How many of you love smoked salmon as much as I do? What if you could make it at home in 24 hours, at the fraction of the cost? If you think that’s too good to be true, then think again! Try this recipe, which is preservative free and so simple it doesn’t even require a smoker, and saves you so much money you may very well never buy store-bought smoked salmon again.
Making this recipe works fine with just regular store bought fresh or frozen salmon fillets of any kind. It’s even more cost effective and satisfying when made with that big salmon you just caught this fall. I don’t need to do the math for you – as savory as smoked salmon is, it also comes with a hefty price tag. Believe it or not, this method of preparation – which emulates the popular Costco Kirkland brand smoked salmon by using a simple brine and cure – is less time consuming and expensive than any other way of preparing salmon, including oven roasting, smoking in a smoker or slow grill, grilling, etc. Costco’s secret isn’t really a secret – you can make the same thing using an amazing product called “Liquid Smoke” that only costs $1.50 a bottle! And yes, you can extend this recipe to trout and other fish as well.
2 lbs Salmon fillet(s) fresh or thawed, boneless and skinless (better penetration and curing if you completely fillet off the skin)
1/2 cup Kosher salt
2 tsp Liquid Smoke (available in condiments section at most grocery stores)
1/2 cup water
Rinse fish fillet(s) thoroughly under running water, pat dry with paper towels, air dry for a few minutes.
Sprinkle both sides of the fillet with salt, pressing the salt into the fish (a rubber spatula works well for this).
Place fillet(s) in a glass baking dish (preferred to metal for taste purity).
Mix liquid smoke & water, pour on top of the fish. NOTE: I like to make several shallow slices into the fish with a very sharp knife, to help the liquid penetrate deeply and evenly throughout the fillets, optional.
Allow the fish to cure in the fridge, for approximately 24 hours. Depending on the thickness of your fish it might take more or less time.
Sample freely till it reaches the consistency you like! Rinse off any excess salt, pat dry with paper towels. Note if it’s too salty for your taste, you can rinse with water or soak it till the salt level comes down, or if the reverse just keep it in the salt / brine a little while longer. Experiment till it comes out just the way you like it.
Slice thinly & serve, and enjoy! Not only the awesome taste, but also how much money you saved.
Store in closed container, refrigerated, for up to about a week, or freeze the extra (if it wasn’t already frozen) for future use it’ll be just fine if well sealed to prevent freezer burn.