Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

Hello again and welcome back! This year has started off with a series of blog posts featuring things I have wanted to learn but for one reason or another procrastinated. This post focuses on curing and cold smoking, two areas covered in a great book named Charcuterie The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing. For this cook I cured, then cold smoked a beautiful piece of farm raised salmon. Now sit back, grab a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc, and enjoy this post for Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon.

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

 

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

Although there are a lot of moving parts to this recipe the cure used for the salmon was simple featuring just two ingredients: Coarse Salt & Brown Sugar.

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

Mix the salt and brown sugar well and place a layer on the bottom of a pan before laying the salmon on top. Then cover the salmon with the remainder of the salt, sugar mixture.

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

I moved the cured salmon to a deeper dish since the cure creates a brine when pulling the moisture from the fish. Here is the salmon after 36 hours in the cure.

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

After 24-48 hours, rinse the salmon under cold then place it in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes to extract the salt.

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

Pull the salmon out of the water and place on a wire rack, then refrigerate (uncovered) overnight. This helps dry the salmon creating a surface the smoke will adhere to.

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

After the salmon sits overnight in the fridge it is time to set up your Big Green Egg for the cold smoke. I used the Amazen Pellet Smoker with Apple Wood pellets.

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

Fill the maze with the pellets.

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

Clean out all of the lump charcoal in your Big Green Egg so the fire box is empty. To light the pellet smoker, place on top of your grate, light the corner of the smoker with a butane torch, and let the flame burn for 10 minutes.

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

After 10 minutes, blow out the flame, and place the pellet smoker in the bottom of your fire box (mine sits on top of my Kick Ash Basket below).

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

Keep the top and bottom vents all the way open and let the smoke billow from the Big Green Egg. Place your ConvEGGerator legs up and then the grill grate on top to complete your set up.

Remember this is a COLD SMOKE so if you are doing this in weather above 70° Fahrenheit you need to add a tray of ice to your environment to keep temp under 90°. Fortunately, this cook was in February and it was 32° outside.

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

Once the pellet smoker has been producing smoke for another 10 minutes place your salmon inside on top of a wire rack on the grill grate. Close the dome and let the salmon smoke away for 6 to 12 hours.

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

For this cook, the salmon was ready at the 8 hour mark. As you can see the smoke was still going strong with this little pellet smoker!

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

Pull the smoked salmon from the Big Green Egg and place it on a large piece of butcher paper. Wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight before slicing and serving.

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

Serve with lemon, chopped hard-boiled egg, sliced red onion, capers, cream cheese, and fresh bagels.

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

This was an amazing experience and one I look forward to doing again soon trying various aromatics for the salmon cure.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Have you ever wanted to cure and cold smoke salmon? If so, this recipe will walk you through it and teach you all the in's and out's.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 2-3 Lbs. Salmon Filet
  • 2½ Cups of Coarse Salt
  • 2½ Cups of Brown Sugar
Instructions
  1. To make the cure:
  2. Combine the salt and brown sugar in a mixing bowl and mix well.
  3. Spread ⅓ of the cure over the bottom of a glass baking dish large enough to hold the fish.
  4. Lay the salmon on top of the cure.
  5. Spread the remaining cure on top of the salmon to cover the fish completely.
  6. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and cure the fish in your refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours.
  7. After 24-48 hours in the cure rinse the cure off the salmon under cold running water.
  8. Place the salmon in a large bowl and cover with cold water.
  9. Soak for 30 minutes, then drain well.
  10. Blot the salmon dry on both sides with paper towels.
  11. Lay the salmon on a wire rack over a sheet pan and let the salmon dry, uncovered, in the refrigerator over night.
  12. Fill your Amazen Pellet Smoker with Apple Wood pellets and light in one corner.
  13. Let the flame burn 10 minutes before blowing it out to produce the smoke.
  14. If you’re smoking the salmon on a warm day (temperature above 70 degrees), arrange the fish on a wire rack over a roasting pan filled with ice. (The fish should be at least 1 inch above the ice.)
  15. Empty out your fire box and place the Amazen Pellet smoker inside.
  16. Put the ConvEGGerator in the Big Green Egg for indirect cooking.
  17. Place the salmon on a wire rack in the Big Green Egg on top of the grill grate.
  18. Now cold smoke the salmon 6-12 hours. You will know when it is ready when it takes on that semi-firm and leathery look.
  19. Wrap the salmon in butcher paper and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight.
  20. Slice using a sharp knife diagonal to the fish, cut the salmon into paper-thin slices.

