Our Process

How we smoke our salmon

Since 1963, The Quinlan family have been hand-producing the finest smoked salmon. Each Salmon is treated individually, and we give each salmon the time and care required to produce great tasting Smoked Salmon. We offer a choice of smoked salmon to suit every taste and preference, from our award-winning Superior Smoked Salmon to our Great Taste Organic Smoked Salmon and Great Taste Wild Irish Smoked Salmon. 

  • The salmon arrives fresh to our custom built smokery in Renard Point, Caherciveen. Our traditional technique takes more time but gives the best taste. We do not hold any stock and have twice-weekly deliveries of fresh salmon. This means that the average time between the fish alive at sea and finished product is usually less than a week. 

  • The sides are fully trimmed to ensure there are no fatty bits or fins. 

  • Salting for 8-12 hours remove the dill as it’s not always used. Smoked Salmo legally has to have 3% salt content so remove less than and just have 3%. 

  • Once the fillets are dried, Ronan starts the fire in the smokebox, the “nerve centre” of the Smokehouse. When the fire made of kindlings is burning brightly, wood shavings are put on top to produce the necessary smoke. Ronan uses oak shavings to generate the smoke and to give our smoked salmon a distinctive flavour. Oak is the traditional wood that has been used for smoking in Ireland since ancient times and Ronan selects our oak chipping from specific sources and forests to ensure their quality.

  • The Cold Smoking method used at Kerryfish is the traditional Irish way of smoking salmon. Cold smoking is a distinguished and traditional style of smoking applied in the production of Smoked Salmon. During smoking, heat is never directly applied to the salmon, the Salmon is gently “cooked” through contact with the smoke. Smoked Salmon is typically smoked for about 10 to 14 hours, leaving the salmon moist with a faint smoky aroma. Quinlan’s Kerryfish Smoked Salmon contains no additives apart from smoke and salt to flavour.

  • After the smoking process, the Salmons are brought to the processing room where they are hand sliced and vacuum packed. Vacuum-packing together with salting and smoking ensures a long shelf life for our products. This product has a shelf life of 28 days between 0°C and +3°C, which makes it perfect to withstand shipping for 48 hours. Our smoked salmon can also be frozen for up to three months.

Irish Smoked Salmon

Salmon Care

  • Once the pack is open, our smoked salmon will keep in perfect condition for up to seven days in a refrigerator. Re-wrap the salmon very well in either the original pack, in foil or in a polythene food bag to prevent it from drying out. Always refer to the best before label and never consume the smoked salmon once this date has expired.

  • Salt and smoke are the only preservatives used in Quinlan’s smoked salmon. After salting, the salmon is allowed dry. During this drying process, a shiny, slightly tacky skin (pellicle) forms on the surface of the salmon. It is this pellicle surface that the smoke flavour sticks during the smoking process and it seals in remaining moisture and gives Quinlan’s smoked salmon its unique taste

  • Our smoked salmon is available pre-sliced for your convenience. To slice the smoked salmon yourself, firstly trim off the fins and fatty tissue – this will ensure easier slicing. Slice the flesh horizontally in paper thin pieces working from head to tail.

  • To get the full benefit of the rich full flavour of Quinlan’s smoked salmon, serve at room temperature, and allow 55-75g per person. See our recipes for serving suggestions.

Smokehouse History

Founded 1963

Dream it


Since 1963, The Quinlan family at Kerryfish have been hand-producing the finest Irish smoked salmon. We offer a choice of smoked salmon to suit every taste and preference, from our award-winning Superior Smoked Salmon to our Great Taste Organic Smoked Salmon and Great Taste Wild Smoked Salmon.

Build it

Grow it

Enjoy it




Write something here about now enjoying the family business

In 2017, we acquired the company ‘Kenmare Select’, as we felt their philosophy and produce aligned perfectly with ours allowing us to create a new type of smoked salmon worthy of appreciation across the globe.

Our customer list grows year on year and as well as supplying private customers, we also supply a growing number of Ireland and Europe’s most prestigious corporate clients, hotels, restaurants and pubs, including several Michelin starred restaurants.

In 2014, the Quinlan family was recognised for their amazing smoked salmon when for the first time entering the Great Taste Awards we scooped Two Gold Stars in the Guild of Fine Food’s Great Taste Awards.

We are so excited at this award and are so proud that all the hard work done over the years has been recognised.