Smoked Salmon

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Fillets of salmon that have been flavored with the smoke from burning aromatic hardwoods. The smoke from the smoldering wood gives the salmon a distinctive smoky flavor and a fine texture. Salmon are typically either cold or hot smoked which provides a different taste and texture to the meat. Cold smoking involves lower smoking temperatures which will range from 60ºF to 90ºF (15ºC to 32ºC). The meat is placed in a smoking chamber away from the fire where it remains at room temperature. As the smoke builds from the fire, it is allowed to enter the smoking chamber, passing over the Salmon to impart the smoky flavor into the fish filets and warming them slightly. Because this process does not involve cooking, the filets retain their delicate texture. However, since the Salmon is not cooked, the filets are salt cured to prepare the meat for consumption, which increases the amount of salt contained in the meat. Thus, the cold Smoked Salmon will have a noticeably salty flavor. Hot Smoked Salmon is prepared by placing the filets in a smoking chamber positioned directly over the fire. As the heat and smoke rise, the Salmon is cooked and smoked at the same time. Temperatures for hot Smoked Salmon generally range from 100ºF to 175ºF(38ºC to 93ºC) which is sufficient heat for both the meat to be cooked and the bacteria to be removed. When finished, the hot Smoke Salmon will have a firmer texture. a darker color and a smoky flavor without the salty overtone provided during the cold smoking process.

For storage, keep the Smoked Salmon refrigerated until ready to serve, storing it to be used within 4 to 6 days of opening. Just before serving, allow the Salmon to be warmed to room temperature. Garnishes that can be considered for Smoked Salmon include slices of lemon, capers, onions that are chopped into fine bits, fresh herbs such as dill, and fresh cracked pepper. Cold Smoked Salmon is often prepared with bagels and cream cheese. However, both cold or hot Smoked Salmon can be used for salads, scrambled egg dishes, sandwiches, or appetizers.

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