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Unread 05-06-2011, 06:13 PM   #1
dkruks
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Default Salmon

so this is my plan...

2 parts brown sugar
1 part kosher salt

pack on both side of a nice thick fillet of salmon with the tail piece and belly removed to keep a uniform thickness to the fillet

let brine for 16hours

rince thoroughly

let stand uncovered in fridge for 8 hours

smoke at 200F until temp hits 130F

My goal is to use this for crackers, mix with cream cheese, and just enjoy thinly sliced

I have never done this before, so if i am doing something to ruin a good peice of salmon please let me know, and i can change things up some

Thanks,
Dave
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Unread 05-09-2011, 07:20 PM   #2
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well...

on sunday i had a test run of smoked/cooked salmon. I made a mixture of 1.5cups brown sugar and 1 cup course salt. i packed a layer about 1/4inch on both sides of the salmon. i then let it brine for 5 hours. I then rinced of the salmon in cold water twice to make sure i got rid of the excess salt. then i let the salmon sit for an hour, i was waiting for the pelicle, but it never came. It was getting late and i had to get the food cooking so i got the pellet pooper fired up and found a nice constant 240* (3rd time cooking on it so just learning the settings)

placed the meat thermometer in the salmon and put it on the smoker...after about 50 minutes the temp on the salmon was at 120* so i snuck a peak in...the look of the salmon had not changed at all. knowing my inlaws (all meats must be well done...a shame i know, but it has been 8 years, and i am slowing changing them) i cranked the grill and went for another beer. i know that salmon is done at 140* but i let it climb to 160* to get some colour to the out side.

My my inlaws ate every last morsel, it was fanastic, my only concerns are the colour of the meat...if i would have let it come to temp at 240* would it have turned the nice smoked colour we all dream to achieve? or wold it stayed very pink? Second i did find it just a little salty... not at the time of consumption, but a few hours later i kind of felt like i was licking a salt block...

Any advice or tips would be very welcome


Dave
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Unread 05-09-2011, 07:25 PM   #3
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I did this the other day if you care to take a look.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=105808

By the way, I ALWAYS leave on the belly. One of the best bites on the fillet. Well IMHO...
WHat you have there sounds good though! Hope it comes out good for you.

Cheers
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Unread 05-09-2011, 09:27 PM   #4
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There's a few ways I do this, but it sounds like you're trying this style:

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=97010

A few comments.
1. I generally use 3:1 ratio of brown sugar to salt. Might even cut back a bit on that depending on the brine time. That is salty already.
2. For "done" style smoked salmon, bring it to 145-150* internal temp.
3. Try to keep the temp in the smoker below 200*. I prefer in the 175* range. If the smoker is above 200*, you end up with something more like "cooked" salmon. This is not bad, but it's not really the same as the type of salmon you spread on crackers. Tastes more like leftovers (which aren't bad).
4. Smoke and salt are both preservatives. "Done" is a relative term. Some like it at 160*, some 140*, some 120* and some like it raw. There are many ways to prepare it. My favorite salmon is grilled hot and fast, to about 120* internal and crispy and juicy on the outside, but that's a completely different style.
5. I think your question is what would happen if you brought your salmon to 240*. The higher the temp, the drier it will be. In that case, you would be eating something like salmon jerky. I would definitely want to stay below 160*.

Experiment and see what else appeals to you. Glad this was a success for you and the family.
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Unread 05-09-2011, 11:14 PM   #5
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Thanks Gore...what I meant by 240* was the smoker temp...I was concerned that even after 50minutes the colour of the salmon had not changed from when I origionslly placed it in the cooker. So was just wondering if it would start to darken up as the internal temp rose to 140*? Or is my pellet pooper not giving off emough smoke...oh I was using alder wood pellets the first 50 min then finished it with apple pellets at the higher temperature.

Dave
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Unread 05-09-2011, 11:49 PM   #6
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Phew! I'm glad you were talking smoker temp. I read your post about 3 times and finally concluded you were talking IT -- sorry, my bad. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by darkening up. Usually, when the salmon comes out of the "brine," it has darkened up. The salmon we get is a very pale pink. We sprinkle the salt/sugar on it just like you said and put it in plastic bags with a weight on top (usually some 5 lb bags of powdered sugar work well). This squeezes the juice out of it. After 8-16 hours the bags are full of salmon water, the salmon is deep red and very stiff. We rinse, pat and then air dry for a couple hours. But, I'm thinking this is the red you mean. Perhaps you need to weight it down. I didn't see you mention that in your post. In the pic in my post, the salmon doesn't appear very red, but it really is a deep red. The color doesn't change much with smoking. Usually, the cold smoke is done at a very low temp. You really don't need to worry about temperatures here. There is so much residual salt in it that nothing is going to grow. You can cold smoke it (on ice) and make lox or warm smoke it "well done" -- my family likes it about 145*. I've never noticed much change in the exterior, although the interior will definitely lose its pinkness as the temp gets to 145* and up. I once had the temp get up around 210*. The salmon tasted pretty good, but the flavor was completely different. The closest I can say is it was like cooked salmon rather than smoked salmon, not the kind that you spread on crackers. I've not noticed the salmon color changing much in the smoker itself. The big change occurs during the brining process. Play with it and have fun. I smoke salmon about every other week. It's easy and my kids love it cold for breakfast. I've varied things quite a bit and it is always tasty. The biggest concern is it being over salty.
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"I love everything about the pig, even the way she walks." -- Spanish proverb
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(='.'=) This is the rabbit baby. Invests him in yours signature,
(")_(") and the help rabbit baby takes over control of the world!
Hmmmm, I wonder, WWGALD? Avatar courtesy of Grillman and NorthwestBBQ

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