smoking salmon first time questions.

Discussion in 'Fish' started by rayf01, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. rayf01

    rayf01 Newbie

    I am going to smoke some salmon for the first time tomorrow and was going to do a brine tonight. Had few questions for everyone.

    1. Is overnight in a brown surger, soya sauce and salt brine too long?

    2. What's the best temp to smoke at and to what internal temp? I've read you want to smoke until the internal from is 160 for 30 minutes to kill parasites? But I've seen people smoke at a temp from anywhere of 140 to 225, with an internal temp usually around 140 to 150.

    3. I was going to brine overnight then rinse off, pat dry and sit open to air for a couple hours to form pellicule, does that sound right?should I do this in the fridge?

    4. Would it adversely affect the process if I put tinfoil under the pieces of fish and then set those on the racks? Or should I just out the fish directly on the rack?

    5. Skin in or off? And cut into pieces or leave whole as fillets?

    6. How open should the top vent be? I typically smoke everything else wide open.

    Thanks! ,
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2014
  2. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Welcome to the Salmon world. 

    1. What size fish pieces are you smoking?   If you are doing a dry brine with standard filet sizes,  I would brine for 7 hours.  That what I do and did yesterday with some King Salmon.  Be careful and do not over salt the mix.  I use a 4/1 ratio of brown sugar / non iodized salt.

    2. I start at 125* for an hour,  bump to 145* for another hour, bump to 155-160 until I reach an IT of 140.  Then pull it.

    3.  Yes, brine in the fridge, rinse with cold water, air dry for 2-3 hours.  I air dry on the kitchen table, room temp.  Some dry for longer period of time in the fridge.

    4.  Personally, I would never use foil under the fish.  Directly on the racks.

    5. Typically most smoke with skin on.  The batch I did yesterday was half with skin on and half off.  For me size of the piece has a direct impact on how long to brine and smoke, thus why I asked in my reply #1. The size might be governed by how many people you plan to feed in a sitting.  I will say the typical width of a smoked filet is around 3"  With that said, this coming weekend I plan to smoke 2-3 whole filets of a couple smaller Salmon for I need to feed a boat load of fellow fishermen in a couple weeks.

    6. Open wide.

    If you snoop around the fish board, you will find a few threads I created showing a variety of Salmon smoke outs.

    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
  3. rayf01

    rayf01 Newbie

    My biggest concern is killing parasites and worms. Everywhere I read based on safe temps you have to reach 158 to 160 for 30 minutes.
  4. Last edited: Sep 29, 2014

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