How to Classify Smoked Salmon

The proper way to classify what type of smoked salmon you use or prefer is to do so by flavor. Smoking salmon is hundreds of years old. Smoking has a preservative effect on salmon. Centuries ago they would smoke salmon to give it longer shelf life. The process of smoking salmon gives the flavor a markedly different taste than other methods of preparation like broiling, baking, making salmon chilis or even grilling. When you smoke a salmon the natural sweet quality is amplified. Here are some common types of smoked salmon to help you classify and identify the type you like most.


Hot Smoked Salmon

Hot smoked salmon is smoked very close to the heat source. The heat source is approximately 180-200 degrees Fahrenheit. The flavor is robust and full. Hot smoked salmon is fully cooked and edible. The consistency of the meat itself is dry and flaky. You can pair hot smoked salmon with brown rye bread, crackers and a great cheese.

Cold Smoked Salmon

Cold Smoked Salmon is smoked over a low heat of 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s allowed to cook for several hours. This slow process makes for an intense flavor. The seasonings really set into the fish well. Any fish that is cooked below 165 degrees Fahrenheit is susceptible to bacteria. The way to cure this literally is soak the fish in a brine solution or coat it with salt to prevent bacteria growth or contamination.

Salt and Sugar Cured Salmon

Salt and sugar cured salmon is cold cooked. The natural curing properties of the salty and sweet mixture help in this process. The side of the salmon fillet with the skin on is generously coated with the salt and sugar mixture. You can add the seasonings of your choice. Salt, black pepper and fresh dill are all seasoning that compliment salmon well. Wrap the salmon in clear plastic cling wrap. Refrigerate the wrapped salmon for 22-72 hours. After that time the salmon can be served.

Smoking has a long history. As long as mankind has been able to build a fire we have been smoking meat. The smoke from those fires was used to cook food. This is due to the fact that meat spoils rather quickly without refrigeration. Refrigeration was not widely use and most people had no access to it. People had to find a way to preserve the meat so that it could be eaten at a later time. Sometimes, smoking was used by merchants. They would smoke their fish in order to transport the product to the market to be sold. Without these ideas, we would not have our modern day versions of fish markets. Smoking is a rich and delicious part of humanity.

Filed Under: Food & Cooking


About the Author: Leona Kesler is a head-chef at a very popular food restaurant in New York. Also she is a blogger who shares her experiences, tips, and other informative details about food and cooking. Her recipes are featured on many magazines.

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