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Old 11-29-2010, 11:51 PM   #1
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Need help with smoking salmon

I've been using store bought salmon (presumably farm raised and previously frozen). These are king salmon fillets, about 3 lbs. each piece. I cut them in half to fit in my front loading Masterbuilt electric smoker. After brining I put the fish in the smoker cold and then when the temp reaches cooking temp (170 degrees F, about 30 minutes) I add the wood chips and let them smoke for an hour. The fish gets a white froth on it during smoking, which I've read is due to overheating during smoking but I'm afraid to turn the heat down or the wood chips won't smoke. The last fish I smoked also came out mushy, which I've read is due to over cooking. I have a bunch of questions here:
1. Is there an ideal temp for hot smoking salmon?
2. Is there an ideal time for hot smoking salmon?
3. If my fish comes out mushy is this an indication of improper handling prior to smoking, or am I doing something wrong?
4. Is there anything I can do to give my fish a nice golden sheen (finish)?

Thank you in advance for your help.

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Old 11-30-2010, 12:06 AM   #2
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Are you remembering to let the pellicle form before smoking?

I'm afraid I'm not much help as I only cold smoke my salmon. I just know that my first few attempts I didn't let the pellicle form and the salmon was garbage. I've not had a problem since.

My smoking time varies dependent on our weather too. Hope someone comes along who can help with hot smoking. Welcome to DC.
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:36 AM   #3
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Yes, I let it sit on the smoking racks for about an hour and a half before smoking.
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:06 AM   #4
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Maybe you shouldn't put the salmon in until the smoker is at temp and plenty of
smoke is being produced.
If you leave the salmon in while the smoker is heating, the salmon will be cooked
by the time the smoke starts being produced.
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Old 11-30-2010, 10:47 AM   #5
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GF, I don't know about anyone else, but there is no WAY I'm opening my smoker once the smoke starts. It burns the crap out of your eyes and you just about choke to death. All my instructions state that you leave the door shut as long as smoke is wafting out of the vents.

howzit, what about refrigerating your salmon after brining? Then it will take longer to come to temp in the smoker.
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:26 AM   #6
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Alix, I meant don't ADD the salmon until the smoke starts. If you do, your salmon is already at 170 or whatever, and is already cooked... overcooked, actually!
I think that is important enough to brave a face full of smoke. :)
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Old 12-02-2010, 02:44 PM   #7
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I use this recipe. It works great. Salmon University online lessons - how to smoke salmon – the basic steps
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:13 PM   #8
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Put one end ofthe salmon in your mouth and light the other end.Do what Bill Clinton didn't do and inhale.
Should smoke just fine!
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrillingFool View Post
Alix, I meant don't ADD the salmon until the smoke starts. If you do, your salmon is already at 170 or whatever, and is already cooked... overcooked, actually!
I think that is important enough to brave a face full of smoke. :)
I gotta say, I've been an idiot and had a face full of smoke and did not care for it. I cold smoke though, so I can't say I've had any of these issues.
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Old 12-31-2010, 09:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4meandthem View Post
Put one end ofthe salmon in your mouth and light the other end.Do what Bill Clinton didn't do and inhale.
Should smoke just fine!
Now, that's funny!!!
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