August 27, 2000 We have a couple
of recipes for hot smoking salmon. We did a bit of a
hybrid, as we were running out of time (story of all of our
lives). The Whitehead's had given us a side of salmon on
Saturday. They were dropping by for a late lunch on the
Sunday. We decided to hot smoke the larger portion of the
salmon, and cold smoke the remainder. Because of our time
constraints, I mixed up a prepackaged Trout and Salmon Brine
from Luhr-Jenson Smokehouse.
We left the fish, covered in
brine, for approximately 9 hours. The fish was removed,
rinsed lightly, and placed back in the refrigerator,
Bill did the cold smoked
salmon until 9:30. At that time he took out the cold
smoking plate and put the salmon on the top shelf. We had
also done up a couple of pieces of Cod a different way, and
those were put on the top shelf as well.
180 degrees F. At 11:30 Bill
moved the fish down to the lowest shelf, so that he could
put a large container of Smoked Beans on the middle shelf.
The fish tends to 'leak', and we didn't want the fish oil to
get into the Beans. The salmon was at an internal
temperature of 167 degrees F.
It was removed at 1:30.
Taste was very good, but the salmon had dried out. Next
time around, I think I will lower the temperature and smoke
In the picture above, you can
see the amount of smoke coming out of the smoker when I
opened it up to check how things were going. I've put a
digital remote temperature probe into the salmon, and I have
the thermometer from my Grill stuck in the top of the vent
stack. This thermometer allows some of the moisture to
escape, keeps in a good chunk of the smoke, and tells me the
internal temperature of the oven.
On top of the Smoker you can
see the thermostat that you use to dial in the temperature
of the oven. Inside, I've lined the bottom of the unit and
the top of the smoke box with aluminum foil.
The Smoker becomes slightly
warm to the touch, but it is well insulated. Juices and
moisture drip out through the bottom of the unit into an
Hot smoked salmon is at the
back, in front of the white wine.
Smoked Salmon continues to be
one of our favourite smoked items. We've continued working
on finding different/better recipes and ways of smoking.
We've really enjoyed smoking
salmon as a dinner entree. It isn't smoked until it is dry,
just for flavour and until it is cooked. We did the recipe
below, overnight in the brine, until about noon the next
day. Took it out of the brine and let it sit, drying, in
the fridge until 3:00 p.m.
At 3:00, I put it in the
smoker at 180 degrees F. for three hours. Mesquite was the
wood that we used. It turned out excellent!
When I am
real lazy, I use a premixed brine called "Scott's Seasoned
Brine Mix". It is packed by Sikes Enterprises, P. O. Box
1208, Klamath Falls, OR 97601. They will sell it by the
case, and costs about $2.50 a packet individually.
When I am
not feeling so lazy, here is the brine that I make and use.
kosher or pickling salt.
3/4 cup or brown sugar ( I prefer cane syrup or dark
corn syrup.. same amount).
leaves crushed fine.
teaspoon ground white pepper.
2 to 3
of the brine, mix all ingredients in cold water until
dissolved. place first layer of salmon in the brine skin
side down, next layer skin side up, rotating so skin is to
skin and flesh is to flesh. Weigh the fish down so that it
stay submerged. Some folks use a plate or three, I use a
gallon zip lock filled with water, or two if it's a lot of
soak overnight ( eight hours ), remove from brine and place
on racks to dry. At this time I may add a 50/50 solution of
honey/water and then add a thick sprinkling of black pepper,
or I may just add the pepper, or I may add garlic, or even
garlic... depends on what you want this batch to taste like
or what you intend for it. While this is occurring, start
the smoker and preheat to around 165 to 170 degrees.
The fish is
ready for the smoker when the pellicle forms. This is a
small "crust" or bead formation resulting from the fish oil,
the salt and the sugar...
fish in the smoker on racks, and smoke until the meat is
flaky. If you wait until the edges of the thinnest pieces
start to have a "jerky" type of appearance and slightly curl
up and are dark brown, the thickest parts will be flaky.
personally found that heavily smoked salmon is the best.
If you have
a dehydrator, this is excellent taken straight to it, and
allowing it to dry into jerky.