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On arrival at Ballyhack Smokehouse the fish are hand filleted, pin boned, iced and returned to chill until they reach 2 to 3 degrees. The fish are taken out of the chill and brought to the salting room where salt is gently sprinkled over the flesh to allow the fish to harden. We like to give the fish sufficient time to reach the required texture so it can absorb the smoke and add to a finely balanced flavour. Fish are then taken from the salt and rinsed individually, ensuring each fish gets an equal rinsing. The salt cure kills bacteria and acts as a natural preservative.

The salmon are then placed on smoking racks and dried gently with absorbent towels to remove excess water. . The fish are placed in the smoker and then beech wood chips are added and the smoker is lit. The wood chips smoulder slowly, allowing a clear distinctive smoke to penetrate the flesh. By using wood chips rather than sawdust, the smoke is light, clean, dust-free and cool. Beech is a milder wood with a delicate smoke flavour to give you the true flavour of the salmon compared to a heavy smoke flavour given by the more commonly used oak.

The fish is smoked at a temperature of between 12 & 16 degrees for a period of two days. This slow smoking process allows a beautiful balanced taste to develop and can be compared to having the same effect as slow cooking a roast chicken or turkey. Over time the smoker we use has built up a unique flavour, contributing to an exquisite mouth-watering flavour of the final product. Our method is all natural – no mechanisation involved.

Once removed from the smoker the fish are taken to the chill room where they are trimmed and allowed to cool to between 2 & 3 degrees. They are then vacuum-packed, labelled and ready to enjoy. Why not give it a try today and taste the experience and tradition for yourself.