Need advice on smoking a salmon

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Need advice on smoking a salmon

Postby yakattack » Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:07 am

Good morning guys and gals. I find myself with a good 12 lb salmon that I caught that I want to smoke this weekend. That being said, I've never smoked a fish before.

I will be using a blend of oak and apple with a little bit of maple for smoking, but I'm not sure what kind of brine to use with fish. Any suggestions?

If you have a favorite post it here. I'll be cleaning and brining the fish tonight to start smoking tomorrow at sme time.

Thanks guys and gals.
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Re: Need advice on smoking a salmon

Postby jedneck » Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:26 am

viewtopic.php?f=57&t=62687
Grilled not smoked but this goes good on tuna and imagine it would salmon also.

For smokin i would keep it simple and use a simple salt n brown sugaer brine. I have brine recipe but i gotta scale it down for you. It makes enuf for250-300 lbs. Will post it after i get to shop
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Re: Need advice on smoking a salmon

Postby yakattack » Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:40 am

Awesome! Thanks jedneck :) man in love this community.
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Re: Need advice on smoking a salmon

Postby Plc Ryan » Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:56 am

I haven't tried this on salmon but use it on lake trout and they are relatively similar fish. All I do is kosher salt brown sugar and maple syrup. Brine over night and then rinse and let dry. a little fresh cracked pepper and into the smoker. Turns out pretty nice in my experience and you can alter the ratio of sugars to salt if you want more of a candied salmon or a more traditional salty and dry smoked salmon. I lost the ratios i used when my phone bit the biscuit but I'll see if I can dig it up.

EDITED to add recipe below

This was the original recipe I found online and modified slightly. I substituted half the sugar for maple syrup since I have a lot of it. I did it just like that the first time I smoked fish and found it a touch too salty so the next time I dialled back the salt just a little.You can play around with the ratios as you like if you want more or less maple, salt, etc. The recipe also calls for a cup of peach brandy if you have it on hand which I did not. Could add some interesting flavours though.

8 cups water
2/3 cup kosher salt
2 cup light dark sugar
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Re: Need advice on smoking a salmon

Postby yakattack » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:42 am

Thanks Ryan.

Any thoughts on smoking times?
I have enough meat on this fish that I can try 2 or 3 different brine mixes to compare too :)
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Re: Need advice on smoking a salmon

Postby nerdybrewer » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:54 am

I usually get about 100 Lbs salmon fillets every summer and smoke a lot of it.

One brine that I enjoy is as follows:

1 gallon apple juice
1 cup kosher or canning salt
2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup minced garlic

Put the fish in & weigh down so it's all submerged, keep in fridge over night.
You may have to adjust amounts for the amount of fish you have, one salmon would probably only need about 1/4 the recipe above.
Rinse fish and set out on a rack to dry (pat with paper towels) for at least an hour.
Use that time to bring smoker up to speed.
Put fish in smoker and smoke till you think it's done.
If I keep the temperature in the 150 - 200F range it's a couple hours.
Higher temperature = less time in the smoker and less smoke penetration.
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Re: Need advice on smoking a salmon

Postby googe » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:54 am

You'll need at least 4 papers and a big lighter. And make sure it's dry
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Re: Need advice on smoking a salmon

Postby sltm1 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:44 am

Damn googe...you stole my post !! LOL
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Re: Need advice on smoking a salmon

Postby yakattack » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:34 am

googe wrote:You'll need at least 4 papers and a big lighter. And make sure it's dry



And here j was expecting a cheach and chong reference lol. That's to funny googe
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Re: Need advice on smoking a salmon

Postby freefall » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:10 am

Man.......I'm late to the party again.
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Re: Need advice on smoking a salmon

Postby yakattack » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:14 am

Nope not late. Haven't done it yet
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Re: Need advice on smoking a salmon

Postby Bushman » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:56 am

My method is close to Nerdybrewer but I dry mine using a fan on the smoking racks. Also I don't like mine too dry so 1/2 way throw the smoking I take them off the skin and flip them over and set them on aluminum foil. I also sprinkle Johnnys seafood seasoning in too smoke and then again after flipping.
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Re: Need advice on smoking a salmon

Postby Mikey-moo » Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:58 pm

Well I cheat. I weigh the salmon and put it in a plastic bag with 1% sugar and 2% salt and 1teaspoon of liquid smoke per pound. Leave in the fridge for a week, turning each day. After 7-10 days I take it out, wash it off and wrap it in muslin, back in the fridge for 24 hours to dry out. Slice as required, re wrap and put back.

