questions about cold-smoked salmon safety

Discussion in 'Info and Practices' started by mrted, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. I just smoked 1.5 lbs of fresh king salmon and it's delicious and pretty damn salty.  I brined it for 24 hrs (1 qt water with 3/4c salt and 3/4c brown sugar), rinsed and soaked it in fresh water for a couple of hours, let it dry out in the fridge overnight, and smoked it for 10-11 hrs with an Amazen smoker using alder and cherry.  I put it in my regular smoker (Smokin-It #1) and a couple of times the smoke stopped, probably not longer than 30 min either time.  I packed the sawdust too tight.  I put some ice in the smoker, it might have gotten warm in there but not too warm, probably not over 80.

    I think I did everything right but I want to double check on the raw fish safety - if it's salty does that mean that the germs are all gone?  My wife is nervous about it - is she right?

    If the smoke stops for a short time is that a problem?

    How long will it last in the fridge and freezer?

    I've seen plenty of recipes and tips, but I'm wondering if there's a basic recipe that just takes you thru all the basic steps and points out all the important safety steps.  Any books y'all recommend on this?

  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

  3. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    It's OK if the smoke stops.

    24 hours seems long to brine

    Did you rinse good before smoking?

    Should be good to eat

    What's the intake & exhaust look like on your smoker?

    Does it use the drain hole as the intake?

    A couple guys use a cheap aquarium pump thru the intake hole, to provide adequate air for combustion.

    How about some pics of your salmon?

  4. Hi Todd.  I rinsed the fish and then soaked it in fresh water and rinsed it off again, perhaps I should have soaked and rinsed a few more times.  My smoker is very well sealed and the only intake is the little 1/4" drain hole at the bottom, so I cracked the door open for awhile.  I'll look into the aquarium pump.

    I brined for 24hrs because, I dunno, I just cobbled together some ideas from what I read online.  The fish has great texture and flavor, and more than enough salt.  Some postings say that I must freeze it since it was fresh, in order to insure killing all the germs - what do you think?

    Also, besides trout, what are some other fish to cold smoke?


  5. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There are guys on here, much more experienced than me, when it comes to smoking fish.

    NWDave and Bearcarver would be a good resource


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