Q: What is lox?
A: Lox is identical to the “smoked salmon” commonly served as an appetizer in up-scale restaurants. The term “lox” comes from “lachs,” the German word for salmon.
Q: Does the LoxBox make the same lox that is sold in delis or served in restaurants?
A: Yes, except that the lox you make with the LoxBox is much fresher and made exactly to your taste.
Q: Will the lox from the LoxBox taste as good as what I normally buy?
A: Almost everyone who has tasted lox from the LoxBox has said that it is the best lox they have ever tasted. This is quite a claim, but it comes from both lox experts and ordinary people, from New York to Chicago to San Francisco.
Q: Why does LoxBox lox taste better?
A: It is much fresher. (Deli lox is at least 3-5 days old when it arrives at the deli.)
It is totally natural. (Much deli lox and most supermarket lox are loaded with preservatives and artificial food coloring.)
Q: What is the difference between lox and smoked salmon?
A: Nothing. Neither lox nor “smoked salmon” is smoked; they are actually prepared by curing in a salt/sugar/spice mixture, the exact process done by the LoxBox. Some lox and “smoked salmon,” in addition to being salt/sugar-cured, are briefly cold-smoked. Such cold-smoking is done at room temperature for a few hours and does absolutely no cooking or preserving of the salmon. Its sole purpose is to impart a slight smoky taste to the fish, largely to mask the odor and taste of commercial lox, which is rarely fresh. This slight smoky taste, if desired, is easily duplicated by the addition of a few drops of a liquid smoke product during the curing process.
(There is an actual smoked salmon product that is hot-smoked in the same way hams, turkeys, etc. are smoked. This product, however, bears no resemblance to either lox or the “smoked salmon” commonly served in restaurants. It has a dark reddish brown color and is rather dry and flaky.)
Q: What are the advantages of using the LoxBox?
A: 1. The LoxBox was developed to simplify and perfect the curing process.
Ordinarily, there are two major problems in making lox:
• It is very difficult to know when the curing process is finished.
• It is a very messy process because the salt and spices become embedded in the flesh of the fish and must be scrubbed off.
The LoxBox is designed to produce perfect curing in two days, regardless of the size fillet you use. All the guesswork has been removed. And, because the fillet is physically separated from the salt and spice by the PERFECURE™ Pouch, cleanup is very simple and easy.
2. You can fine-tune the taste of the lox by varying the salt, sugar, herbs and spices.
3. Cost. Lox now becomes as cheap as plain salmon. Use the LoxBox twice, and it pays for itself (2 batches makes lox that would cost about $50-60 in a deli.)
Q: Can I cure other things besides salmon in the LoxBox?
A: We have done trout and sturgeon, both of which make elegant-tasting dishes. Herring also works well. We also include recipes for corned beef, pastrami, jerky, poultry and game. Indeed, one of the “trade secrets” of the finest restaurants is to cure poultry or game before cooking. This can be done easily with the LoxBox. Curing and pickling vegetables would also be very nicely facilitated by the PERFECURE™ Pouches.
Q: Does the LoxBox make “nova” lox or “belly” lox?
A: All lox is made by a salt/sugar curing process. At the end of the curing, commercial lox is washed and scrubbed to remove embedded salt. If the lox is less extensively washed, it is saltier and is called “belly” lox. Belly lox is cheaper because the expense of washing out the salt is reduced. With the LoxBox, you can easily control the saltiness of the lox by varying the amount of sugar that is used in the curing process.
Q: Does lox have any particular health benefits?
A: Lox may be the healthiest of all fish products. The well-known health benefits of fish oils are due to substances called omega-3 fatty acids. These are “good fats” that have been shown to reduce heart attacks and to inhibit the inflammation of arthritis. Salmon has more omega-3 fatty acids than any other fish. Unfortunately, omega-3 fatty acids are destroyed by cooking. Lox, however, since it is cured, not cooked, retains all the natural omega-3 fatty acids of salmon. Please see the Health Benefits page on this website.
Q: Who invented the LoxBox?