One day I'll get me a proper smoker. Or more likely make one :-)
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Re: Need advice on smoking a salmon

Postby Plc Ryan » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:18 pm

yakattack wrote:Thanks Ryan.

Any thoughts on smoking times?
I have enough meat on this fish that I can try 2 or 3 different brine mixes to compare too :)


It's been a little while since I have done it but I would say 225 for like 3-4 hours. But honestly once it's cooked I just sample every once in a while until it's at my desired dryness. Saying that though I smoke it for flavour not a method of preservation so if you want it to last a long time you want to dry it right out. I do it until it's still just a little moist then bag it up good and keeps in the fridge until it's gone, usually isn't too long.
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Re: Need advice on smoking a salmon

Postby zapata » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:41 pm

I went to Alaska once and flew back with 150 pounds of salmon and spent the next year perfecting my salmon game. Just my personal opinion, but cedar planking is the absolute best way to cook salmon. Just soak some cedar boards in water for a day, fence boards are hella cheaper than those sold for grilling. Little salt, little pepper, whatever herbs ya like or have fresh, couple pats of butter and a couple lemon slices. Ovens and grills work, but campfire coals can't be beat for ambiance. Tent some foil over it if you like more smoke flavor. Native guy up there told me when they have a party they use whole fence boards and drive them into the ground at an angle to hover over coals. They clip or even nail the salmon on the boards because of the angle (and booze).

Just cook till it flakes and you're done. I know it's not exactly what most people mean by smoking, but it's awesome. Nice rustic charm to serve off the planks too. Make an extra plank for veggies, I think asparagus works perfectly. Toss in olive oil, salt, pepper, and a dash of balsamic. Mushrooms too but they benefit from a couple minutes high heat saute first.
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Re: Need advice on smoking a salmon

Postby yakattack » Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:47 am

Salmon is in the smoker. Brine was 2 cups brown sugar and .75 cups salt and cracked pepper. Dry brine for 16 hours. Now in the smoker with maple oak and hickory. Target temp is 150 but it may not reach that high.

Will smoke for about 4 hours to start. Will taste after 2 and after 4.

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Re: Need advice on smoking a salmon

Postby bitter » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:58 pm

NIce.. I like to make lox but means cold smoking. I do the dry brine in brown sugar, salt and layered in fresh dill. For salmon I like a mild smoke like sugar maple the best.

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Re: Need advice on smoking a salmon

Postby yakattack » Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:27 pm

Using mostly silver maple ironically. About 65 percent of the wood. Had a small sliver. Delicious. It's still drawing out moisture so it's not ready yet. Few more hours to go. Can't wait to have a good size piece of this when it's fully dry
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Re: Need advice on smoking a salmon

Postby yakattack » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:56 am

Just pulled the salmon out. Decided to leave it over night to turn it more into a salmon jearky. Turned out amazing. Lots of smoke flavor but not over powering. No fishy taste just a perfect balance of salmon and smoke. Sweet and salty. Going to have to do this one again. I think I just fell in love with my smoker all over again.
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Re: Need advice on smoking a salmon

Postby Worm_Drippinz » Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:20 pm

zapata wrote:I went to Alaska once and flew back with 150 pounds of salmon and spent the next year perfecting my salmon game. Just my personal opinion, but cedar planking is the absolute best way to cook salmon. Just soak some cedar boards in water for a day, fence boards are hella cheaper than those sold for grilling. Little salt, little pepper, whatever herbs ya like or have fresh, couple pats of butter and a couple lemon slices. Ovens and grills work, but campfire coals can't be beat for ambiance. Tent some foil over it if you like more smoke flavor. Native guy up there told me when they have a party they use whole fence boards and drive them into the ground at an angle to hover over coals. They clip or even nail the salmon on the boards because of the angle (and booze).

Just cook till it flakes and you're done. I know it's not exactly what most people mean by smoking, but it's awesome. Nice rustic charm to serve off the planks too. Make an extra plank for veggies, I think asparagus works perfectly. Toss in olive oil, salt, pepper, and a dash of balsamic. Mushrooms too but they benefit from a couple minutes high heat saute first.




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Be careful smoking fish...it can dry out quickly. Quality EVOO or butter and lemon is your friend.

I like mine with dill too....


My 00.02.
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