Got some beautiful alaskan salmon from a friend and I am prepping it for the smoker. My only question is how long to brine it for? I have seen everything from an hour to six hours... Really don't want to ruin this salmon, so thank in advance for any help!!
It will depend on the method of smoking you use. I used to brine my salmon overnight in a kosher salt solution that floated an egg and then smoked for 5-6 hours at about 150 degrees. Cold smoking will demand something different and anything over 150 may take less brining to do a good job.
Mix a brine that will barely float an egg. Test the egg first in fresh water..if
it floats, doesn't sink..then use another.
Add your flavors (peppers, brown sugar, etc.) and test the brine again..
put your fish in..mix..12-24 is good..you can't really overbrine salmon..it reaches
Drain, rinse..blot dry
Now there's 2 ways of smoking it..cold, or (realtively) hot...
Cold( imho) is best with fish that are not brined, but salt cured..that should be no
more than 120-170 deg. ( mind you, this is not 'cold smoking', just the temp of the cooker.
Hot ..rinse, and smoke at 200-275 over water...it'll be moister, but won't keep as long.
Now, for the ultimate experience...
Take your fish, rinse, blot dry..
Mix up a mixture of 1/3 brown sugar, 2/3 pickling salt..coat the fish..let stand
12-24 hrs...rinse...cold moke for 12-24 hrs...keeps a long time just on the counter..
It's kinda like making gravlox, with the addition of the smoke..very hard, resilient flesh.
Thanks guys, mixing my brine now. Fish will hit the smoker in the morning.
Again MANY THANKS!!!
I'll post pics when all is said and done...
Very good advise above. Please send me some when finished.
OK, so here's what I used...
1 gallon filtered water
15 oz by weight of kosher salt
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
3 large cloves of garlic, smashed(for just a hint of garlic in the final product)
Mouth is already salivating...
Thanks for the help with the brining guys!!
Here's links to a couple of pics...
When it first hit the smoker...
About halfway through the smoking process...
The final product...
Again, thanks for the suggestions, now thinking I might want to try cold smoking some next time around.
Nice job on the salmon, looks like it worked out great.
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