Final Smoked Salmon with recipe, instructions, and Qview

Discussion in 'Fish' started by bearcarver, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. Wow...amazing!Thumbs Up
    I tried this to the letter and It worked like a charm. :yahoo:
    Perfect smoked Lake Michigan Salmon. No wonder he fought so hard while reeling him in. He knew exactly what was was going to happen. :drool
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thank You Steve!!

    I'm glad it worked good for you too!!

    You would think the Salmon would come in easy, and be honored to be made to taste so good!!

  3. elliot

    elliot Newbie

    I just bought a very nice filet of sockeye salmon at Sam's Club and it's in the freezer now and I'm going to follow Bearcarver's instructions for smoking the fish in my electric smoker.
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome Elliot !!

    I see a lot of Great snacking in your future!![​IMG]

    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014
  5. james rhodes

    james rhodes Newbie

    Hello people, I am new to smoking and so far so good.  I currently live on the island of Oahu and I have primarily have kiawe wood here to use for a smoker, I don't think anyone here sells this wood in pellet form or anything like that, so my question to all of you experienced smokers is what should I do if I want to smoke some fish, salmon, ahi (tuna) or marlin.  I read that you like to keep the temperature around 100 degrees F.  I was looking through some of the post and seen that some of you mention the amazen smoker, if this is what I need, which should I get, the pellet cylinder or the square maze sawdust/pellet smoker.  The smoker I'm working with is a basic wood burning smoker with the fire box to the right and I guess the cooking chamber to the left.  

    Here is a link to what my smoker looks like

    I've seen the brine and wanted to do something savory, a little spicey.  I don't really have an idea for the brine but I know what the jest of what is happening conceptually.  

    Any help is appreciated  thank you
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hi James!!  Welcome to SMF !!

    Since this is your first post, you really should have posted it in the "Roll Call" section, so everyone can welcome you, and more guys could help. However I'l do what I can:

    I believe the Amazing Tube Smoker would be the best one for your smoker, and get some Alder Pellets for your fish, to go along with other flavors for Beef & Pork & Chicken.

    That 100* or less is just for cold smoking, like Salmon "Lox", and to start smoking other fish to be finished at higher temps.

    As for Brine, if you go to page #1 of this thread, you can see my whole routine, including my Brine.

    My Smoked Salmon is for "hold-in-your-hand" type snacking----Not soft & fluffy for Dinner, but below is my smoking temp schedule, which is also on Page #1 of this thread.

    If you want to make this for Dinner, I would do everything the same, but skip all the lower temps & go right to the 200* smoker temp until your fish hits 150* IT.

    Keep smoker at 100* for about one hour.
    One hour later, bump temp up to 120*--------My internal is about 76*
    One half hour later, bump to 140*--------------My internal is about 98*
    One half hour later, bump to 160*--------------My internal is about 113*
    One half hour later, bump to 180*--------------My internal is about 124*
    One hour later, bump to 200*-------------------My internal is about 134*

    Remove pieces as they go above 145* internal.
    How long this takes doesn't matter, just so they go over 145*.
    Some of mine have gone up to over 160*, and it didn't hurt.
    If you have to, you can bump your smoker up to 200*, but no higher.

  7. That looks absolutely fantastic!

    Tonite though, I did a spur of the moment thing somewhat differently. This morning I took a tail-piece of Sockeye out of the freezer and headed off to work knowing that my wife would put in in the fridge around mid-day after it defrosted. On the way home from work I decided to smoke it for dinner. 

    When I got home I threw together a fast brine of sugar and sea-salt and after putting the salmon in (skin on) cranked up the MB to 190. When it was 1 1/2 hours till dinner time (45 minutes of brine time) I put in two loads of pecan chips at once and put in the salmon. I had, by this time, taken the salmon out of the brine, patted it "dry", shot it top and bottom with some spray olive oil, hit the top with some fresh ground black pepper, dill, and adobo. Adobo is a Latino thing that is a blend of salt, garlic, and G-d knows what, and it is a fabulous shortcut spice. When I put the Salmon in there was some good smoke filling the box and I cranked it up to 230. After 45 minutes it had just reached that temp but in the meantime the smoke had filled it up and the fish was beautiful with those lovely fat droplets as well as a nicely finished surface color.

    At that point I wrapped it in some foil and let it go at the same temp.

    It was so good looking I decided to write about it!

    So now it is cooking along for another 45 only wrapped in foil sop it basically poaches and makes sure the center is cooked.

