Cold Smoked Salmon

Once i finally bought my smoker, i challenged myself to try different things. I found out about cold smoking from my son. So i bought the gear, wood chips and some salmon (they actually said frozen has a couple of advantages over fresh), After you have processed the salmon this way, vacuum seal bags will keep for 30-60 days in the refrigerator or up to 1 year in the freezer.




1 and 1/2 cups canning salt, or 2 cups kosher salt
2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup or molasses
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 whole bay leaves, dried or fresh
1 Tbs black peppercorns, cracked
1 gallon water

Curing Rub: (optional)

1 1/2 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs coriander
1 Tbs Trader Joes, Lime Chili Spice
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp kosher salt


  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large pan and heat to a boil. Simmer for five minutes, Turn off heat, cover the pan, and let cool to room temperature. Try to float an egg in the brine. If it doesn’t float, mix in another 1/4 cup of salt. Test again with the egg. Repeat until egg floats. Refrigerate brine to 40 degrees before adding fish,
  2. Place skin on fillets into the brining bag and add cooled brine. Refrigerate for 6-12 hours.
  3. Remove excess salt from salmon allowing fresh water to flow through the container for at least 1/2 hour. Gently agitate the salmon every so often to aid flushing,
  4. Slice off a piece of the salmon and taste to see if it is too salty, Continue to rinse, if needed.
  5. Season salmon flesh with rub or just air cure salmon without seasoning uncovered on a rack in the refrigerator for 12 hours before starting the cold smoking process.
  6. Fill and light your smoke generator and place in the bottom of your unheated smoker. Place salmon fillets evenly spaced on racks with space at the sides. Refill and relight your smoke generator as many times as needed to smoke the salmon for 12 to 16 hours.
  7. The salmon will be slightly drier and a bit firmer. You can smoke longer for a more intense smokey flavor.