Lox with Rye Toast and Cream Cheese

The secret to perfectly smoked Lox, versus simply smoked salmon, is COLD smoke. When you have a hot smoke it cooks the fish through, but for a good translucent smokey, salty lox, you don’t want your fish to be cooked through and flaky. It will instead be sliced thin and served as a charcuterie.

Note: This is not gravlox. Grav means ‘to bury.’ Originally this would have been salmon buried underground and allowed to age, but now days this can mean simply salmon (or lox) that is ‘buried’ in a salt and sugar brine, usually with dill, and allowed to age. That produces a very traditional salted lox that can also be sliced thin. If you don’t have a smoker this might be the perfect solution for you. You can even use smoked salt to add a smokey flavor.

Cold Smoked Lox

Before you can get to smoking, you need to brine your salmon.

The second, and obviously crucial part to making lox is the smoking process. What type of smoker and how large I will leave for you to decided, but here is our family’s tried and true process for smoking lox:

Lox with Rye Toast and Cream Cheese

Perfectly Smoked Lox

SemiSerious Chefs
Our Alasan family's personal Lox recipe.
Prep Time 1 day
Smoke Time 2 hours
Course Appetizer/Hors d’Oeuvre, Charcuterie, Smorgasbord
Cuisine Alaskan, German, Scandinavian/Norse


  • Smoker


The Quinessential Brine for Lox (and Smoked or Canned Salmon)

For every 10 pounds of fish:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 3 cups apple juice
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 T worcestershire sauce
  • ¾ cup sea salt



  • Soak salmon overnight. Do not rinse. there will be sufficient salt for smoke and lox salmon. You can also use this brine for your canned salmon, without the need for extra salt or liquid.

The Secret to Perfectly Smoked Lox

  • 110-120 minutes at 85 °F

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