Quick Recipes and Easy

How To Cure Salmon Without The BBQ Smoker

Before firing up the BBQ smoker, many chefs will either cure or brine the fish or meat.

Curing and brining but have been traditional methods of preserving food for centuries and in today’s refrigerated society rather than becoming obsolete they have evolved into methods of flavouring food too. In essence exactly how the BBQ Smoker has evolved.

My research into curing started when I started writing for Smoker Grill Recipes and as my research evolved, so did my interest.

The science behind curing is that the salt slowly sucks the moisture out of the food, effectively acting as a desiccant and drying it out. Bacteria that normally would grow on the food are unable to do so because the substrate doesn’t contain the one essential ingredient to help it survive – water.

So in essence the longer something is left to cure, the less susceptible it is to bacteria and therefore the safer it is to eat. This is the principle for cured ham or indeed any dried meat.

The curing process today is essentially about salt for the desiccant and sugar for the flavouring. In the recipe below I’ve used treacle as a sugar substitute – you can also use molasses.

This recipe is a fantastic tasty alternative to smoked salmon and it’s also really simple to do, certainly no need for a smoker. All that’s needed is a polythene bag, some salt, some treacle and a bit of time. It takes about a week to cure so I like to start out one Saturday so that it’s ready for the next weekend.

1 large salmon filet (skinned)
4 tablespoons treacle or molasses
1 tablespoon salt

Place the salmon in the polythene bag and tip in the salt and treacle / molasses. Seal the bag and give the ingredients a excellent “mulch” around to make sure that the salmon is covered in the salt / treacle mix. Place the mix in the refrigerator and leave for a week.

When the week is up, remove the salmon from the bag and give it a rinse under the tap. Slap it on a board and slice really thinly.

I like to serve it spiralled inside canapé cases with a small crème fraiche – tasty. It certainly makes for a fantastic outdoor barbecue grill menu thought.

But don’t wait for a barbecue, if it’s raining outside that what better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than preparing a treacle cured salmon for next weekend.

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