I'm looking for a salmon rub recipe

Discussion in 'Fish' started by rbranstner, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have smoked salmon several times but the recipe I have is pretty salty. So bad that if I can't find salmon with the skin on I can hardly stand to eat the salmon as it gets to salty with the salt penetrating both sides of the meat. The basic rub is salt, brown sugar, pepper corns and few other things. Anyone have a sweet rub that they would care to share?
    To improve mine I have tried cutting back on the salt and its still salty I may try soaking it in water before smoking (like bacon) but have not tried that yet.
  2. raceyb

    raceyb Smoking Fanatic

    [font=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica]1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
    1 tablespoon granulated garlic
    1 tablespoon granulated onion
    1 teaspoon dried savory
    1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  3. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I was going to suggest giving it a soak in water before smoking to remove some of the salt content.
    Technically you don't need to use all the salt listed in your recipe, a light dusting of garlic powder, salt and pepper will make for a great smoke, brushing with some maple syrup, soy sauce and water towards the end of smoking (a little honey would be a nice touch too) should make for a tasty glaze.
    Just lighten up on the salt and you will be fine.
    Any reason you were using so much to begin with? Are you brining the salmon before smoking or just applying the rub and putting into the smoker?
  4. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Have made this one several times and it is very very good. This is Dutch's creation, definitely worth a try. Also, I have tried using Orange zest instead of the lemon zest in this recipe. Both ways are fantastic.
    Maple Glaze for Salmon

    1 cup pure maple syrup
    2 tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh gingerroot
    4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
    1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
    1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
    Fresh ground pepper to taste

    In a small heavy saucepan simmer maple syrup, gingerroot, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, soy sauce, garlic, lemon zest and pepper to taste until reduced to about 1 cup, about 30 minutes, and let cool. (Maple glaze may be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered. Bring maple glaze to room temperature before proceeding.)

    In another small saucepan heat half of glaze over low heat until heated through to use as a sauce. Stir in remaining tablespoon lemon juice. Remove pan from heat and keep sauce warm, covered.

    NOTE: If you simmer the glaze for the full 30 minutes it will be more of a basting sauce. To use as a mop, divide the glaze into two equal portions after simmering for 5 - 10 minutes (long enough for the flavors to meld together). Simmer the second portion for the remaining 20 minutes and then add the last teaspoon of lemon juice. Serve as a side sauce.

    The original recipe listed "Salt to taste". Since this recipe also contains soy sauce I omitted the salt altogether and replace the soy sauce with a "Low Sodium" Soy sauce.

    If you choose to "spray" your mop, strain the sauce through some cheese cloth or pour though a fine mesh strainer to remove the garlic, ginger root and lemon zest.

  5. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Heres mine. I havent tried it on a smoker yet but in a pan or oven it rocks. I take equal parts dried Thyme, Tarragon, Dill and Rosemary. I mix with EVOO and brush on liberaly. Thats it. Now I have to try it on the UDS myself.
  6. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I should have added that YES I am curing my salmon for 24 hours before I smoke it. The recipe is as follows.
    1 cup kosher salt, 1/2 cup sugar, >1/2 cup dark brown sugar, 1 tablespoon crushed black peppercorns.
    You put glad wrap down then put 1/3 of the cure place fillet #1 skin side down then place another 1/3 of cure on the meat side of fillet #1 then place place fillet #2 on top of fillet #1 so the two meat sides are touching then place the final 1/3 of cure on top of fillet #2 on the skin and place in the fridge for 24 hours and flip once.
    Does anyone else cure their fillets before smoking them? I like the brown sugar on there but that salt really penetrates the fillets especially if you have a fillet with no skin. I tried cutting back on the salt but it is still on the salty side. I will try soaking it for a while next time. I am also going to add some honey and brown sugar on the top of the meat when I smoke it.
  7. miamirick

    miamirick Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    i love a smoked salmon and keep the rub very simple
    brown sugar
    onion powder
    garlic powder
    cayenne pepper
    carribean jerk spice

    i mix equal parts of the last four with plenty of the brown sugar
    rub it the night before and let it sit all night in the fridge
    smoke temp arond 225 for a couple hours
    will be very moist, sweet and spicy at the same time
    it will be an instant hit, hot off the smooker with cracker and some tobasco or chilled the next day
  8. autoferret

    autoferret Meat Mopper

    I have always grilled my salmon. Going to have to try one of these curing recipes. When u cure is it similar to lox?

