Making Lox a picture guide.

Discussion in 'Fish' started by bbally, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. mds51

    mds51 Meat Mopper

    Since I have taken a big interest in making Lox since i have joined the forum and have learned a lot I am going to give you my two cents as well. I Have done several batches of Lox and the results have all been very good. I do NOT do th salinating or brining step and still get quality and consistant results. I also use a lot of fresh lemon and orange zest and fresh dill and wrap two whole fillets up in plastic wrap and weigh them down for three days with turning them once during this time. The only mistake I made as you can see in the above threads is that I let the last batch sit in the fridge to form the pellical too long and had a litte too much form making a little skin on this batch. Dave came through with his usual good advice and I will cut the pellical time down considerablly. As far as the smoking it is done in a MES and i only cold smoke with the AMNPS using Alder wood dust. If it is warm outside I use an ice bottle in the drip tray to keep it well below 100 degrees. We only smoke for threee hours and let the fillets sit under the kitchen exhaust hood to cool and mellow for an hour before slicing and vacuum bagging. The texture is perfect and the taste is rich and buttery. THe citrus zest and dill are there and soem fresh zest and dill can be put in the vacuum bag fo added flavor. Thanks to the forum and Todd Johnson and his products this is one of the best things my brother and I smoke and I have not bought Lox at the store since we have started this process. Also the results have been great from Salmon that has the skin on or off and from different sources. Good Luck and the work to do it right is well worth it!!!

  2. gamedemon

    gamedemon Newbie

    AWESOME Recipe... I unfortunately use cheap Sockeye from Costco... and our friends and Family scoop it faster than I can vacuum seal it ! I also use the AMNPS and follow the recipe to a T. Thank you !
  3. bregent

    bregent Smoking Fanatic

    FYI... Bay Area COSTCO's just got fresh wild copper river sockeye in stock - $13.99/lb. 

    Picked up a 3lb pack and will be making this recipe this weekend.
  4. bregent

    bregent Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks to bbally and everyone else that contributed to this thread! The lox I made last weekend with the Copper River salmon turned out better than I ever imagined. It's at least as good as the Nova I had on a trip back home to NYC a few months ago. I followed the recipe almost exactly except for the drying stage - I reduced the drying time from 36 to 4 hours to avoid over-drying as some others had reported. I only freshened for 60 minutes because a taste test after cure had very little salt. I think it might not have picked up as much salt as expected because of the skin. I scored the skin but next time I think I will remove it completely before brining. Here are some pics.

  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks mighty good...... I love the flavor of "raw cooked" salmon.... so much better than "temp cooked"...... Nice job on the fish.....
    Sockeye makes the best lox..... and Copper River is tops.....
  6. How delicious looking! Here's to yummy Copper River indeed! Cheers! - Leah
  7. mark66

    mark66 Fire Starter

    You are right about removing skin. Had mine in a fridge for 48 hrs and i had to take the skin and back in the fridge for at least 24 more hrs.The skin on this salmon is like bottom of my shoes.
  8. mark66

    mark66 Fire Starter

    3 days in the fridge. 3 hours of refresh and 6 hrs in the fridge with fan on. Turned out great and tastes good. One question I do have, when I buy lox at Sams club I don't need to slice it. It comes apart in layers like pealing an onion. Nice little sheets to put cream cheese on it , roll it and eat without bagel.Any suggestions? Maybe next batch just use belly part and cure it between 2 boards with lot of weight on it or use 2 clamps?
  9. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    This is a guess, bit I'd assume the stuff you get at SAMs is sliced on a slicer before its packaged. Every time I've bought lox that has been the case. Just slice yours with a VERY sharp thin bladed knife and you can get pretty close to the machine sliced.
  10. mark66

    mark66 Fire Starter

    I follow what you are saying but it's not sliced. Sliced would have straight cuts. this is like peeling an onion. When you bake a piece of salmon then press on it it falls apart with grain. I am having hard time explaining. Next time at sams I will take a closer look.

  11. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Ok I follow. I don't know what to tell you though. Not sure about the stuff you get at Sam's as I've never bought it there, but all the lox I've ever made doesn't flake apart as it's not cooked. Are you referring to the smoked salmon that comes in the foil pouch? If it's labeled as smoked salmon it'll usually be cooked and will flake apart. If it's labeled as Lox, Gravlax or Nova Lox it's usually sliced. Wish I had better answers for you but I'm at a loss as to how to get salmon as prepared following Bbally's method in this thread to flake like cooked salmon.
  12. Mark, I know exactly what you're talking about. The slices are of similar thickness but differing sizes and shapes. My only guess would be that when they make the slices for sam's style packaging, they don't trim up the salmon piece and they slice the whole filet from end to end very thinly. Doing it this way, you'd get differing sized pieces with a similar thickness because of how the filet it shaped.

    Then they lay the piece together and shrink wrap very tightly. I have a feeling this process effects the way the slices meld together and makes it like peeling an onion as you're saying. 

