Smoked Salmon for the holidays

Discussion in 'Fish' started by hell fire grill, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. Not quite a grate full but enough to share with friends and family for the holidays.

    I used my go to dry brine recipe.

    4 Cups Brown Sugar
    1 Cup Kosher salt
    20 Cloves of Garlic (pressed)

    I like to cut the fillets into 1 - 1 1/2" wide strips. Because thats about the average thickness of the salmon fillets that I catch in the fall. Leave the skin on never remove the skin. In my opinion the fish can dry out too quickly and then your left chewing on a tough chewy hunk of garbage.

    Dredge the fish in brine.(all you need is what will stick to the fish)
    Brine for 48-72 hours. Thats how I do it!
    Overhual it twice a day, or more if you have time.
    I like to use a baster and baste the fish a couple times a day, with the juice in the container, as well as overhauling. I think it makes a more evenly brined end product.

    Rinse the salmon GENTLY so you dont rinse all the brine off. I fill my container, like you can see in the first pic, and slosh the water around for about 10 seconds, twice. You want to leave enough drine on the fish to act like a glaze and develope a real nice pelic.

    Dry the fish by PATTING with a paper or cotton towel, dont rub it. You can also fold the towel over to cover the fish, top and bottom, and gently press on it to remove most of the moisture on the fish. Then let it sit in the open air and dry untill there is a pelic or tacky layer covering the fish. Sometimes the fish dont want to dry very fast and you can use a fan to help. There is no set time for this to happen, because of temp and humidity, the fish can sit at room temprature for several hours without worrying about it spoiling.

    Smoke at 100 - 125* untill the fish gets to the level of dryness that you like. I used apple wood and smoked the fish for about 12 hours on this batch. Theres no set time for this because every fish has a little different fat content and everyone has their own idea what the fish should be like. I always have a sample piece at each end of the smoker and nibble on it a little when I check it. Some folks like to heat the fish to 140* to finish it, I usually only do that when the fish is fresh and has never been frozen.
  2. dirt guy

    dirt guy Smoking Fanatic

    Looks good. Can I be one of your friends?

    The commute would be a killer!

    Too bad our state fish is the carp.[​IMG]
  3. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I am so jealous of those of you that have ready access to Salmon...

    Those of us stuck in the middle of the continent are sure shorted on the fish selections...

    It looks Great...[​IMG]

    I took you serious until I looked it up...LOL

    When you rearrange the letters in carp it fits better...[​IMG]

    Ours is the Channel Catfish... a little better...
  4. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Fresh Salmon is killer, and so are your Q View pics. Thanks for sharing. It's all good my friend.
  5. dirt guy

    dirt guy Smoking Fanatic

    >> I took you serious until I looked it up...LOL

    I'm not even sure what our state fish is. I think it is either the White Bass or the Striped Bass. I do know any time I go fishing the carp is what I seem to catch the most of. When I catch one, I do rearrange the spelling and exclaim that word![​IMG]

    If I had to name three or four of my favorites to come off the smoker, salmon and a good tuna steak would be at the top, or numbers two and three. But, it has to be a very special occasion for me to shell out the bucks for them here.
  6. vince

    vince StickBurners SMF Premier Member

    Very nice! best the taste is great!
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks real good!
    Isn't it amazing how it seems like a big batch when you begin----Then when it's all done, you give a few packs away & there isn't much left for the home team.

    I gotta do a few more fillets real soon!

  8. nickelmore

    nickelmore Smoking Fanatic

    I either need to figure out how to get some fresh salmon. I love that stuff.

    Here in Illinois I think the state fish is the carp, maybe that would work.
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Try this link----Chitown-Angler:

    This is a page of pictures of Salmon caught out of Lake Michigan from Illinois. There is also a "chitown-angler" fishing forum. Looks like you have only one choice----Gotta go NorthEast.

    Hope this will help,
  10. I have enough to do probably 2 more batches like this one, in the freezer, and 40+ pints put by along with a dozen or so quarts. Its going fast this time of year. The stuff makes great gifts throughout the year for various occasions. Although I give more away at the river during the fall season, by handing off my rod. I always enjoy taking a grill to the river and cooking a fresh one for everybody.
  11. thunderdome

    thunderdome Master of the Pit

    These look fantastic. I bet they didn't last too long
  12. old poi dog

    old poi dog Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Aloha HFG,

    [​IMG] Thank you for sharing the Q-view and your technique. Your smoked salmon looks great. I wish I had some right now... I will surely try your smoke technique. :>)

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