A: It was invented by two scientist lox-lovers, one with both M.D. and Ph.D. degrees, the other with a Ph.D. degree, and they own the company and all the patents.
Q: How does the LoxBox work?
A: With ordinary curing, salt passes into the fish flesh, and water (brine) flows out of the flesh. But the process goes in two directions, with some of the salt passing back out of the flesh and some of the water flowing back into the flesh. It’s like going two steps forward and one step back. This two-directional flow makes the curing process unpredictable and inconsistent. The PERFECURE™ Pouch is made of a custom material that uses the natural forces of osmosis to make the flow of salt and water one-directional. The osmotic forces created by the Pouch thus make the curing process highly predictable and reproducible. The result: even the most inexperienced user can get perfect curing the first time and every time.
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Q: How long does it take?
A: Just five minutes preparation and two days in the refrigerator.
Q: Does it require any special cooking skill?
A: The procedure couldn’t be easier:
1. Put fresh dill in the LoxBox;
2. Add salt, sugar and pepper;
3. Put salmon fillet in the PERFECURE™ Pouch;
4. Put the Pouch in the LoxBox;
5 Refrigerate 2 days, and it’s lox.
Q: What amount of lox can I make with the LoxBox?
A: The LoxBox is designed to make 0.5 to 1.75 pounds of lox without varying the recipe or the procedure.
Q: How long can I keep the lox after I make it?
A: The lox will last two-three weeks when kept in the refrigerator. It should be wrapped in plastic wrap or sealed in a plastic bag. If you want to keep it longer, you can freeze it for several months using the procedure described in the Instruction and Recipe booklet.
Q: Can I reuse the PERFECURE Pouch?
A: The PERFECURE Pouch should only be used once and then discarded. Five Pouches are included with the LoxBox, and refill packs are available on this website and at all stores carrying the LoxBox.
Q: If lox is not cooked, is it safe to eat?
A: Salt curing has been used for thousands of years as a way to preserve and prepare a wide variety of foods, such as fish (salmon, herring, trout), meat (prosciutto) and vegetables (pickles).
Q: What kind of salmon can I use to make lox?
A: You can make excellent lox out of any kind of salmon.
Q: What kind of salmon do you usually find in the fish market?
A: On the west coast, they have five kinds of commercially-caught salmon: coho (silver), pink, sockeye, chinook and chum. On the East Coast, the Atlantic salmon is the predominant variety. Most markets, especially in the East and Midwest, however, carry farm-raised salmon, and the Atlantic salmon is, by far, the predominant farm-raised variety.
Q: Can I use frozen salmon to make lox?
Q: Should I leave the skin on the salmon fillet?
A: The traditional lox-making procedures leave the skin on, and we have followed this tradition in the basic recipe included in the Instruction and Recipe Booklet. But we have made lox with de-skinned fillets, and it worked perfectly. In fact, we actually prefer de-skinned fillets, since they produce a more uniform lox.
Q: Do I have to turn the salmon while it is curing?
A: No. One of the advantages of using the PERFECURE Pouch is that it eliminates the need for turning the curing salmon. This is because the Pouch creates osmotic pressure that flows evenly to all sides of the curing salmon fillet. But, if the fillet is thick and has been de-skinned, turning the Pouch over once during the 40-48 hour curing period will produce a more uniform lox.
Q: What’s the best way to rinse the lox after removing it from the PERFECURE Pouch?
A: Simply rinse out the curing vessel, fill it with cold water and soak the lox for about 5 minutes, changing the water a few times during the soaking.
Q: Can I let the curing proceed longer than two days?
A: Yes, but, since we have optimized the PERFECURE Pouches for a curing period of 40-48 hours, the lox may be a little saltier. One can get around this, however, by soaking the lox in cold water for 5 extra minutes after removing it from the Pouch.
Q: Can I put the LoxBox in the dishwasher?
A: Yes. All the components of the LoxBox are dishwasher safe. The curing vessel is made of highest quality polycarbonate, a plastic that will not bend or warp in the dishwasher. This contrasts with almost all other food containers, which are made out of the much cheaper polypropylene or polyethylene.