 

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24 comments on “Big Green Egg Cold Smoked Salmon

  1. This smoked salmon looks incredible, it takes a bit of time (ok…waiting time) to make it, but dang, I am sure it´s worth the wait, thanks for all the great tips to make this smoked salmon, all I was missing was my glass of Sauvignon Blanc 🙂

  2. Great recipe!! But I have a question: I have smoked this salmon twice now, same salmon, same times/method, same everything except the outside air temperature was about 10°C (18°F) warmer the second time, & it appeared slightly more like cooked salmon, whereas the first time it was really “raw” like “typical” smoked salmon. I smoked it 12hrs through the night. First time was +/-10-11°C (50°F), 2nd time +/-19-20°C (68°F). Surely even at 20°C the salmon would not “cook” in 12hrs. Perhaps I should try with the Ice as suggested, even at lower temperatures (??)
    Nevertheless still super tasty, just wondering if anyone had the same experience or has any ideas?
    Cheers..

  3. Hi Chris,

    Going to give your recipe a go this weekend. Thanks for the well described process; it will be my first cold smoke.

    Do you think outside temps around the freezing mark and just below will be a problem or affect the results? My setup is the same as yours.

    Thanks

    1. Darryl,

      Thanks for reaching out. My assumption is it will not impact your cold smoke. If anything it should help. Interested in the results… please report back!

        1. Sorry for the delay in coming back with the results. The salmon came out perfectly in those conditions. I smoked on the lower side of your recommended time and we were very pleased with the results. Thank you for this excellent article and recipe.

  4. I’ve made this recipe twice now; each time amazing. The second time I smoked the fish for only 6 hours and it was probably the best smoked salmon I’ve had in my entire life. Long and fulfilling process – thanks for posting and can’t wait to try more curing/smoking.

  5. Hi Chris. I’m new to your site but look forward to many future visits. The site is great and your recipes look awesome! Question. With the cold smoking in warm/hot weather using a large BGE, how would you suggest incorporating the ice into the process? Thanks!

    1. To be direct, I haven’t done cold smoking in warm weather. With that said, I would suspect putting a large tray of ice in the BGE on top of the ConEVVGtor would help keep the environment cool.

  6. Hi Chris, this is very interesting. To be clear, you are not using any charcoal in the BGE?
    The pellets provide the smoke, but also are the heat source?
    I have a cast iron smoker box I used to use with my gas grill. Can this hold the pellets?

    1. You are correct, the pellets are the heat source as well. This is truly “cold smoking” which is more like curing than it is cooking. With that said, the smoker box should work fine.

      1. Hi Chris. Finally did the salmon a few weeks ago. Live in Canada, 2 hours east of Toronto. Was able to find the Amazon pellet smoker, so very happy with it.
        Salmon turned out ok.
        Texture was great! Was a little salty though.
        Left in the cure for 48 hours. Rinsed, then soaked in cold water for 30 minutes. Rinsed & soaked for another 30 minutes.
        For my next attempt I have 2 thoughts:
        1) reduce the amount of salt in the cure.
        2) only cure for 24 hours.
        I’m thinking option 2 is the best solution.
        You’re thoughts?

          1. I’ve done it 3 times now. The best outcome was with curing with just over 24hrs. First I did 48 hrs and it was very salty also. The other was 36 hrs, not as salty, but it didn’t turn out as well because my XL BGE got too hot. I think the pellets caught of fire near the end and raised the temp over 100°F. On the other hand, the “skin” produced during the time when the temperature was too high made what I called salmon jerky that was a big hit with some. I filleted that hard “skin” layer off and served it separately from the rest of the meat.

          2. Thanks for the input Eric.
            I too ended up with the “skin”. Mine came from deciding to do an 8 hour smoke. I filleted it off as well(all mine!).
            Next time it’s a 24 hour brine & 6 hour smoke. Stay tuned!

  7. I just finished smoking my. It looks fantastic! I’m trying to perfect it before thanksgiving. If this one is as good as it looks, how long will it last? I can get my hands on a vacuum sealer to prolong its life.