    In the meantime making up a couple of side dishes of garlic mashed potatoes and veggies.

    Dinner is served in a while.

    This is definitely a "down and dirty" quickie method and I'll update regarding whether it worked or not after dinner or tomorrow.

    It's all taking place in Florida but we lived in Seattle for many years and wild  red salmon from one of the many particular place you can get it from is all we'll eat.

    FYI: IMHO any salmon that is "farmed" isn't fit for pigs. 
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That sounds Good, Bleeth!!!

    It sounds like more of a "Meal" type Salmon. Mine is more of a snacking Salmon, which is why it gets smoked harder & longer, & gets a lot more dry, and can be held in the hand.

    You should start a new thread with your "Quickie Salmon", so more people get to see it.

  9. turick

    turick Meat Mopper

    Bear's smoked salmon has completely ruined me for salmon.  I can honestly say that maybe only 2 days have gone by in the past couple of months since I first tried this recipe that I haven't eaten some of it.  My wife included, although I eat more of it than she does.  We were walking through Sam's Club the other day and they were passing out samples of one of their baked salmon products and we tried it. 

    I don't know that I'll ever order salmon again anywhere, unless it's sashimi.  The smoked salmon is so amazing and so delicious cold.

    That reminds me, John, you know how oily the salmon can get after it comes off the smoker and out of a vacuum seal pack?  I've been wiping them off, but do you know if that is just the fish's natural oils?  The highly sought-after fish oil that people pay way to much money for to get in pill form that contain all of the good omega 3 acids?  I've started not wiping it off any more...
  10. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Wipe oil off smoked salmon? Sacrilege.

    It's one of the few fats your doctor will ask you to indulge in. Other people pay for that stuff and it tastes horrible when served from a medicine bottle.

    Think of it as a lubricant for your heart and joints. A lubricat that tastes good.

    I love the oily appearance of the Atlantic Salmon. Cold smoked or lox, it leaves a pool of goodness on the plate...always wipe it with bread.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  12. turick

    turick Meat Mopper

    Heh.. ya, I feel pretty dumb.  Needless to say, I'm not wiping them off any more!
  13. Ok... first ever batch of smoked salmon, and second ever smoked anything.  :^)   (MES 30")

    I live in Alaska, where wild salmon is very abundant this time of year.  In the past, I've always just gone down to the local stream, caught my two or three and called it a day - had one for dinner, froze the others for dinners later.  Do this a few times over the summer.

    This year, my wife and I decided we wanted a bit more salmon due to a diet change, so we participated (our first time) in the famous Alaskan residents-only dipnet fishery.... you just plunge in a 5ft net, scoop them out of the water, and fill up your freezer.  It's not QUITE that easy - we took about 20 fish in 5 or 6 hours on the water (put a couple of rangy ones back), but that's still averaging 1 fish every 15 minutes or so.  Our biggest rookie mistake was only bringing one net to share - if we were both out in the water at the same time, we might have doubled that take.  We ended up with 8 sockeye (we call 'em "reds"), 4 coho (call em "silvers") and 4 pinks (call em "pinks").

    Anyway.... for my first batch of smokers, I decided to try one each of red, silver, and pink for comparison.  Followed Bear's recipe almost to the tee (I was out of onion powder and didn't have hickory, so I started on Alder wood and moved to Apple wood).  The other deviation was the age of the fish - I processed and froze these on the same day that we caught them (last Tuesday), and then I thawed out the 3 for smoking on Friday morning for brining/drying for a Saturday smoke.  Bear's comments about parasites (cook to high temp, OR freeze for 30 days) didn't worry me too much, as other conversation in this thread and my own research led me to believe that fresh, wild Alaska salmon is not at the same risk.  (let's hope that's right) :^)

    Despite those 3 minor variations, the final result was still FANTASTIC! Thanks for putting this together!!

    As for the comparison:  I've always liked Reds the best for dinner, and they still won the taste test out of the smoker... but it was a close call.  The pinks and the silvers have a bit of a lower fat content, so they were done much sooner.  The pinks, with the lowest fat content of all, were finishing up right at about 4 hours, the silvers 4.5-5 hours, and the reds went a full 6 hours.

    I also had a similar problem brought up by others throughout this thread: the lack of visible smoke at low temps.  But, I just slugged on through it, and stuck to the timing and tempo laid out on page 1.  Still tastes GrrrrrrrEEEAAAT!  (As tony the tiger liked to say)

    Here's a few pics of my efforts:

    The missus taking her turn on the dipnet.  This is high tide at the mouth of the Kenai River, so we were able to spread back out.  At low tide, it was elbow to elbow - what we call "combat fishing".  

