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Old 04-23-2011, 10:54 PM   #1
Wampus
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Default Easter Rum Hot Smoked Salmon >>TUTORIAL<<

I've hot smoked a salmon fillet (or 2) every Easter for 3 or 4 years now. This year's no different. Thought I'd take some photos and run a little turorial for those who've never done it.

Here goes.....

This recipe is out of Steve Raichlene's "How To Grill" cookbook. I've done it a few times. LOVE IT.

The wife picked up a couple of sockeye salmon fillets from Kroger today. Rinsed in cold water and patted dry:


Time to take the skin off. I do this with a fillet knife. Just hold the very end of the skin (skin side down) with my fingernail and pressing the fillet knife and sliding it back and forth, push it toward the opposite end. If you regularly clean fish....this is a no brainer.


Gettin there....


And DE-SKINNED!


Then it's time to check for bones. These are supposed to be boneless, but......yeah. So, you can feel the bones with your fingers. Just use a pair of pliers to grab 'em and pull straight out....


First, marinate the fillet(s) with 1 cup of dark rum. I used Meyer's Dark Rum. Used the whole 1/2 pint. Marinate for 15 minutes. I flipped 1/2 way through.




While marinating, make up the fish cure. This consists of:
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of kosher salt
1 TBS of fresh cracked pepper


Mix thouroughly and after pouring off the rum after marinating, then rinsing the fillets and wiping out the dish, then put 1/3 of the cure in the bottom of the casserole dish, place the fish on the cure.....


....and top with the rest of the cure.


Cure for 4 hours in fridge.
THEN.....set the kettle for stun (indirect grilling) with 2 small chunks of wood.....I used cherry....


....and top the sides with about 6 or 8 hot coals each.


And place the fillet(s) in the direct center of the grate:


30 minutes later.....when the "ooze" (there's a name for it.....is it pelicen?) starts to come out the top and the fish is firm to the touch and flaky.....it's DONE!






LOVE THIS STUFF!
I'll put this in the fridge tonight and it'll be a yummy appetizer for tomorrow's dinner at my brother's house after Mass!!!

Thanks for lookin!
Happy Easter Brethren!!!
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Old 04-24-2011, 12:41 AM   #2
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Looks really good! What temperature did you smoke them at? How does it compare to cold smoked salmon?
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:21 AM   #3
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That looks delicous. Thanks for the tutorial. I have smoked different types of fish but I always just throw them on the cooker for a litttle bit. I have never tried marinating and curing them first though. I am going to give this a try next time.
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:54 AM   #4
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Excellent Wampus! I like to leave the skin on then remove after cooking. It helps keep the filet together in one piece, and surprisingly there is no fishy taste.
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoothsmoke View Post
Looks really good! What temperature did you smoke them at? How does it compare to cold smoked salmon?
Thanks!

I was shooting for around 300 for 20 minutes, but I think it ended up around 250-275 for 30 min.

Raichlene's Cookbook recipe calls for indirect grilling at med-high heat (400 in his book) for 20 minutes or on a 225 degree smoker for 1.5-2 hrs.

You just have to cook it until it's firm and wants to break apart in flakes.


Cold smoked salmons will still have the consistency of raw fish, just darker and with a smoky flavor. This is fully cooked. You'll see that after curing, the fish is a lot darker and very 'stiff'. The salt in the cure actually removes a lot of the moisture, leaving a very firm consistency. I nibbled a little last night and am ALWAYS amazed at how farkin GOOD this stuff is. I think Capozzoli, in a recent thread, said this was technically kippered salmon......and I yield to him.

Here's a shot of what it looked like right before I took it out of the cure after 4 hours in the fridge. As you can see, it was swimming. All that liquid came out of the fish!


Here's a photo of the fillets after rinsing the cure off. They take on a very dark red color:
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Excellent Wampus! I like to leave the skin on then remove after cooking. It helps keep the filet together in one piece, and surprisingly there is no fishy taste.
Thanks Neil. I should have saved the skin and made some "salmon chips" by seasoning and direct grilling......but I totally fogot.

Actually the fish always stays together pretty well for me. I have a really large spatula that I use (just in case) to pick up the fillets, but I've alwas has good luck with.
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:23 AM   #7
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Outstanding!
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:42 AM   #8
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Excellent!! I'm actually hot smoking some today myself. I brine mine in a ziploc bag with the salt sugar mix but add a couple of tablespoons of rum directly to the mix and let the fish stay in there for 6 hours.
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:06 AM   #9
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That looks awesome. Did you let it sit and air dry after you rinsed off the cure
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:18 AM   #10
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Excellent tutorial, great recipe and beautifully executed! I'll definitely give that one a try soon, thanks!
Happy Easter!
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
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That looks awesome. Did you let it sit and air dry after you rinsed off the cure
Nope. Pretty much rinsed the cure off, patted dry with paper towels and right on the kettle.
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Old 04-24-2011, 09:57 AM   #12
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Great job on the salmon!

When you feel like it, try a brine using pineapple juice for the liquid and the rest of your dry cure ingredients. I don't do fish much since no one will eat it around here except me, but using a pineapple juice brine is my go to for smoked salmon when I make it.
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:21 AM   #13
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Excellent job and thanks for the tutorial!
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:30 AM   #14
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Man that looks good, I understand why you do it traditionally
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
Great job on the salmon!

When you feel like it, try a brine using pineapple juice for the liquid and the rest of your dry cure ingredients. I don't do fish much since no one will eat it around here except me, but using a pineapple juice brine is my go to for smoked salmon when I make it.
OOoooooo, that DOES sound good Ron.
AND....it's GOT to be cheaper than the 1/2 pint of Rum I burnt on that one!
I'll have to try that next time.
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