8 people

For the Salmon

  • 1 Salmon Whole side of salmon fillet (approx 3-4 lb
  • 2 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 whole lemon zested
  • 2 tbsp peppercorns
  • 3 sprigs thyme

Horseradish Sauce

  • 1 cup veganaise (mayo)
  • 3 tbsp prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • salt to taste

Nutritional information

Calories: 462kcalCarbohydrates: 67gProtein: 5gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 35561mgPotassium: 158mgFiber: 1gSugar: 63gVitamin A: 40IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 1mg

Prep Time 2 days
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 days 25 minutes
Servings 8 people


  • stove top smoker

How to cold smoke salmon

  • First thing to do is to buy the freshest salmon you can find.  Make sure the whole fillet is cleaned and trimmed of any fat and bones.  Leave the skin on the salmon fillet. Place the whole salmon fillet in a deep dish so that it can lay completely flat. You can use a half sheet pan if it is big enough.
    In a large bowl add salt and sugar, mix together well. Add zest, peppercorns, and thyme to the salt-sugar mixture. Then completely cover the salmon with the sugar salt mixture to cure the salmon. Place in a refrigerator and allow the salmon to cure for 24 hours.
    After the 24 hours has passed, wash the salmon off completely of all the salt and sugar mixture.  Pat the salmon dry and let the salmon fillet dry out for 24 hours in the refrigerator (you can allow the salmon to dry out for up to 7 days if you want this would be gravlax).  Then the next day prepare your smoker. 
    I used a stove top smoker with cherry, hickory, and oak wood chips (few pinches of each).  When you smoke the salmon because you don't want it to cook, you have to pack the smoker with ice.  Place the wood chips on the bottom of your smoker.  Then place your rack on top.
    Fill plastic zip lock bags full of ice and place on top of the tray that goes on top of your rack.  Place the Salmon fillet on top of the ice.  My smoker was too small so I couldn't get my lid on so I just wrapped the smoker in foil.  On low heat (because you don't want the salmon to cook) smoke the salmon for about 20 minutes.  Then turn off the heat and let the salmon stay in the smoker another 20 minutes. 
    Here, some people might hang the salmon for another day or so and let it dry out a little more for preserving; but essentially you are done from this point.  This should last easily a week or two in the refrigerator. But I don't think it will because the flavors will be so good that you will eat it up right away.  The very ends of the fillet will probably be a little tough and salty, so feel free to discard the first piece or two. 

For the horseradish sauce

  • Prepare the horseradish sauce by place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well.  ( You can always use sour cream as well if you don't like veganaise or mayo)

To finish

  • Then slice the salmon very thinly on an extreme angle to get nice slices of smoked copper river salmon.  Serve and enjoy with horseradish sauce, capers and micro greens for a appetizer!
    home smoked salmon recipe

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