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Pascal Motafferi

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How to get the best cold smoked salmon

cold smoked salmon

Recently I’ve noticed a craze around cold smoking and it’s really cool. It mean that more people understand that they can do barbecue all year round.

However, you have to be careful because there are several pitfalls to avoid around cold smoking, especially when smoking fish or meat.

First, I would like to point out the big difference between cold smoking and hot smoking. For some, the difference is clear, but for new followers it’s worth remembering.

It’s simple. Basically, the big difference is that in one case, the fish / meat is cooked (hot smoking) and in the other (cold smoking), it is not. Therefore, you need to to be very careful if you want to cold smoke something. You must maintain a proper temperature in order to avoid the proliferation of bacteria.

Cold smoked salmon is similar to gravlax (cured salmon using salt, sugar, and dill), but gravlax isn’t cold smoked.

Now that we’ve outlined the differences between cold and hot smoking, here’s how I make my cold smoked salmon.¬†There are many recipes and many ways to do it, but I assure you that my version is very good.


Cold smoked salmon



1. Personally, I recommend that you keep the skin on so that the salmon will not absorb too much salt, and won’t be too salty-tasting.

2. Make sure that the outside temperature is between 0 and 10 degrees and also inside your BBQ. Use a thermometer inside your BBQ to make sure you always keep that temperature.

3. Coat your salmon with 50% kosher salt and 50% worth of our homemade spice blend. The salt will prevent the proliferation of bacteria. Here’s what our blend is made of:

4. Make enough mixture to cover the whole salmon. **Ideally use Kosher salt since the compact flakes adhere perfectly to the food to enhance its flavor.

5. Put the salmon flat in your refrigerator for 12 hours
(you can cover it to prevent the smell of fish from spreading in your refrigerator).

6. After 12h, rinse for a good minute in cold water to remove the surface spice and salt.

7. Dry the salmon

8. Put the salmon flat in the smoker with a cold smoke generator (a Smoker Box)

9. Smoke for three hours for a mild smoked taste. Leave it in for six hours for medium taste and leave it in for 12 hours for intense taste.


10. Leave to rest for at least one hour

11- Make sure you have a very sharp knife to slice your delicious smoked salmon.

12- That’s it! Is it done yet?


Send us photos of your best cold-smoked salmon and don’t hesitate to write to us if you have different and delicious recipes. We love hearing from you!