Ever wondered why some smoked salmon is velvety smooth, and others are dry and flakey? Let’s discover the world of smoked salmon together…
Back in 2013, I traveled to Alaska for a work conference and I brought back a few packages of smoked salmon. Upon my return home, I was quite surprised how different these smoked salmon looked. Not the usual velvety soft refrigerated kind of smoked salmon that I used to.
And after some research, I learned that there’re two different ways to smoke a salmon: cold-smoked and hot-smoked.
What is hot smoked salmon?
Hot-smoked salmon is rich and flakey, opaque orange in color.
This method is where you smoke/cook salmon at 120-180°F.
What is cold smoked salmon?
Cold-smoked salmon has delicately soft and silky texture and translucent pinkish orange color.
Cold-smoking method requires first curing the fish with salt brine, then slowly smoking it at 70-90°F.
What is lox?
Now, what is lox, you ask? Well, lox is similar to cold-smoked salmon, but it’s never smoked. It’s simply brined in salt solution and refrigerated for 24 hours.
How to store smoked salmon?
Hot-smoked salmon is usually canned or vacuum-sealed and can be stored at room temperature for very long time. Once opened, refrigerate it for up to 1 week.
Cold-smoked salmon and lox:
Cold-smoked salmon is perishable and must be stored in the refrigerator. Once opened, store cold-smoked salmon no more than 1 week in the fridge.
How to use smoked salmon:
Both types of smoked salmon are versatile and can be eaten right out of packaging.
Typically, hot-smoked salmon is best for cooking though. Because it’s rich and flakey, it stands the heat really well and lends great flavor in hot dishes.
Cold-smoked salmon is ideal when consumed cold.
As the texture of cold-smoked salmon is delicate, it loses its velvety texture when exposed to heat.
My favorite recipes with smoked salmon:
- Smoked Salmon Quiche with hot-smoked salmon
- Versatile Smoked Salmon Crostini Bar – a perfect self-serve brunch
- Smoked Salmon Cucumber Bites – an effortlessly impressive appetizer bites
- Smoked Salmon Cottage Cheese Bites – an interesting appetizer idea
- Colorful Smoked Salmon Stuffed Sweet Peppers – a bright and colorful appetizer
- Smoked Salmon Fettuccini Alfredo – a quick and easy weeknight pasta
- Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs – a delicious twist on classic appetizer
- Dill Crepes with Smoked Salmon – an impressive brunch idea for any celebration
Can I make smoked salmon at home?
Yes, you sure can! Especially, if you can get your hands on some really fresh salmon, it’s quite a treat to make a homemade smoked salmon. Here’re a great tutorials: