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Thread: Salmon Lachs

  1. #1
    Member mntransplant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    S. Anchorage, AK

    Default Salmon Lachs

    I know this may sound like a stupid question and i even feel a bit stupid asking it. Bit how do you make Salmon Lachs? I am assuming its just smoked salmon.... Am i right? Is it cold smoked or hot smoked? Which species works best for this? Once its cooked does it just peel off or do you have to seperate it or cut it? Does anyone have any suggestions for me (other than going to freds to buy it)? Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Cold Smoking

    The Process:
    I use a cold smoking process where first you brine the fish with Kosher salt only. Cover each whole filet with kosher salt and let it sit overnight. In the morning the fish will be sitting in a pool of fluid that was pulled from the fish. Rinse the fillet thoroughly to remove as much salt as possible, even scrub fillet if your fish is too will probably do a couple batches before you get the salinity right.

    I poke a hole through the tail of the fillet and hang it vertically in the smoker with a loop of rope and a hook.

    VERY VERY small fire, I use real apple wood pieces and keep the fire as small as humanly possible. Fire too hot = hot smoked fish.

    Smoke with Cold Smoke, i.e. 85 degrees or less for the first 10-12 hours (meat should be cold to the touch, never warm during the first 12 hours) and then slowly bring up the heat never above 120 degrees, if you do this too quickley the fish will "cook" and the tail hole will not be able to hold up the filet anymore. I generally start removing fish after about 18 hours of smoking. Very difficult to get a feel for when to remove the fish...experience and trial and error are the only ways to get a feel for this.

    Slice thin and enjoy with bread and butter. Some poeple use cream cheese, but I think that masks the flavor of the fish too much. My best batches of fish fall off of the skin and are very smooth and delicate in texture...almost spreadable if you know what I mean. If you get this process right it isn't even comparable to the Alaska Sausage and Seafood lachs.

    This is a traditional Latvian style cold smoking process my family brought from Europe.

    The Smoker Setup:

    I built this in my backyard. Basically you need the smoke pipe underground to cool the smoke on the way to the smoker. Mine is about 10 feet long and travels from the fire pit to the smoker where it comes up out of the ground and into the smoker.

    I built the sheetmetal cover to direct the smoke into the pipe. (see photos, partical board in photos NOT FOR SMOKING LOL!!!)

    The smoker is just a 55 gallon (food grade) steel drum that I got from arctic brewing supply and cut the top off. I have rods spanning the inside of the drum that the fish hang vertically off of. I have modified the smoker a bit since the photos were taken, but this gives you a general idea.

    PM me and I can give you way more insight and info if you are interested.

    Cheers, and Happy smoking.


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