Instructables

Homemade Lox

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Picture of Homemade Lox

After being inspired by Alton Brown to make a cardboard cold smoker to make bacon I started to think of what else I could cold smoke. One of the first suggestions I got was to make lox (cold smoked salmon). 

I have had lox from grocery stores, Einstein's Brothers, as well as the local Katz's deli but my version turned out as good or better and costs a fraction of all the above.

Best of all you know exactly what's in it and how fresh it is when you get it.


Important Note: It seems that uncooked, yet cured foods may be regarded as safe, as long as the preparation and sanitation directions are strictly followed. That said, any animal product that in uncooked could be hazardous for the young, elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.
 
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Step 1: Materials

Hardware:

1/2 sheet pan (2)
Cooling rack (2)
Plastic wrap
5lbs of weight
Paper towels

Software:
Salmon fillet(s)
Kosher salt
Sugar
Black pepper

This is based off of a Gravlachs recipe from food network, with some modification.

I used frozen, unseasoned salmon fillets. You can use fresh but note that the recipe calls for freezing the salmon for minimum of one week before starting the cure process. These fillets already had the skin and any pin bones removed so there was no further prepwork.

Cure: 
2 parts kosher salt
1 part sugar
1 part ground black pepper

In a bowl combine the above ingredients and blend together with a fork.

bob west2 years ago
am nice
If you start with 3#'s @ $7.50 per lb=$22.50
you end with 1.5#'s @ $15.00 per lb=$22.50
you lost $11.25 in the brine cure & cold smoke process
do to the loss of 1.5 lbs of moisture.
yoyology4 years ago
The best part of this 'ible is the two offset pans used to duct the dehumidified air.  That is simply genius.  Well done!
Joe Byers4 years ago
Your method sounds good.  I have a different way.  Instead of dry curing the salmon, I brine cure it in a ten per cent salt solution( a raw whole egg just barely floats in it.  I like to put brown sugar into this solution,but you can add other things to your liking.  I place the thawed once frozen salmon in a resealable bag and force out all the air before sealing.  This I put in the refrigerator for a minimum of 12 hours. Then rinse and taste for saltiness.  I then dry it well with a paper towel.  I lay it flat in the refrigerator for 24 hours so that it can develop the shiny gloss.
For a smoker I use an operating dorm room size refrigerator.  I simply lay the fillets on the rack. 
The smoke generator is one that I found on the web that uses a metal food can and a small pencil point sized soldering iron.  Open the can half way so that you can bend the lid back closed.  Put a hole in the other part of the lid big enough to put in the soldering iron.  Fill the can with wood chips, close the lid, plug in the soldering iron and place it in the bottom of the refrigerator.
I live in Florida.  It has been recommended that the salmon does not get over 70 degrees F. This method assures that the salmon maintains its consistency. and doesn't "cook" , because the refrigerator keeps it cool.
I have priced commercial cold smokers on line and they can cost more that $600.00.  My refrigerator was about $100.00.  The soldering iron cost about $5.00
wlai4 years ago
Very nice!  Particularly about the dehumidifier to dry the salmon.  I've cold smoked salmon using a new soldering iron and a tin can in my weber grill, and saved the step of making a smoker. It turned out quite well!

http://www.smoker-cooking.com/coldsmokedsalmon.html
sandds (author)  wlai4 years ago
Cool site. Thanks for the info.

I'll have to try the smoked cheese that you did in your video. It should be easy enough to do when I do my next batch of lox. I'll just set up a horizontal rack for it to sit on.

How long would you smoke a typical size brick of cheese?
aeray4 years ago
Excellent. I've used a cruder (liquid smoke) method to preserve wild-caught steelhead (caught by me) and had great results. I'll have to try the cold-smoker method as soon as I get a chance, and the steelhead season heats back up.