    Wraped in foil w/ lemon, fresh garlic, EEVO, Fresh Dill w/ a touch of salt to taste. grilled till done. I call done in this case fish being light in color and flaky.
  9. chef jeff tx

    chef jeff tx Smoking Fanatic

    I typically brine my fillets for about an hour, pat dry then let sit for about 2 hours until the surface gets tacky. For the brine I like to use Penzey's Seafood Boil with Kosher salt & sugar.

    I make a paste rub using fresh ginger, Thai basil, garlic, soy sauce, Thai sweet chili sauce and sesame oil.

    The amounts of each are a personal preference so taste as you go along. I like it to be a bit liquid so a little bit of water can be added as needed. For 2 fillets I usually star with a 1" piece of ginger, 3 or 4 cloves of garlic and a fist full of basil, 1/2 cup soy, 1/4 cup sesame and chili sauce. If you don't have sweet chili sauce, combine honey & regular chili sauce about 60/40.

    This rub is also great on pork, chicken & shrimp.

    I season the brined fillets with CBP, then add the paste and let sit for about 20-30 mins then on the smoker at about 200°.
  10. porkaholic

    porkaholic Smoke Blower

    If I brine the salmon I do not usually use a rub but for non-bined salmon a very simple rub is:

    2 Tbs Chili powder
    2 Tbs Brown Sugar
    1 Tsp Cummin, ground
    1 Tsp Cinnimon

    Sounds weird but really makes a nice flavor. The Chili powder does not come through like you might expect. My son calls this Island Spice Rub.
  11. buffalosmoke

    buffalosmoke Meat Mopper

    A 24hr brine in that much salt will yield very salty fish.

    This is how I brine/cure my salmon:

    1 cup dark brown sugar
    1/4 cup kosher salt

    I usually add some garlic and black pepper, and sometimes I add some dill as well. And I double or triple recipe depending on how much fish I have to smoke.

    I cover the fish with the dry mix and place the fillets skin side down in a glass dish(flat bottom). I arrange the next layer of fish flesh side to flesh side. I cover the dish with plastic wrap...and set it in the fridge for about 8-10 hours. The brine will turn to gooey mess after it pulls much of the moisture from the fish.

    After the brine....I rinse off the fish and set it on a rack for a few hours at room temp to dry the surface. You want a nice tacky pellicle to form.

    I smoke my salmon in either my big or little chief smoker depending on how much I have. The chief smokers are great for fish. The lower smoking temps help the fish to dry out quite a bit. Some people prefer salmon that is moist, but I find it won't keep as long in the fridge. I prefer my smoked salmon to be a bit on the dryer side.

    Your method looks fine....I just think you could cut back on the amount of salt...and the time in the brine.

    Good Luck!
  12. I use a combo of Turbinado sugar, kosher salt, Hungarian paprika, Cracked black pepper and slight amount of cayenne pepper.

    Just as I put it in the smoker I grate some fresh gingerroot coarsly onto the salmon
  13. bell3000

    bell3000 Newbie

    If I  brine for 24 hrs it is always in a liquid. If I rub salt directly onto the fish 1 1/2 to 3 hrs depending on the size. For a 2lb salmon fillet it would be 1 1/2 hrs dry or over night in liquid. I always rinse off with water, pat dry with paper towels, and allow 2-3 hrs to air dry before smoking. The surface gets tacky and has a sheen, this helps the smoke stick, so I am told, and always do it this way. This works for me with salmon, amber jack and other ocean fish. I hot smoke (20 mins for 2lb fillet) or slow smoke at 150 - 200 until thermometer says 135-145 deg F internal temp, 3-4 hrs.

    To work out my salt I put a potato in the water and start dissolving salt. When the potato floats then you have enough salt. 
  14. wiljm1

    wiljm1 Newbie

    I use this exact same rub and curing method. After the curing process I rinse very, very, very well and even rub the meat with my hands under a stream of water. As long as I do that, it's not too salty. It can be very salty if I don't though. Everyone who's tried it has said it's the best they've had. I get people asking me to make it for them all the time. I've never though to try any other method or rubs as this comes out so well for me. It's never dried out and it's not salty as long as I rinse very well. I smoke with charcoal and hickory in a water smoker at 225 for about 1-2 hours until it hits 150.
  15. 1/3 cup bourbon
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    2 - 3 tbsp honey
    kosher or sea salt - about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons
    fresh ground black pepper to taste

    Mix well and paint it on your filet. Let sit for at least an hour in the fridge. I use apple wood soaked in a bit of water and bourbon. Hot smoke til done, about 145 to 150F internal temp. In the spring we like to serve this with sauteed fiddlehead ferns using the end of last year's salmon.

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