  13. gibsorz

    gibsorz Smoke Blower

    Safety question

    Now, salmon is a frequent carrier of both roundworm and are most fish. I see a lot of people making lox from 'fresh' Salmon from Costco or Sams club. The two ways I know to kill these parasites are
    A) cook to IT of 145 (not an option)
    B) Freeze the fish to -35 Celsius (-31 Farenheit) for 15 hours (as per my local CDC authorities).

    Nitrites are considered an insufficient method for parasite destruction. So is everyone just playing Russian roulette, or does Costco/SAMs club properly process the salmon ahead of time to properly destroy all parasites.
  14. Complete, total, Food Porn. I am so in!!!!!!
  15. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Parasites become a concern when consumers eat raw or lightly preserved fish such as sashimi, sushi, ceviche, and gravlax. When preparing these products, use commercially frozen fish. Alternatively, freeze the fish to an internal temperature of -4°F for at least 7 days to kill any parasites that may be present. Home freezers are usually between 0°F and 10°F and may not be cold enough to kill the parasites.

    You can adjust your freezer to -4 F.... Links/Parasites-FDA-Hazards-Guide-FDA.pdf
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
  16. gibsorz

    gibsorz Smoke Blower

    Thanks Dave! Yea I knew there were safe ways to do it at higher temp, just didn't know what the specifics were. But, unless I missed it in the OP and subsequent posts, it is not mentioned in this thread at all. People always mention "use cure #1 at this ratio" in all their recipes...the "make sure to freeze it to -4f for 7 days", is along the same lines and should be mentioned no?
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
  17. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's -4 for 30 7 days I think.... Wild pig recommends 30 days I think...

    Most folks can't get "Fresh fish".... Those folks that are fortunate enough to get fresh fish, usually have some idea of worms, bacteria and botulism possibilities....
    Frozen fish, from a processor is "Blast Frozen" at around -35, or something like that, to maintain the cellular integrity of the meat, and the fish is as close to fresh as you can get...

    On the other hand, being the devil's advocate, consumers have some responsibility to verify recipes using reputable sources before preparing meats....

    On this forum, members do their best to provide accurate recipes that, for the most part, will provide meat that is safe for human consumption... We can't anticipate every condition that may arise.... such as gluten, peanut or red dye allergies...

    We DO anticipate things like botulism possibilities, routine bacteria and pathogens when smoking and cooking temperatures of products... The disclaimers may not appear in EVERY thread or recipe, but, reading many threads will provide a wealth of information.. most everything has been covered, in this forum, at least once.... The search bar at the top of the page, is a valuable resource for searching out "obscure" questions.....

    This thread has some good info..... I did a search....

    I am making pickled salmon as I type... It was in pure, dry pickling salt for 4 months in the fridge.... Now it is in vinegar/sugar/water... spices etc... Hopefully the Water Activity, then the Acidic environment did all the nasties in.... I'm not looking at the fish... It goes on a cracker and "DOWN THE HATCH"..... I love it, and parasites are the least of my problems... Dave loves pickled sockeye.... here piggy piggy piggy... don't get between the pickled sockeye jar and Dave...

    Did I digress..... OK.... I think anyone that eats "raw" stuff has a good idea of what's going on with their food, like you do... and me.... and most raw food eaters....

    We try to anticipate problems.... we ask questions.... we can't catch or intercept every situation.....

    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
  18. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The statement below has me confused......

    Freezing and storing at an ambient temperature of -4°F (-20°C) or below for 7 days (total time), or freezing at an ambient temperature of -31°F (-35°C) or below until solid and storing at an ambient temperature of -31°F (-35°C) or below for 15 hours, or freezing at an ambient temperature of -31°F (-35°C) or below until solid and storing at an ambient temperature of -4°F (-20°C) or below for 24 hours are sufficient to kill parasites. Note that these conditions may not be suitable for freezing particularly large fish (e.g., thicker than 6 inches).
  19. gibsorz

    gibsorz Smoke Blower

    i think basically
    Freeze to -4f and hold at -4f = 7 days
    Blast freeze then hold at -4f = 24 hours
    Blast freeze and kept at that temp (-31f) = 15 hours.

    Pig is longer...same with bear...Trich roundworm is quite cold resistant...but then I sometimes just get the tongue tested instead then don't worry about it if it comes back negative (never had a bear come back positive for trich yet)

    A little extra time doesn't hurt and blast frozen is probably best case scenario because as you said, it maintains the integrity of the meat better.

    Also Dave, I deal with the bottom 5% of the population 95% of the time with work...and people are lazy. This is an open forum, not members only to view this. There are enough people out there who would read 1 thread (or even just the OP) go to Wally world, buy almost expired fish and make Lox. But I guess that falls in the natural selection side of things.

    With the amount that you cured/salted that salmon there would be no concern. As you stated, parasites are a concern only with raw or lightly preserved preserve the crap out of that pickled salmon. Have you done a post about your pickled salmon (off to the search bar I go, sounds very good)
  20. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I think I did in a "lox and pickled salmon" thread.... I'll check.... I didn't take any pics of this process... but here's the product waiting a few weeks in the pickle.... been in 12 days now .... another weeks or so and ...........

    The container was too big and too much pickle left over so, I had to throw in more white onions.....
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014

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