Hot smoked salmon

Hot smoked salmon

Thomas Karlstein

It is readily available and incredibly good to smoke.


Hot smoked salmon - recipe

Any amount of filleted salmon with the skin side on (this recipe is enough for a substantial filleted salmon side)

Brine - basic recipe

2.5 dl cane sugar

2 dl coarse salt (without iodine)

20 g nitrite salt

2L water


I think I've lasted long enough now. Just under a year ago I started smoking and writing here at Bradley Smoker. The goal was to do a little different stuff and avoid things that the web was already flooded with. Smoked black root, smoked marrow bones, smoked risotto and many other things that may not be the first thing you think of when you stand there with your new shiny smoke have been offered, among other things.

My idea right from the start was to show something more than the ready-smoked products we know from the shops. However, I feel that somewhere now, I have managed to live up to my goal. The slightly different ideas are not over, but I've twisted and turned the smoke concept to the point where I actually think it's time to throw something completely ordinary into the smoke. I am thinking of a popular fish that I think many people start with when they have just taken an interest in smoking. It is readily available and incredibly good to smoke.

Hot smoked salmon is something that I will always associate with summer and sunshine on one of Stockholm's most visited archipelago islands. After a few days on the boat luff, with mostly canned food from the rucksack, it was quite liberating to be able to let loose among the freshly smoked delicacies at the fishmonger. We agreed on half a side of hot smoked salmon with another rum sauce. Since we completely lacked cutlery, it would later be almost untouched.

Freshly smoked salmon on the bridge directly from the hard unfolded wrapping paper. What a lunch. At first we got along quite well, while towards the end it became a bit of a balancing act to get more of the salmon and at the same time keep the love believable. It's a dilemma there, but I was younger and bloodier then and perhaps therefore managed to keep the confidence up.

When I smoke salmon, I prefer to make a brine. I think the result is better than with dry salting. An already filleted fish may lie submerged in the water for at least one day, maximum two.

Then I pick it up and wipe it dry all around. The salmon pieces are then placed in front of a fan for an hour or two. If there is no fan, it is fine to let the salmon dry on a rack in the fridge overnight. What you want is to remove as much liquid from the salmon as possible.

Wipe the surface at regular intervals. If there is a lot of liquid left in the salmon, it is cooked in the wrong way in the hot smoke and we get that white stuff that runs out between the fibers.

(Note that it is the time in the lake that draws out the liquid rather than the time in the fridge. The time in the fridge is mostly to get a drier surface).

When the salmon is finished smoking, I let it cool on the counter before I let it rest for a day in the fridge. For some reason, I think the smoke flavor is softer after a few days in the fridge. It's a matter of taste that goes against the archipelago's romantic idea of freshly smoked fish.

Do as you wish. Good luck! rimmed salmon before smoking


Check that the fillet is completely boned with the fingertips.

Cut the salmon into smaller pieces. It becomes easier to keep going and you don't have to cut through the beautiful salmon after smoking when you want to save another piece for later.

Mix sugar, salt and nitrite salt in cold water. Not all the salt will dissolve, but that doesn't matter.

Then lay the fish down so that it is completely covered by the brine and store in the refrigerator throughout the salting process.

Pick up and wipe the pieces all around with paper. These are now completely rigid as almost all the liquid has seeped out.

Then place on a rack in front of a fan and let the surface dry completely. It may take an hour or two, but the fish is well preserved by the salting and can handle it.

Stuff the salmon into the smoker. Here you can choose the temperature a little depending on how fast you are. I think 70-80°C is a good range. It takes time, but the salmon is cooked more gently. I usually smoke salmon with the top damper open. If you think it's going too slowly, it's fine to raise the temperature after a while.

I usually stop smoking when the internal temperature of the salmon is around 60°C. (If you want and have time, you can connect the cold smoking unit and cold smoke the salmon for a few hours before you start hot smoking it.

Feel free to taste a piece before continuing with the hot smoking. If you cold smoke beforehand, the salmon has time to get more flavor without becoming dry.

Still a tip is to take the salmon out towards the end of the smoking and brush it with a little liquid honey and freshly ground pepper of your choice, then let it smoke for another half hour before taking it out for good).