Salmon questions

Discussion in 'Fish' started by thsmormonsmokes, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. thsmormonsmokes

    thsmormonsmokes Smoking Fanatic

    Ok, I think I just proved the maxim that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is, But I need your help to verify.

    A local grocery store was advertising "wild" salmon for $4.83 a pound. So I grabbed a bunch. It looked to orange for it to be sockeye. So I assumed that it was Coho. The color was close enough that it could be coho, the size matched, and I couldn't think of anything else it would be.

    But then when I got it home to vacuum pack it, I saw that the skin looked like this:

    Did I just buy a bunch of chum salmon? The skin sure looks as though it could be.

    And if I did, is there anyway to smoke it to make it edible? Or should I not even bother and just throw it over the fence to my neighbor's Great Dane?
  2. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    No matter what, why not smoke it?
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I don't know much about Salmon Species...I have never had one I liked other than Cured and Smoked Salmon so I never bothered learning all that much other than proper cooking technique. I am told mine is great but don't eat it. Anyhow I looked it up in an Alaskan fishing forum and for every guy that posts, " Feed it to the Dogs " there is another that says it is terrific. It appears it is best fresh not frozen and takes well to smoke. So if I liked Salmon more, I would smoke it and see for myself...JJ
  4. thsmormonsmokes

    thsmormonsmokes Smoking Fanatic

    I grilled a piece last night, and it was a bit bland. But I was really straight forward with how I seasoned it.  Salt, pepper, lemon juice, cayenne, and powdered ginger.  It's a weird combination, I know, but I was making it up as I went, and that's just how I roll when I'm in the kitchen.  In the end, I wound up wishing I had put a little more ginger in it.  Some parts tasted better than others, but that could be because I over-cooked the thinner parts when I got distracted on a phone call.

    It was definitely not as good as sockeye, but that's not a surprise.  IMO, sockeye is the gold standard.  It's way prettier than the others, although double blind studies show the color of salmon does not influence taste.  It does, however, massively influence consumer behaviors, which is why salmon farmers add canthaxanthin into the food to get the optimum coloring.

    I'd put it roughly on par with farmed salmon, which is always atlantic salmon.  I wouldn't go out of my way for it, and I would happily pay the extra $2/lb for sockeye.  

    The rest of it is already in the freezer, so oops on that front.  JJ, have you posted any rub or brine recipes for salmon?  
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Like cmayna said, "Smoke it".

    No matter what kind of Salmon it is, don't give it to Marmaduke!!!

    If you want a Fish brine, and the rest of the Step by Step, click on "Smoked Salmon" in my Signature below.

    It will also tell you about freezing it to eliminate parasites.

    As for grilling Salmon, IMHO Salmon is only good smoked, just like Big Trout, but small Trout (under 20") are good made just about any way.

  6. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Don't throw it out! Chum is definitely not the most desirable cut of salmon but it is still really good brined. Also, it takes a glaze well. If you find it a little bland, soak some peppercorns in water and then press them into the meat overnight in the fridge. Grill over indirect heat until done. Knock most of the peppercorns off. The pepper gives a nice flavour to the salmon without being too spicy.

    I also would thing Bear's smoked salmon recipe would work fine.

  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    TMS, evening.....    Well, That is Chum, Kita or Dog.....  what ever camp you are in I guess....    It has a mild flavor.....   It is a "short return" salmon.....  meaning it doesn't travel hundreds or thousands of miles upstream to spawn..... Therefore is does not build up a fat reserve for spawning purposes......    It is very good smoked, pickled or canned....   They have few teeth until time to spawn....  their diet is similar to Sockeye as sockeye have few teeth also while adults and migrating....  This is to insure the species survival and no one food source is depleted....  Same with deer and elk... browsers and grazers....  mother nature has a way to deal with multiple species co-existing....  

    Most folks couldn't tell the difference in a blind taste test...   They put all kinds of sauces, herbs, spices and lemon of fish so they can't taste it anyway....  they FOO-FOO the chum in "politically correct" circles to impress folks....  Not me.... I respect all forms of wild salmon.... they are all good....  Like Angus, Whiteface, Semintol, Longhorn, Shorthorn.....  They are all good....   The American Angus Association would have you believe, Angus is the only good beef to eat.....  go figure....  


    ...............Chum Salmon Diet......

    they eat insects and marine invertebrates while in rivers; as adults in the ocean, they eat"copepods", fishes,"mollusks", squid, and"tunicates".

    Here is the Chum salmon I canned yesterday....  1 sockeye was in there.....

  8. thoseguys26

    thoseguys26 Master of the Pit

    You just got hit up by some very experienced smf members. Take all their info in glide.

    My only disagreement is salmon is amazing meat, when fresh, and that usually means in the big water, not so much the river. Whatever the species is that you purchased, brine it and smoke it and you'll be happy you did.

    There's tons of recipes here that you could do; smoked steaks, jerky or salmon bites. I've personally been doing smoked trout bites the past two years and they're fantastic. Not quite jerky, but smoked enough and semi chewy enough that it's basically fish candy. Keep us posted.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
  9. jonboat

    jonboat Smoke Blower

    +1 on the fish candy.

    I just did up a bunch over the weekend and hid a lot of it in the freezer so it wouldn't disappear too quick (I want some too!).

    A good brine and a smoker make for a great equalizer when it comes to salmon. For grilling, I prefer the ones we get out of Lake Ontario during the summer. Once they hit the rivers, the meat quality isn't as good, so anything I catch int the river always gets smoked. The ones I got last week were from the lake, but I really missed my fish candy and did up a little over half of what I brought home. The rest, being fresh lake fish, are frozen waiting for the grill. Chum, pink, coho, king, atlantic - all turn out nice when smoked.

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