First Time Smoked Salmon w/ Q-view

Discussion in 'Fish' started by shish18, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. Hey Guys,

    I attempted my first smoked salmon today. I more or less used Jeff's recipe however didn't quite do it like he did. I used a 2.5 lb filet without cutting it up. I left the skin on.

    I started with the brine:

    1 gal water

    1 cup kosher salt

    3/4 cup brown sugar

    1 tbsp minced garlic

    1 tbsp rosemary

    I let it sit in the brine for 12 hours overnight before I got it out and rinsed/dried it off and put it back in the fridge directly on the rack for 4.5 more hours (had to go to work for a meeting so I left it in until I got back home)

    (Runnin low on beer)

    After that I popped it in my GOSM using hickory wood chips. Getting the temp right was a bit of a challenge. With vents in usual position and no water in water pan I could only get it down to 170ºF even on the lowest setting. I then put water in the pan and opened the vents completely. This got it down to about 162ºF. I then figured out that by turning the knob the opposite direction and almost off, I could get the flame even less and was able to keep it at 150ºF for about 2 hours. Once the filet hit an IT of 115F it seemed to stall for about an hour to hour and a half. At this time I cranked the GOSM up to 160F. The IT slowly climbed to about 135 after about 6.5 hours into it but I was getting hungry so I cranked the GOSM up to 180F to finish it off at 145F IT. 

    The inside was a little moist for my liking. I'm not sure why it seemed to come out a little soggy but the flavor was phenomenal. Maybe I put it in the brine for too long and didn't let it dry long enough? Also, Jeff's book said cook time was about 4-5 hours for a 3-4lb filet but mine took almost 8 total hours to smoke. I know that every piece of meat is different but that just seems like a huge difference. Am i doing something wrong? Do you guys have any suggestions on how to get a drier piece of meat? Any other comments/suggestions?

  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Lower temp smoke for one would probably help. Have you installed a needle valve on your GOSM? With that you'd be able to get your smoker down to 130 easily and lower with some baby sitting. I like to run my GOSM around 120-130 for the first hour of the smoke, then ramp up to around 140 for a hour then up to 170-180 until the fish hits a temp of 145 or the texture is where I want it.

    Did you use water in the water pan? If so don't. That adds steam which will add moisture to your fish.

    Also if you used wet wood chips don't. That will also create steam and add moisture to the smoker.

    So for the fish I use a 4:1 sugar to salt brine. Mix the salt and sugar and any seasonings you may want. Put a good layer of this mix in the bottom of a non-reactive container. Place a layer of fish flesh side down on the dry brine. Cover with more of the dry brine. Place another layer of fish skin side down. Cover with dry brine. Repeat with another layer of fish flesh side down, cover with brine, etc..

    Put in fridge for 8 hours, no more than 12. Rinse all dry brine off fish. Place on racks and air dry to form pellicle. Smoke.

    Personally I don't like using wet brines for fish. The 4:1 dry rub in my opinion is the best way to go. You can adjust the seasonings however you want. I actually like to season the fish right after rinsing. Then you can play with different flavors on the fish to see what you like.
    waterinholebrew likes this.
  3. Thanks for the tips DirtSailor! I'll definitely try dry brining next time. I think the combination of things that I did (wet brine, water in pan, etc.) lead to a moister fish. Still tastes great though. 

    Where can I get a needle valve for my GOSM? This is the first I've heard of it. Just got the smoker back in December so still trying to get everything right.

  4. Nice color, looks good

  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Type needle valve in the search feature here and a bunch of threads will pop up. I'd post a link for you but my iPhone won't do the copy and paste here on SMF.
    There are several options for needle valves. Mine was a replacement valve for an outdoor burner. Others are a simple in line valve installed between the tank and smoker. Basic operation is you set the smoker burner control to high, then use the needle valve to control the fuel. I'll take a few photos for you of my set up.

Share This Page