How to Make Smoked Salmon without a Smoker - This easy Smoked Salmon is a delicious way to enjoy smoked salmon for a fraction of the cost. This salmon lox recipe ensures that the homemade smoked salmon stays moist thanks to a simple brine and takes on an amazing amount of smoke flavor.
Homemade Smoked Salmon
I actually like to add it to my eggs in the morning or just take a slice of it for an afternoon snack.
However, after learning how to make smoked salmon without a smoker, I have definitely been converted into a fish-lover!
Smoked Salmon versus Salmon Lox Recipe
By definition, this salmon recipe is actually not truly "smoked" so it is by definition referred to as lox. Smoked salmon is actually cured and then smoked at a low temperature whereas lox is actually simply brined and cured salmon without being smoked.
However, since we are adding liquid smoke to the marinade, this salmon lox recipe takes on hints of smokiness, hence the title "smoked salmon".
Only a couple of ingredients are needed for making this salmon lox recipe.
Salmon - I have recently been subscibing to Butcher Box for my wild-caught salmon. I suggest using salmon that has actually been frozen after being caught as freezing the fish helps to kill any bacteria. I used 5 oz portions but you can use a single fillet instead. You will want to use a skinless fillet or remove the skin from your salmon before making this recipe.
Sweetener - Since this homemade smoked salmon is going to be refrigerated (or frozen), I chose to use allulose. You can use Swerve as well but if you use an erythritol-based sweetener, it may crystalize as it cools.
Liquid smoke - Since this smoked salmon is made without a smoker, you will need some liquid smoke to impart the "smoky" flavour that we all love. There are several brands on the market but for the healthies brand, try Wright's which is made from the actual condensed smoke and is gluten-free, Whole30 and Paleo as it contains no artificial colors or sugars.
Spices and salt - You can add any type of spice or mixture of spices.
*See the recipe card for quantities.
Learning how to make smoked salmon without a smoker is actually super easy. In fact, I think this recipe is significantly easier than actually smoking the salmon!
Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Rinse and pat dry the salmon. Pour the liquid smoke over all the sides of the salmon. Take the dry rub and cover all sides of the salmon.
Cover the fish and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Rinse the fish, making sure to remove all the salt.
Thinly slice the salmond and enjoy this as a smoked salmon appetizer or snack!
Hint: To slice the homemade smoked salmon nice and thin, place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes before slicing.
This recipe is not only keto-friendly but also Paleo and Whole30 approved with just a few simple substitutions!
- Liquid Smoke - Make sure that you use Wright's liquid smoke which is Whole30 and paleo approved as it contains no additives, preservatives or sugars.
- Sweetener - Use coconut sugar to keep this recipe Paleo. For a Whole30 version, add some date paste to the marinade and omit the sweetener in the dry rub.
- Spices - Check the ingredients in your spice mix or make your own spice rub to keep this homemade smoked salmon Whole30 and Paleo.
Making homemade smoked salmon allows you to create a varity of different flavours.
- Spicy - add chili pepper flakes to the dry rub or some hot sauce
- Asian - add soy sauce or coconut aminos (for Paleo and Whole30). You could also add some ginger, lemongrass or Chinese 5 spice as well.
- Indian - add curry powder to the dry rub
Check out my Skillet Coconut Ginger Fish and use the same sauce to marinade the salmon.
The best thing about this easy smoked salmon recipe is that you do not need a smoker! All you need are some airtight containers and time and before you know it, you will be enjoy this smoked salmon appetizer!
You can store this homemade smoked salmon in the fridge for 5 days. You can also slice the salmon and store it in the freezer for up to once month. To thaw the salmon, simply remove it from the freezer and place it in the fridge to thaw.
Make sure that your salmon is frozen and not fresh for food safety. Raw fish can contain parasites but if the fish has been frozen, then the fish is safe to eat raw.
- 4-5oz frozen salmon fillets, thawed, skin removed
For the Seasoning:
- ¼ cup liquid smoke
- ¼ cup salt
- ¼ cup sweetener
- Optional - 1 tablespoon spices of choice
- Rinse and pat dry the salmon. Evenly pour the liquid smoke over the salmon, making sure to coat both sides of the salmon.
- In a small bowl, combine the salt, sweetener and spices (if using). Rub all sides of the salmon with the spices and place the salmon in an airtight container in the fridge for 24 hours.
- Remove the salmon from the fridge and rinse it under cold water to remove the dry curing rub.
- Pat the salmon dry, thinly slice the salmon and enjoy!
Is smoked salmon healthy?
Smoked salmon is packed with nutrients, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which will boost your health and lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, and cognitive decline.
Is smoked salmon raw?
True smoked salmon is considered cooked. However, since this recipe is only using liquid smoke and not actually being smoked, this "smoked" lox (which means it has been sitting in a brine), is actually raw.
Is smoked salmon the same as lox?
They are not the same. Smoked salmon is actually "smoked" at low temperatures whereby lox is cured in a salty brine.
Can you freeze smoked or lox salmon?
Yes! This cured salmon freezes really well and will last over 3 months in the freezer.
How long can smoked salmon last in the fridge?
You will only want to keep this lox in the fridge for about 3 days.
What if my lox is too salty?
If you have kept the salmon in the brine too long and it became too salty to your liking, simply submerge the fish in some boiled, then cooled water for 30+ minutes until it is at the desired level of saltiness.