My first attempt at gravlax/gravlox

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Naterjm

Naterjm

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Yes, you are on the right track! I think if you cure outside of the liquid you'll get the mixture to penetrate the flesh a bit more effectively.
I didn’t use a liquid cure, I think the cure amount was too little, based on the formula I went off. As I mentioned before, I also used plastic wrap and wasn’t able to weigh it down due to space constraints.

so if I can increase the cure amount, vacuum it, press it, I should be able to get the right result.
 

eatyourpeas

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I didn’t use a liquid cure, I think the cure amount was too little, based on the formula I went off. As I mentioned before, I also used plastic wrap and wasn’t able to weigh it down due to space constraints.

so if I can increase the cure amount, vacuum it, press it, I should be able to get the right result.
I have never used vacuum techniques in cooking, but the theory sounds good. Also, we don't use a liquid, but do not let the flesh touch the extracted fluid.
 
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I have never used vacuum techniques in cooking, but the theory sounds good.
Oh it’s fantastic, I’ve done about 80lbs of pork belly that I’ve cured and smoked into homemade bacon, 3 different iterations of corned beef, jerk chicken twice (probably 10lbs), and that’s just the fresh stuff, my wife will make 30lbs of beef/pork/veal meatball, then we IQF them and vacuum seal em, and have meatballs for months...

move also done pork butt, ribs, brisket... the list in endless.

we even vacuum seal our soups and stock sometimes.
 
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Also, you could thinly slice that skin and make crisps!
I think I’m going to bust out the cast iron, and just gently sear the skin side, baste the top with hot oil.

I will probably need to bring the fish out and come to room temp, but I should get a nice medium rare with a crispy skin because it’s all so dry right now...
 
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I am bringing the wine!
My wife will enjoy that, but I’ll stick to my beers!

my wife also does not like salmon, unless it’s cured and cold smoked, and I got two thumbs up from her tonight. She is happy enough that she is going to pick up another side, or half side tomorrow so we can try again...
 

eatyourpeas

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I am on her side. The only beer I drink is Guinness, so I am much happier in wine territory. Must be genetic.

I like salmon, but not all the time. It is too strong a flavor and I get tired of it easily. My husband and kids can eat it for days on end. Cheese on the other hand... Yum! Breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Let me know how try number two goes :)
 
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How did I miss this entire thread?!?!? We were going to make a cold-smoked salmon for Xmas this year but we ended up doing warm smoked due to time, but this is how we were planning:

Cure "mix" is as simple as salt with 1tsp sugar mixed in, liberally coat the fish (dry rub). If you want, some rosé pepper mixed in adds a nice touch. Leave in the fridge under a heavy textbook with somewhere for the fluid to drain for 10-24h.

Smoking is best done hanging vertically (putting a twine loop through the tail is a "traditional" way to get it to stay, another option is hammering the fish to a board but that's more commonly used for a different kind of smoking style). Hardcore enthusiasts use a fridge with a smoking grate inside, the fridge compressor is thermoregulated from the outside so the temperature always stays under 30c (basically, your fish should be "cooked" (think ceviche for example) before you apply the smoke). Birch is a commonly used wood, but I think apple also adds a nice soft aroma.

We did a horizontal smoke on the weber with hickory, as mentioned we did warm smoked but same idea. For cold smoking, 8-10h is a "moderate smoked flavor" amount of time, less gets you more on the gravlax end of things and more time gets you more smoke flavor obviously.

Note: gravlax itself is not necessarily smoked, once the salmon finishes curing in the fridge it is thinly sliced and often rolled into "rosettes" for presentation, and sprinkled with dill. Cold smoked "gravlax" same thing, except you obviously slice after smoking. Keeps for 1-3 days in the fridge after being sliced.

Note #2: for obvious reasons, authentic cold smoking can really only be successful during the non-summer months, since keeping the temperature low enough is the main trick to getting the texture of the fish correct. My hubby (this was his first time smoking fish outside in winter) made a comment that he would have originally thought that what we did (warm smoked) would have been called "cold smoking" because it is a cooler temperature than what he would have done a pork butt in the summer for example, so temperature is a common misconception for proper cold-smoking.

Source: I'm an immigrant, been eating the stuff my whole life :D

Well with that post I think you officially became best friends with @eatyourpeas and I

I have an offset smoker that I could have used, but my backyard is big, and the smoker is so far away from our door, I just lit the tube of pellets in the bbq and put the cover back on.

because I had the whole thing covered, 4 hours of smoking was plenty for flavour, and the temperature never got higher than 2 degrees Celsius. It was -3 for most of the tiMe outside.

im also going to try smoking some salt and cheese next go around.
 
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I am on her side. The only beer I drink is Guinness, so I am much happier in wine territory. Must be genetic.

I like salmon, but not all the time. It is too strong a flavor and I get tired of it easily. My husband and kids can eat it for days on end. Cheese on the other hand... Yum! Breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Let me know how try number two goes :)
Well the fact that you said the only beer you drink is Guinness, I’m starting to think you are stalking me. As that is my favourite winter time stout, it’s not the only one I drink, but it certainly has a special place in my heart and liver. I’ve even made Guinness flavoured creme brûlée before. Sounds gross, but it was delicious.
 
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