    Out of the brine, onto the racks, ready to sit in the fridge overnight.  from left to right: Reds, Silvers, Pinks, medium chunk rack, thick chunk rack.  A third rack with the thin tail pieces is already in the fridge.

    After about 90 minutes and not much smoke, I had to check the chip pan as I was turning up the temp for the second time.  Just starting to smolder.

    Final product, cooling down before going in to the fridge.  A few pieces have already jumped out of the bowls and into my mouth - that's how fresh those fish were! Imagine my surprise when those things were jumping like that!  :^)   Reds on top, silvers to the left, pinks to the right.

    In conclusion.... I had one "issue" that I'm not sure if I dealt with correctly or not.  At about 4 hours, when some of the pieces were starting to reach 145*IT, I began checking the other pieces more and more frequently.  This meant opening the door more and more.  I would take the rack out, check a few temps, remove those that were done, and put the rack back in.  All of this opening and closing, taking in and out, seemed to cool off the pieces really quick.  Some of the ITs dropped 10 or 15 degrees just in the 2 minutes they were out of the smoker (about 50* air temp).  This seemed to "stall" them and it took quite a while to get them back up to temp.   

    What is the best way to check a lot of pieces that will have different ITs along the road to doneness?
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Glad you liked it JR !!

    I'm honored when AK Salmon get my Step by Step treatment !!

    Last edited: Aug 3, 2014
  15. Yeah, I did follow your rack advice - I had thin pieces on the top rack, "middle pieces" on the middle rack, and the thickest pieces on the bottom rack.  What ended up making mine "goofy" was the three different species that cooked at different rates.  So, each rack finished in stages - although each rack had the same thickness of each piece of fish.  The thinnest pieces of sockeye were finishing at about the same time as the thickest pieces of pinks.   So, it got hectic at the end, trying to figure out which rack had which piece that was coming done.

    I've had each species of smoked fish in the past - from friends or the store.  Some people swear by one species, or claim that another species isn't even worth catching (probably 90% of folks up here throw pinks back into the water).  So, I wanted to taste test them side-by-side under the exact same conditions - same brine, same soak time, same wood, same everything. 

    In the future (I still have about another 10 or 15 pounds worth of smokers), I will stick to 1 species in the smoker at a time.
  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    All makes sense to me---I would have done the same with that first batch----Only way to compare them.

    Only differences I have to deal with here is thickness.

    Keep up the Great work!!

  17. akazooey

    akazooey Newbie

    I am borrowing a smoker from a friend (who never used it).  It is a Char-Broil H20 Smoker.  This model is no longer made, so there is not a ton of advice on use and recipes.  I have some coho I want to smoke and thought I would use this recipe.  Why do you say to not put water in the pan?  Also, I try to avoid soy.  Any suggestion on what to substitute for the soy sauce in your recipe?
  18. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Electric smokers don't seem to need water in the pan, like some other smokers do.

    I don't use water in the pan for anything, but in this case, it is because I want my "Snacking" Salmon to dry out a little to be able to hold it in my hand to eat it. If I was making this for Dinner (soft & flaky), to eat with a fork, I'd smoke it hotter & faster, and maybe put some water in the pan.

    How about substituting an equal amount of wine for the Soy Sauce???

  19. akazooey

    akazooey Newbie

    Thanks! I like the wine idea!
  20. turick

    turick Meat Mopper

    Hey John -- smoked some salmon with Alder this weekend and there's no going back!  This was actually the very first time I have ever used any pellets other than the Hickory/Cherry blend I originally got from Amazen when I first got my pellet tray earlier this year.  It was interesting tasting a familiar recipe with different wood and how big of a difference it makes.

    It's hard to explain how much the wood changes the final product, but the one thing I kept thinking in my mind was it was like dipping lobster in garlic butter sauce.  The salmon seems to have that same rich, buttery quality to it.  It is a very very pleasant taste and I definitely prefer it to the hickory.

    I'm usually obsessively checking the smoke and temperatures when I'm smoking, but I was under the weather this past weekend, so after I put the salmon on I didn't check it for about 3 1/2 hours at which point I discovered that my pellets quit burning about 1/2 way down the first row.  I re-lit it for the rest of the smoke, but I'm still very pleased with the results even with the limited smoke.

    Thanks for the recommendation on switching up the wood!


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