A time to share

Monday, November 12, 2007


Friday night I thawed a load of frozen salmon, mostly humpy or Pink Salmon for smoking on the smoker. yes, it's that time of year when I put it into gear and smoke about 50 pounds of salmon, providing we caught that much this season, and we did!
Smoking salmon is a two step process, brining the fish and smoking it.
May seem like it would be a simple process but actually it is much involved, from the cutting of the fillets to the mixing of the brine and brining the fish to washing the brine off of the fish and finally letting the fish "stand" for an hour or two before smoking, it is a long process.Usually about 16 hours.
Normally I use a "wet" brine consisting of 4 cups water, 4 cups brown sugar, 4 TBLS. Molasses, 1/2 tsp. liquid smoke, 3-4 garlic cloves minced, and a cup of non-iodized salt. This has been my brine that everyone seems to love. A friend of mine gave us some of his smoked salmon recently and the family loved it. So I asked him for his recipe, he laughed and said it is on salmonuniversity.com.
It is a dry brine. Meaning you don't add water. I have tried this method twice in the past and not had good success. The one I used required that you peel off the skin of the salmon BEFORE brining. This is a difficult, tedious process. The fish didn't turn out like his which was extremely good. So I went back to my old standby that has served me well for the last 15 years.
The dry brine I used this time did not require peeling the skin from the fillets. It was rather simple. In a plastic bowl mix four cups brown sugar, one cup non-iodized salt and about 7-8 garlic cloves minced. Place the fish in the bowl skin side down, add the mixture over the meat, then more salmon, layering it meat to meat, skin to skin as you generously add the dry brine in between the layers. The brine absorbs the moisture from the fish and turns into a wet pasty mixture. Let sit for about 6-7 hours. I left mine in over night. Rinse it off and pat dry, then let stand and smoke. Also, I used a pan of Alder chips followed by apple chips for the smoke. Normally I use Hickory to give it a bit more twang.

I love giving it away during the holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas.


Blogger Ryan F said...


My mouth is literally watering right now!

10:34 AM  

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