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Hot Smoking Salmon

A while back I discovered how easy it was to hot smoke salmon. I love cooking  salmon – grilled or baked – and I love eating traditional smoked salmon, or cold smoked.

Hot smoking is kind of a cross between cooking and cold smoking. You apply smoke during the cooking process to give the salmon a lovely woody, smoked flavour.

I’ve posted a few hot smoking recipes before. Here’s the how-to of easy hot smoking and some of the recipes using hot smoked salmon.

How to hot smoke salmon:

All you need is an aluminium foil container, aluminium foil, a cake (wire) rack, some wood smoking chips, and a barbecue and you are right to go!

Ingredients 
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary and/or sage leaves 

Salmon fillets, skin on

Sprinkle of sea salt

Sprinkle of sugar

1-2 teaspoons chili paste or sambal oelek (or leave out if you prefer)

Olive oil

Method
Preheat your barbecue to high. You will need a large aluminum foil container, readily available at supermarkets. It should be big enough to hold the size of the fish fillets you are going to smoke. You will also need a wire rack, the kind for cooling cakes on, that will fit inside the container.

Line the base of the foil container with wood smoking chips. These chips (usually hickory) are available at barbecue supply stores or hardware stores. Scatter the rosemary and sage over the wood chips.

Place the wire rack inside the container, so it sits about halfway down.

Sprinkle the salmon fillets with salt and sugar and rub with the chilli paste and a drizzle of olive oil. Put the fillets skin side down on top of the wire rack.  

Cover the container with a large piece of aluminium foil, that’s been doubled over. It should completely cover the container. Using a metal skewer, pierce holes in rows across this foil lid. This is to allow the smoke to escape.

Place the container on the barbecue, turn down to a medium heat and put the top of the barbecue down. If your barbecue doesn’t have a top, you may have to cook for a little longer, as cooking with the top down captures more heat.

 Cook for 10 to 15 minutes – the time taken will depend on how well cooked you want your salmon and the presence/absence of a barbecue top. After a couple of minutes the container will start to smoke.

After the 10-15 minutes of cooking, turn the heat off and leave it to sit for 5 minutes before opening the container. This will allow the residual smoke to continue to penetrate the salmon.

You can always check the “doneness” of the salmon by cutting into it, but, like a barbecued steak you risk spoiling the look of it. However if you are serving to fussy eaters who like their fish cooked through, then it’s worth doing.

This is the basic method. You can serve the hot smoked salmon in a myriad of recipes – here a few pics and links to some recipes.

Hot Smoked Salmon Fillet with Jamie Oliver Coconut Rice and Greens
https://thequirkandthecool.com/2014/03/11/hot-smoked-salmon-fillet-with-coconut-rice-and-greens/

Hot Smoked Salmon Pasta: Jamie Oliver 5 Ingredients https://thequirkandthecool.com/2017/09/10/hot-smoked-salmon-pasta-jamie-oliver-5-ingredients/

Hot Smoked Salmon Club Sandwich – Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Food https://thequirkandthecool.com/2014/11/09/hot-smoked-salmon-club-sandwich-jamie-olivers-comfort-food/

Salmon Fillet with Spaghetti and Pesto https://thequirkandthecool.com/2014/01/26/salmon-fillet-with-spaghetti-and-pesto/

Hot Smoked Salmon, Pappardelle and Garden Greens Salad https://thequirkandthecool.com/2013/10/12/hot-smoked-salmon-pappardelle-and-garden-greens-salad/

Hot Smoked Salmon Club Sandwich – Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Food

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I started hot smoking salmon last year and now that’s about the only way I cook it. It’s incredibly easy to do. I followed Jamie’s instructions but then simplified his method to something that works really well.

Basically, you get a foil take away food container, scatter some hickory chips inside, throw some woody herbs on top – rosemary works well. You need to acquire a wire rack to fit on top of the container. The fish fillet/s are seasoned by rubbing with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp caster sugar and 1/2 tsp of sambal oelek (chili paste).

It’s then a matter of laying the seaoned fish fillet/s on the rack and covering the container with aluminum foil.

The foil is pierced with a skewer at intervals – this lets the smoke out. Cook on a very hot barbecue grill. Depending on the size of the fillet/fillets, and the heat of the grill, the fish takes between 10- 20 minutes to cook. I cook a medium sized salmon fillet for about 10 minutes for medium rare and about 12 minutes for cooked through. It’s important to let the fish “rest ” for a few minutes after cooking.

For more information and photos of hot smoking, click here.

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Jamie Oliver’s book Comfort Food has some wonderful recipes including this one for a Hot Smoked Salmon Club Sandwich, giving me another recipe for this method of cooking salmon. This is my version, with a couple of changes which I have noted.

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Ingredients

20og salmon, skin on (piece or fillets)

Home made or good bought mayonnaise, with some pounded basil leaves mixed through

4 slices of streaky bacon

4 slices of nice bread (something rustic)

1 large ripe tomato

1 small ripe avocado

I punnet of cress (I left this out)

1 handful of mignonette or cos lettuce leaves

1 lemon

Salted crisps (I left these out)

 

Method

Hot smoke the salmon according to the above instructions. Remove to a board, discard the skin and flake into pieces (not too small).

While the salmon is smoking, cook the bacon in a frying pan over a medium heat until crispy and cooked through, then remove from the pan.

Swirl the pan to spread the fat out, then toast the slices of bread in the fat to soak up the wonderful flavour.

Slice the tomato, peel, de-stone and slice the avocado.

Spread the toast with basil mayo, then layer two slices with the bacon, tomato, avocado, salmon, cress if using, lettuce and a squeeze of lemon, and the crisps if using. Top with the remaining slices of toast.

 

Hot Smoked Chili Salmon

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I have been researching how to hot smoke salmon fillets at home on the barbecue and it’s really easy!

I have adapted a Jamie Oliver recipe and have made it even easier than his pretty simple instructions. Here is the link to his recipe:

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fish-recipes/hot-smoked-salmon-with-an-amazing-chilli-salsa

I made the smoker using an aluminum foil container, instead of the tin Jamie suggests. I used hickory wood chips rather than sawdust to create the smoke. Otherwise I pretty much followed his instructions, although I found I needed to cook the fish a little longer than he suggests.

Ingredients

Enough hickory chips to line the base of the smoker container
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
A  few sprigs of fresh sage
1 x 200 g wild or organic salmon fillet, skin on
Sprinkle of sea salt
Sprinkle of sugar
1 tsp sambal oelek or chili paste
Olive oil

Acquire an aluminum foil container with a cardboard lid. Cover the lid with foil and pierce holes in rows. Find a wire rack that will fit inside the container.

Place several handfuls of hickory chips into the container, followed by the rosemary and sage sprigs. IMG_9325

Place the wire rack in the container, so it sits about halfway down.

Sprinkle the salmon fillet with salt, sugar and chili and rub with a drizzle of olive oil. Then lay it skin side down on top of the wire (this acts like a grill rack) and put the lid on the container.

IMG_9346Place it on the barbecue, over a medium heat, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. After a couple of minutes it will start to smoke.

When the fish is ready, turn the heat off and leave it to sit for 5 minutes before opening the container. This will allow any residual smoke and heat to penetrate the fish. Lift the salmon fillet out and place on to a serving plate.

I served the salmon fillet with coconut rice – see recipe in previous salmon post:

https://thequirkandthecool.com/2014/03/11/hot-smoked-salmon-fillet-with-coconut-rice-and-greens/

And also with a little dipping sauce made with kecap manis and sweet chili sauce.

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