Salmon Question

Discussion in 'Fish' started by chriss, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. chriss

    chriss Newbie

    Can I smoke Salmon with Skin on one side or is it best to remove all skin to let the smoke get in.

    Also some basic instructions on a simple smoke for just a couple of servings of salmon would be appreciated.
  2. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes you can smoke it with the skin on or off. Its all up to you. I like it both ways. I have to buy it in the store so which ever way they have it is how I cook it.

    I brine mine for around 12 hours with a mix of salt and brown sugar. I then rinse off the brine and dry the fillets until they are sticky. Then I sprinkle a little bit of brown sugar or honey, garlic powder and pepper. I smoke it around 150-175 until the internal temp reaches 140 usually around 4-5 hours depending on how many and how big your fillets are. I have tried making it several ways but this is by far my favorite way to do it. I don't make it any other way any more. My family loves it! I just made a batch for my mother-in-law last weekend because she craves it and she was out.
  3. chriss

    chriss Newbie

    Thanks. I will try it. Do you do it skin down or skin up when you have skin on it.
  4. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I smoke skin down. Just make sure you get plent of brine on all sides of the fillets. I usually flip them a few times as well when they are in the fridge to move the juice around a bit.
  5. eaglewing

    eaglewing Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Skin ON and down....

    I brined over night using Bob's Brine (left out the Tabasco)

    Then dried with paper towel and sprinkled both sides with Lemon-Pepper, Salt, and cumin...

    Only took 1 1/2hrs in the smoker with Beachwood and Hickory while sitting in a foil pan.... My Temps weren't as low as rbranstner

    ABSOLUTELY BAD A$$!!!!!! [​IMG][​IMG]
  6. chriss

    chriss Newbie

    Thanks for the advice. Couple of last questions. I was hoping to do the Salmon for this evening but did not brine it. Could I do it without brining or is that necessary. In the future I will be sure to plan a couple of days ahead to do it properly.

  7. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have looked over a few posts before where they only brined the salmon for a few hours so I know it can be done. Do a search and see if you find anything if not I'm sure the way I do it would turn out fine even if you only had a little time in the brine.
  8. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You can smoke skin off/on. You can brine or not brine, I like mine more natural without a brining. I would use a milder wood such as alder, it gives a lighter smoke flavor than some other woods.
  9. blzafour

    blzafour Smoke Blower

    I smoke salmon with the skin on and down. I spray the racks with a non-stick spray. It helps a bunch! I brine mine with Brown sugar, canning salt and water... and then towards the end I mop the Salmon with Maple syrup..... a big hit with my Family and Freinds!

  10. I always brine mine with salt,brown sugar,maple syrup. Let sit overnight then rinse well. I set it out on racks to dry but smother it in brown sugar.After about three hours its in the MES at about 145 for roughly 4 hours. I use maple wood for the first 2-3 hours and use a glaze of maple syrup,brown sugar and liquid honey every 45minutes or so after the first 2 hours. When its done I let it sit for 20 minutes covered on the counter. I have made enough to fill the MES a couple of times now and each batch will only last 2 maybe three days if Im the only one eating it. And yes skin ON and DOWN.(Damn I want to make some now..with pics of course.)[​IMG]
  11. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97 Smoking Fanatic

    Salmon is very forgiving. You can brine it for a short time, long time or not at all and it will still come out fantastic. Brining it will give you a little firmer texture but a luxurious soft texture from unbrined salmon is A OK with me.
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That answer is included in my complete "Smoked Salmon Tutorial":


    My opinion-----"If you're going to eat the skin----Smoke it".
    If you're going to "Cook it", and not really "Smoke it", leave the skin on to keep it from falling apart (skinside down on grill).
    If you're going to "Really Smoke it", get the skin out of the way.

  13. bbally

    bbally Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If you are not curing the salmon, it is best to skin it. When smoking salmon you really don't get the crispy skin some people love.

    This is a video to the way I skin salmon. As I end up doing cases and cases speed and clean method is the requirement. It will take it a minute to load as it was filmed prior to me understanding digital video lessons.

    Salmon Skinning Video
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That's amazing! I never tried that. I do the same thing, but with a knife.

    I would never want to eat a Salmon skin. The skin, and the meat just under the skin, is where all the bad stuff is stored.
    If I was going to grill a Salmon, I would do so with the skin down to keep it from falling apart, but I would leave the skin on the plate.
    I get Salmon much smokier without the skin, so I remove it for smoking.

    My 2 cents.

  15. timtimmay

    timtimmay Action Team

    My vote is on and down.
  16. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97 Smoking Fanatic

    As to skin on or off, I personally leave it on while smoking just to hold it together well and keep the flesh off the grate. I pull the skin off and then scrape off the dark fatty layer or blood line. If I'm going to be eating salmon skin I want to render off all the fat and I want it very crispy. I've done skin separately in a cast iron skillet and served it on top of the fillet when plating.
  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I guess I should be more explanatory about my Smoked Salmon. It seems I should refer to it as "HARD" Smoked Salmon, because you don't "PLATE" mine---You hold it in your hand.

  18. walle

    walle Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Bbally, I gotta give you [​IMG]for the skinning video. I'm always open to new ideas and learning - learned something new today - thanks.

    I can't wait to Kung-Foo my next fish! I'm thinking this would be a great way to get kids to fillet smaller fish (trout) - gonna give it a go with my girls this summer.
  19. I'm in the hide on and down crowd. I have both brined (with sea salt and honey) and cured before smoking, it actually depends on how much salmon I am smoking.

    As for the wood, I prefer alder or maple, maybe with a little apple.

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