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Old 11-12-2013, 10:56 PM   #1
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Smoking salmon, continued - more feedback, please.

I've been reading more about how to smoke salmon and I'm coming across a term that I don't quite understand. I hear people saying that they use 2 to 3 pans of chips to smoke the fish.

Here's what I have in my head:

They use a steel pie pan and possibly cover it with aluminum foil and poke a few holes in it. They have to light one side, or maybe the center of the chips. Maybe one piece of lit charcoal in the center? This process is repeated every 2ish hours? Does anyone have any experience with this?

I'm settled on a dry brine for the salmon. I'll use 1 part salt, 1/2 part brown sugar, some crushed black pepper, and possibly grind up some bay leaves. I'll brine for about 45 minutes, wash the salmon off and pat it dry with paper towels. I'll let the fillet sit out in the open, or maybe the fridge for at least a few hours to develop a layer on top. I'll attempt to cold smoke the salmon with either apple wood or alder wood for about 6 hours. I'll take Scoobie snacks every 2 or so hours to 'test' progress. It should be fun!

Thanks for any advice.

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Old 11-13-2013, 10:45 AM   #2
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Since you have found a brine you like, I'll skip passed that, except to say, that salmon is a pretty thick piece of fish and should be brined for 2-4 hours. Once removed from the brine, it needs to be rinsed in cold water, then patted dry.
Place the dry fillet on a baking pan skin side down, uncovered and place in the refrigerator over night until it develops a pellicle, a tacky surface that the smoke will stick to. At this time you can add seasoning if you wish.
For smoking, any fruit wood is a good choice. Personally I don't like to "over smoke" fish as it will take away the true flavor of the fish. Two hours of smoking should be plenty. Cook until the fish is done but still moist inside for best flavor. You don't want it to be dry! One word of thought, I don't recommend cold smoking salmon, it should be "cooked" 140- 150 degrees. Cold smoking is done at 100 degrees and its hard to maintain that temp unless you have a smoker that can maintain that temp for 6 hours strait.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inchrisin View Post
I've been reading more about how to smoke salmon and I'm coming across a term that I don't quite understand. I hear people saying that they use 2 to 3 pans of chips to smoke the fish.

Here's what I have in my head:

They use a steel pie pan and possibly cover it with aluminum foil and poke a few holes in it. They have to light one side, or maybe the center of the chips. Maybe one piece of lit charcoal in the center? This process is repeated every 2ish hours? Does anyone have any experience with this?

I'm settled on a dry brine for the salmon. I'll use 1 part salt, 1/2 part brown sugar, some crushed black pepper, and possibly grind up some bay leaves. I'll brine for about 45 minutes, wash the salmon off and pat it dry with paper towels. I'll let the fillet sit out in the open, or maybe the fridge for at least a few hours to develop a layer on top. I'll attempt to cold smoke the salmon with either apple wood or alder wood for about 6 hours. I'll take Scoobie snacks every 2 or so hours to 'test' progress. It should be fun!

Thanks for any advice.
If your using charcoal as your main heat source,dont bother with a pan unless your using chips instead of chunks. I like chunks of apple wood over chips, they smoke longer which keeps you from opening the cover of your heat source and thus keeping the temp from fluctuating. I put chunks of apple wood in a bucket of water and add them as needed.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:09 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by salt and pepper View Post
Since you have found a brine you like, I'll skip passed that, except to say, that salmon is a pretty thick piece of fish and should be brined for 2-4 hours. Once removed from the brine, it needs to be rinsed in cold water, then patted dry.
Place the dry fillet on a baking pan skin side down, uncovered and place in the refrigerator over night until it develops a pellicle, a tacky surface that the smoke will stick to. At this time you can add seasoning if you wish.
For smoking, any fruit wood is a good choice. Personally I don't like to "over smoke" fish as it will take away the true flavor of the fish. Two hours of smoking should be plenty. Cook until the fish is done but still moist inside for best flavor. You don't want it to be dry! One word of thought, I don't recommend cold smoking salmon, it should be "cooked" 140- 150 degrees. Cold smoking is done at 100 degrees and its hard to maintain that temp unless you have a smoker that can maintain that temp for 6 hours strait.
Here is a pic of trout that has been in the fridge overnight and allowed to develop a pellicle. Notice the shine & sticky surface.
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Old 11-16-2013, 08:08 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the advice. I'm starting to experiment with the A Maze N pellet smoker. I've been smoking for 5 hours and it's kind of a harsh flavor right off the grill. It'll be interesting to see how this mellows out overnight.

I left half the salmon in the fridge and will smoke it tomorrow. We'll see how it does.
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Old 11-20-2013, 01:05 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by inchrisin View Post
Thanks for all the advice. I'm starting to experiment with the A Maze N pellet smoker. I've been smoking for 5 hours and it's kind of a harsh flavor right off the grill. It'll be interesting to see how this mellows out overnight.

I left half the salmon in the fridge and will smoke it tomorrow. We'll see how it does.
Over smoking is just as bad as under cooking. I would cut down on the amount of smoke during cooking.
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Old 11-20-2013, 01:09 PM   #7
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Tried to warn you, too much smoke!
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