Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Cure

It's getting to be summer time here, and it's about now when everyone starts to break out their bbq's, grills, and smokers. So, over the next few days, we'll get down on some bbq rubs, some cures, and some smoked foods. 

First things first, smoking, and we're starting from square one. Don't let anybody tell you that your kitchen keeps you from doing smoked foods. You can build a stove top smoker for hot smoking, and with some crafty maneuvers, you can do cold smoking as well.

To build a stove top smoker, you can go cheap or expensive. The cheap way consists of aluminum foil covering the bottom of your biggest pot, with a wire rack over the top of the pot, sealed by more aluminum foil. Put your wood chips in the bottom (apple is a great smoking wood), crank the heat, build some smoke, and hang anything you want from the rack. The "expensive" way is going to a local restaurant supply store and spending roughly $20 on 2 hotel pans, a grate insert for said pans. Put one on the stove top, put down your wood chips, put the grate over the top and the 2nd hotel pan on top upside down as a lid. Build up smoke and place your food items on the grate. For those interested in cold smoking, you will need to purchase some ductwork from Home Depot, Lowes, or any store of that nature. To cold smoke, you simply need the smoke to travel far enough so it cools down by the time it reaches your food. These setups can be difficult to jury rig in a home environment.

Now that you've got your smoker ready, let's chat for a minute about all the things the can be smoked. Just about anything. From cheeses to meats to fish to fruit, almost anything can be smoked. Today, I'm just going to give you one recipe (dinner service is starting and I'm supposed to be at my station in like 4 minutes).

Smoked Salmon!

1 Salmon Filet
1/4 cup Salt
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Paprika
1 Tablespoon Thyme
2 Tablespoons Black Pepper

Mix everything together (except the salmon), and rub it on the salmon. Let it rest in the fridge for a few hours, then rinse it off gently. After rinsing, sprinkle all the black pepper over the flesh and let it sit for another 20 minutes in the fridge. You're doing this because after it's been salted/sugared, the black pepper will help a pellicle (a tacky skin) form on the outside of the fish. After that's done, throw it into your smoker for about 30 minutes with good smoke, and from there, enjoy! It goes great with a very simple chevre "mousse", recipe below.

1 cup Chevre
1 Teaspoon Shallot (minced)
1 Teaspoon Chives (cut very small)
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
1/8 cup Water

Throw everything into the food processor and blend it smooth. The water is purely for texture, so feel free to add as you see fit.

Til next time!


  1. You have to be kidding me. I have my first grill of the season recipe up. Hive mind.

  2. Even without pictures this is making me hungry.

  3. I have wanted to smoke meats for so fucking long. Might be getting to that this summer because my friends and I are building a hobo shack in the woods, so maybe we can build a ghetto smoker.

  4. yummy, my gf must cook this to me asap!

  5. That smoked salmon recipe seems way off from what I normally do at home. I'll have to try your way this summer. Now I ask, do you have any home recipes for a simple grilled camping food ideas?

  6. Thank you! Always wanted to try smoked salmon. :)

  7. I always cook such lame salmon, this should but much help.

  8. Mouth waterinnnngggggg smoked salmon. Gotta try it. Hot stuff. Thanks for the post!

  9. sounds tasty =) yet again!

  10. ok just got an idea for lunch today :)

  11. Salmon, delicious! That will be my friday dinner :)

  12. Now I know what to make when my parents are over tomorrow

  13. I love smoked food. Especially salmon. Nice post.