Smoked Salmon

We usually make up a batch of this recipe for the holidays. The cured salmon makes a great appetizer served on crusty bread spread with a little cream cheese and topped with capers.

1 cup Kosher salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
Several grinds of fresh black pepper
2 Salmon fillets (about 4-5 pounds)

Combine all of a the dry ingredients in bowl, mixing well. This is your cure.

In a long, low non-reactive container that will hold the salmon, layer the cure with the salmon fillets – cure, salmon, cure, salmon, cure. Place the fillets so that the meat sides face each other.

Cover and place in fridge for at least 12 hours, but no more than 24 hours. The brine will become like syrup. That’s a good thing. Turn the fillets over every 3-4 hours.

Remove the fish from cure, rinse well in cold water and pat dry. Place the fish skin-side down on a rack. Season with a little barbecue rub if desired (I used Dizzy Pig Raging River for this batch). Move to the fridge to to dry until surface is dry but slightly sticky to the touch – 1 to 3 hours.

Smoke indirectly at 250°F using alder or grape vine for smoke. Cook until the fillets starts to flake but are still a little translucent red inside – about 1 hour.