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lhommedieu 12-03-2012 08:52 AM

Rememberance of Salmon Past...
When I was growing up we used to have a friend that would bring smoked salmon back from fishing trips in New Brunswick. The salmon fillet was still on the skin and would be scored in a criss-cross fashion so that chunks could be picked up off the skin and eaten or put on crackers. Generally there'd be a bowl of sour cream and chives to accompany the salmon - and lots of beer.

The texture of the salmon was not the moist pink of deli salmon, but dark and more towards the dry, flaky side. There was still some residual moisture on the inside but the outer layer was crusty and with a strong smoky flavor. I'd like to duplicate this and am thinking of an alder or applewood smoke at @ 200 degrees - although I wonder if it should be a little hotter if necessary. My best guess is that it was brined overnight and mopped with water and maple syrup.

Any suggestions re. the IT and the length of the smoke would be appreciated.



pork_butt 12-03-2012 11:39 AM

lhommedieu, I have done a few of these. I have done with skin on and also skinless. I prefer the skinless. I brine mine over night in a salt/brown sugar brine. I try to keep my smoker around 200 degrees, but the best one I did, the smoker got to around 250. It had more of the fat ooze out, but I did not care because it was so good.

I do not mop during the smoke, and I also take the IT to 160 degrees even though USDA says it is done at 145 degrees. I think it gives it a little more "crust" or bark on the outside.

The way you describe with it being darker with the outer layer layer crusty, is how it turns out. I have not put out the sour cream and chives, but have just put a hunk on a cracker.

Good luck with this and report back.

daninnewjersey 12-03-2012 01:04 PM

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I did this salmon not too long ago. Not sure what the internal temp was but I cooked at 225-250 with oak and let it go a little longer so it would get that good crust on the outside. Did a dry brown sugar/kosher salt overnight brine and I think it came out pretty well. So did everyone else....:mrgreen::mrgreen:

Grain Belt 12-03-2012 01:31 PM

I do mine similar to daninewjersey's as far as the smoking technique. I brine overnight with 1 cup canning salt and 1/2 cup sugar to 8-9 cups water. I rinse the salmon in the morning, pat dry, pull pin bones, and then place under a fan for one hour before smoking. I then smoke at around 250 with apple wood. I pulll the salmon after the whitish opaque liquid rises up and then receeds back into the fish a bit. I then always refridgerate the fish at least a day before consuming or packaging for friends or the freezer.

lhommedieu 12-03-2012 09:05 PM

Thanks guys, for your responses. I've looked at a couple "hot smoke" salmon threads and it looks like 200 is a bit low for what I want. I'm going to set a grill temp for 225 and an IT of 160 - but look for the white liquid coming up and settling beforehand. If it looks good with an IT of 145 then I'll take it off. I figure 1-2 hours at 225 should be about right. First time for me and I'm looking forward to it.

Randbo 12-03-2012 09:24 PM

at 225 mine is done to an internal temp of 150 in 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours. after you wash it down before smoking it I blow a fan across it at room temp for 30 minutes to 1 hour to form a stickey pellicle.It makes the good crust you are after.

oifmarine2003 12-04-2012 07:14 PM

This thread is perfect! I have been asked to smoke some salmon for Christmas and I haven't tried it yet. Any tips would be much appreciated. Is apple the best wood?

lhommedieu 12-04-2012 08:07 PM

I would think that oak and hickory would be good choices for the kind of basic warm smoke that we're talking about here; apple and alder for more delicate smokes. Lots of threads here on bqb on different ways to smoke salmon - I'm going to start with the method described above as it probably comes closest to what I remember from back when. oifmarine2003, here's a vid for us newbs re. removing pin bones:

I well remember my dad smoking shad in an old metal can in the driveway after fishing on the Delaware; someone would always call the FD and they'd come and admire his build. I think my dad always told them to drop by a few hours to pick some up when it was done.

isolated01 12-04-2012 08:33 PM

I prefer a dry cure to a brine. Alton brown on food network shows a good method. Drying after curing is essential. Like bbq it's mostly about technique even given an exact recipe you cant beat experience.

daninnewjersey 12-05-2012 09:12 AM


Originally Posted by lhommedieu (Post 2288730)

I well remember my dad smoking shad in an old metal can in the driveway after fishing on the Delaware; someone would always call the FD and they'd come and admire his build. I think my dad always told them to drop by a few hours to pick some up when it was done.

That's funny. I'm on the local FD and a few snotty people bitch when I'm smoking at my house and call the police. Well, the cops obviously get hooked up when I'm cooking (sometimes they drive by circling like vultures) so needless to say I don't get hassled....:mrgreen::mrgreen:

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