised on game, mostly, and love how fastidious the french are at cooking.
 
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Naterjm

Naterjm

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I’ll be completely honest and say that my love for cooking has grown tremendously since I left it behind as career.

I have a red seal cook certificate and I will brag that I have forgotten more about cooking than most people ever know.

that will happen though when you spenda month learning about cheese and years learning how to build a house.
 
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Naterjm

Naterjm

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The other thing I like to make with the salmon bits is ravioli, with a brown butter cardamon sauce. I am getting hungry... :S
Yea, now you’re making me hungry, but I have to call it a night, you’re 3 hours ahead of me and I have to hit the hay
 

eatyourpeas

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I think like anything else, if it is not imposed on you, it can become enjoyable. I am rediscovering cooking after so many years of having to have dinner at the table (and the many times I forgot to make it because I was having too much fun playing with Legos), and we all cook, so it makes for a fun time in the kitchen.
 
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