How is Smoked Salmon Made? Different Methods of Smoking Salmon

Smoked salmon has been a favorite for hundreds of years. When cured and smoked, it is considered one of the finest types of fish. The reason behind this fish being so popular is the method used to prepare it which makes it healthy as well as tasty.

What are the Origins of Smoked Salmon?

People have been smoking fish for centuries to keep them from going bad when there was no refrigeration. In ancient Greece and Rome they were already smoking salmon.

In the late 1800s, Jewish immigrants from Poland and Russia brought their way of smoking salmon with them to England where they began by importing Baltic salmon but switched over to Scottish because it was closer. This kind became popular all over UK where by 1930’s you could find smoked salmon at any luxury food store in Britain.

But it wasn’t just Europe that had this idea; indigenous people across Alaska and the Pacific Northwest had their own method called cold-smoking which preserved fish into more jerky-like state. Smoked salmon was also part of diet among tribes living along Northwest coast northward through Canadian First Nations territories.

Smoking Salmon: How to Prepare

Smoking is a technique that involves curing and partially dehydrating meat or fish so as to prevent bacterial activity and spoilage caused by other microorganisms too like yeasts etcetera while still making sure it tastes great! There are two ways you can smoke your salmons; hot or cold.

Cold Smoked Salmon

Salmon is most commonly cold smoked at around 37 degrees Celsius (99 degrees Fahrenheit). This will not cook the fish but instead keep its fresh flavor intact with a silky texture. A light cure will also bring out natural flavors better, although during curing stage some spices may be added such as dill among others – however simple flavor profile works best according experts! Cold smoked salmon serves well on bagels, appetizers or eaten alone – we’ll look into some popular recipes later on!

Hot Smoked Salmon

Hot smoking is done at no less than 49 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit) which ensures that the fish gets cooked through while still being smoked resulting in flaky baked texture. The taste of hot smoked salmon is much smokier than that from its counterpart cold smoke variety. Typically rubs and glazes are added after curing process like maple teriyaki or black pepper among other flavors too! Hot smoked salmons work great for warm dishes such as pastas, tarts and scrambled eggs but can also be enjoyed whole just like their cold smoked cousins.

The Most Popular Types of Smoked Salmon

Scotch Smoked Salmon

This is the most sought after type of salmon because it offers a truly gourmet experience. This fish comes from the Scottish Sea, Norwegian Sea and Faroe Islands where it’s sourced out of icy waters having rich orangey-pink hue with butter-like flavor profile. In scotch smoking method chips made from oak barrels (usually recycled whiskey ones) are used; dry cured then cold smoked – carries kosher Scottish salmon for many world renowned restaurants.

Norwegian Smoked Salmon

Second in popularity only to Scottish smoked salmon, the Norwegian variety boasts a denser smoke flavor and stronger smell. Coming from Norway’s cold waters, Norwegian salmon has a peachy-pink color and buttery texture. This fish is very low in fat so it’s good for you too. Like scotch salmon, it is dry-cured and then smoked at low temperatures.

Nova Smoked Salmon

Nova salmon gets its name from where it originated–Nova Scotia. Typically cold smoked, nova salmon is sliced paper thin and served on bagels with cream cheese or red onion, lemon, capers etc.. You have probably seen this type of salmon on your local brunch menu before. But don’t confuse nova with lox; while both are served similarly, lox is cured but not smoked which gives it an even saltier taste than nova.

Alaskan Smoked Salmon

Also called “king salmon”, Alaskan salmon comes from the cooler waters off–you guessed it–Alaska. This kind has wider availability due to sustainable populations and is traditionally hot-smoked then cured using native methods. Taste and texture can vary depending on brining technique used.

What To Serve With Smoked Salmon?

One of the best things about smoked salmon (hot or cold) is that you don’t really need to cook it. Whether cooked or raw, out of all the fish in the sea this one can be eaten straight outta da package mon! However its smoky-salty flavors make for a great appetizer addition to various meals!

Salmon Board

Try smoked salmon instead of a cheese board for a fancier party platter! This quick & easy hors d'oeuvre will be sure to please at your next get-together event thingy wing-ding shindig bash ho-down gathering party hosted by yours truly ;) . Slice up some cucumber around it along with cherry tomatoes (sliced in half), cream cheese, capers, dill and whatever else you can think of! Throw some crackers or crostini out there too if you want to get real fancy with it.


Gravlax is a Nordic dish where the salmon is cured in a mix of salt and sugar then often spiced with dill or spruce twigs. It’s delicious as an appetizer served with brown mustard on bread, soft pretzels, or any other hearty warm grain. You can also slice it thin and serve it alongside boiled potatoes for a light meal. We carry a lemon pepper gravlax which is super yummy here at Kolikof!


Pâté is typically a spreadable meat filled paste enclosed by dough (a.k.a pie!) or wrapped in pastry then baked until golden brown. Smoked salmon pâté is very easy to make & serve since all you need is salmon, cream cheese (chive variation for extra zest), fresh parsley chopped bell pepper seasoning etc. Just throw everything into your food processor and stir in those lovely little capers dill weed & lemon juice! Oh yeah don’t forget to spread it onto some crackers or brioche buns either.


If you want to quickly increase the protein of your breakfast, simply scramble it with smoked salmon. Add a few pieces of the fish diced into pan just before eggs finish cooking. This scramble can be excellently matched with chives or other caramelized onions. For some extra richness, use heavy whipping cream in place regular milk.

Another way to use smoked salmon is by making a savory egg salad – add some capers too! Whether it’s cold smoked or hot smoked doesn’t matter.

Bagel Brunch

Fresh baked bagels and smoked salmon are a match made in heaven. Top off with capers and your cream cheese of choice for an indulgent meal! Scottish smoked salmon brunch box from Kolikof includes ready-bake bagels, caviar and all accoutrements needed so you don’t have to worry about anything else.


For a filling lunch, use smoked salmon as salad topper. Lightly toss greens with lemon dressing and cracked black pepper then lay your filet on top – perfect! Alternatively, sprinkle smaller pieces throughout like bacon bits.


Smoked salmon pairs wonderfully well with spaghetti especially in creamy sauces but you could also try last minute addition since it’s already cooked; hot smoke would be best though meatier texture suggested that would go nicely together Consider adding capers or pine nuts for more savoury elements from the Smoked salomon this dish could also do spinach artichokes sun dried tomatoes etc any other veggie favorite ingredient(s) there lots room improvisation!


Creamy nature makes risotto another great base for using up leftover cooked fish such as hot smoke which tends beefier juiciness when compared against pasta dishes Dry white wine recommended during cooking along broth favourite one may even opt gouda cheese if desire additional smokiness factor


When you’re feeling like having something different than traditional fried seafood tacos then go ahead and try making some with smoked salmon! The beauty about this is that even though its smoky flavour can stand up strong against many types of salsas; spicy/tangy/sweet – take your pick on next Taco Tuesday!

Is Smoked Salmon Good for You?

Like most fish, salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which helps to lower inflammation in the body and support brain health.

It also contains high levels vitamin B (especially B12), required for regulation central nervous system functions as well production red blood cells by the bone marrow.

Moreover it’s packed full of selenium; a vital component involved in thyroid hormone metabolism, reproductive health promotion while playing its part towards DNA synthesis process accordingly among other numerous benefits associated with intake salmon.

However one should bear mind that during brining & curing processes smoked salmons become high sodium foods due to necessary addition salt content so as keep fish moist prevent any microbial growths but still if worried about too much saltiness then over consumption such products need be avoided or else used sparingly.