Hot Smoking Salmon... Throwing Down the Gauntlet

Discussion in 'Fish' started by akhap, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. akhap

    akhap Smoke Blower

    Sitting in the frig will not allow the pellicle to form... It has to have air, and lots of it. If it is humid it may require heated air to form the pellicle properly. Also it needs to cover all surfaces. A shot of PAM on the smoker racks and put the fish on them to allow the pellicle to form in place is a good way to do things.

    I spent the weekend at the Alaska Fly Fishers' Annual Kenai River Clean-up. Yesterday I caught a beautiful chrome bright silver (coho) salmon and grilled it at the barbecue with the usual hamburgers and brats... Dotted the fillets with butter and small lemon sections and gave it a little salt and pepper. Wrapped in foil and grilled a bit off the main heat. It was very good despite (because of :smile: ) such simple preparation.
  2. akhap

    akhap Smoke Blower

    In looking through many threads here on the forum I have noted a pattern that needs to be corrected... Kippering or hot smoking is a product very different from grilling or cold-smoking. One needs to decide which way they are going to treat their fish and stick to it...

    Smoked salmon is NOT grilled and should never go over 140F. Because it will be in the smoker a long time the smoker should top out at 150F if you have trouble controlling it, but 140 is really good enough. When pictures show white, denatured salmon fat on the surface of the fish it has been degraded. The fat should be held in by the pellicle and it should never get so warm that it denatures.

    Grilling is cooking and the fish is brought to temp very rapidly and the hot temp is required. Because it is so fast very little fat is liberated and the surface sear seals the fat that does try to get moving.

    Once you get smoked salmon done properly the quality lost in denatured fat will be obvious.
  3. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

      A note to all members, it’s my personal opinion that although AKhaps recipe may taste good right out of the smoker, it does not meet the minimum requirements for preserving salmon.  If not eaten immediately it should be frozen or canned in a pressure cooker.  A brine solution made with the minimum of 60% Sal. @ 60° & internal temp of 145° for 30 minutes will inhibit bacterial growth.  Anything less will promote bacterial growth.
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Mr T, morning....  Thank you for taking the time to find articles, that take into consideration food safety...  I have read other articles on cold smoking that delve into harmful bacteria and pathogen growth in that process....  These articles, you have linked to, give specifics for safe handling and processing protocol that our members can use and identify with...   [​IMG]   ....  I can recommend the practices listed in those links....

    Now for the disclaimer.....  There are folks that eat raw or under cooked fish, beef, pork etc, and have for years.... an example is the recent reduction in the final internal temp of pork products to 145 deg F for 15 minutes or something like that...  I, and others as well, have eaten under cooked foods over the years....   That is not the point here.... On this forum, we can only encourage members to follow food safety guidelines...

    Education is the key if you wish to deviate from the "rules" ...   "[​IMG]   " ...  We cannot condone it, and cannot represent those deviations on this forum...  

    Let us all practice recommended guidelines for food safety....  The consequences could be your last hurrah, or the last of someone you love...

  5. akhap

    akhap Smoke Blower

    WOW!!!! Just WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I have been avoiding answering your ridiculous posts previously as it is obvious you have had your feelers hurt. Sorry about that.

    But now you want to post this ridiculous statement?!?!? Really?

    Hot smoked fish is considered a perishable food by USDA and there are no standards for preservation with said perishable products. You choose to use a paper generated by a source that admits they go too far just because mere mortals do not have the control equipment industry does.

    And my brine salinity is 30% huh? I believe you are forgetting something...

    The internal temperature at 145 is a suggestion by one "food scientist" at one university... It is not only not the way industry does it but industry does it at far lower temperatures for far longer. And why the hang-up over just 5F. The USDA paper I linked included findings of an order of magnitude of inactivation per nine degrees in the range they used while specifically looking for lower temperatures for processors to smoke at. And you wish to quibble?

    Looking through the regulations from USDA there were numerous surveys run as part of their standards and guess what... MANY of them use 30% salt brines with and without sugar... hmmmm, USDA said nothing in their literature about shutting them down.

    No hot smoked fish should be kept refrigerated long enough to go bad, period. It is a perishable product and must be frozen to preserve it. And just where did you get the "Anything less will promote bacterial growth?!?!?!?" Not only is that preposterous on a pure science level it fails semantically and in the real World. As the paper I linked shows, the industry standard is smoking with an oven temperature of 140F. That led to four orders of magnitude inactivation of the innoculant... Yeah, five degrees should make a big difference...
    art laughing
  6. akhap

    akhap Smoke Blower

    Really? Come on.
  7. FWIW.....

    FDA Fish and Fisheries Products Hazards and Controls Guidance Manual

    Page 265
    The internal temperature of the fish must
    be maintained at or above 145°F (62.8°C)
    throughout the fish for at least 30 minutes.

    There's obviously other applicable information in there too.

    Having posted that, this the same as the runny yolk isssue, the pink hamburger issue, the jerky issue, etc.
    It's important for everyone to be aware of what's considered safe and stray from that advice at your own risk.

    I've always hot smoked salmon to 140 and will continue to do so (I also eat lots of cold smoked salmon and will continue to do so), along with eating runny yolks, pink hamburgers, etc.

    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
  8. I've read through this thread several times and I cannot find the link you have referenced? Am I overlooking it perhaps?
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  9. bigfish98

    bigfish98 Smoking Fanatic


    HUH??? :icon_eek:

    That information is from a magazine article, for goodness sake!!!
    Hardly a reliable reference as far as standards go!
    Yes, it is true that some manufactures can deviate from the offical standards with a proven safety plan, but it's important for everyone to know and understand what's generally considered and accepted as safe.

  11. bigfish98

    bigfish98 Smoking Fanatic

    Umm, a magazine published by the USDA.
  12. I'd rather be safe than sorry and I just wanted to read through it, not saying it's reliable. I'm with you though Martin on the salmon...I take it to IT of 140.
  13. bigfish98

    bigfish98 Smoking Fanatic

    I'm not advocating people do things that they don't think are safe.  All I am saying is I tried it and I like it.  The salmon got to an IT of 140.  If you don't think its safe, don't do it.  No skin off my nose.  Someone once said, You can never try and fail, only fail to try.
  14. Umm....The point is, it's not the official standards, it's a magazine article!

    "...temperatures of about 140˚F and takes about 6 to 10 hours." , sure as heck isn't a standard!!!!!!!!

    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  15. A few of us have also said that we also cook our salmon to 140, it's important, however, for folks to be aware and understand what's officially considered safe and then make their own decisions.

    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  16. bigfish98

    bigfish98 Smoking Fanatic

    Isn't that what I just said?  Why are we arguing again?
  17. Who's arguing?
    I'm not arguing.
    I'm just trying to ensure that folks know what's considered safe.

    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  18. Salmons tastes better because it is a fish of salty water. it is natural that sea fish tastes better than the fresh water fishes.
  19. I think I will give this method a try this weekend.
  20. wes w

    wes w Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    I want to try your smoking process.   I live in the Mtns of NC.  I got the best salmon I could find.

    I'm new to salmon.  Just trying to get it right

    I have a couple questions.   With good air, how long should it take to form a good pellicle to form?  An hour or so?

    You say not to get smoker over 140.   What should my IT temp be for the salmon be the best it can be?    I don't know enough about fish to know what flaky is.  I'm a pork smoker, trying to learn something new.

    I like your ideas.  There simple, just want to get the details down.

    Thanks for your time


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