Written by Jared Vincenti
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Of the many ways to prepare salmon, many of the most popular and flavorful involve smoking the fish. This technique developed in several cultures, and variations on the smoking technique can lead to radically different textures and flavors in the meat. Commercial smokeries usually specialize in different types of smoked salmon, and enjoy a large market that allows them to keep extensive and specialized inventories.

Among the products offered by smokeries are hot smoked salmon, cold smoked salmon, and salmon jerky. All of these dishes are fish meat cured in a brine solution, and then smoked over burning wood. Hot smoked salmon is cooked at about 150 degrees Fahrenheit, and is then served like any other cooked dish. Cold smoked salmon, also called lox, is technically not cooked. It is smoked at about 70 degrees, and keeps the smooth texture of uncooked meat, making it a good spread. Salmon jerky is smoked for days and dries the meat to a tough and chewy texture.

Inside a Smokery

You can make your own smokehouse out of an old refrigerator or wood stove, but most commercial smokeries use custom-made smokers. All a smoker really needs is a heat source at the bottom, to burn the wood to produce the smoke. Depending on the type of wood you use, the salmon can have a whole range of smoked flavors.

Salmon enthusiasts often will set up their own smokehouses, and experiment with flavors. These mom-and-pop smokeries will commonly share their products with one another, and most also sell smoked salmon. Analagous to microbreweries, these small smokehouses specialize in certain recipes, and you can often find their online stores.

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