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smoked salmon help?

I made my first smoked salmon tonight. It was quite good, put it was quite salty.  The texture was also a bit more chewy than store-bought stuff.  Any advice on how to reduce the saltiness and have it a bit less chewy.  My cure was 2 parts sugar to 1 part kosher salt.  Also added some dill and lemon day 2.  Thanks.
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Comments

  • billyraybillyray Posts: 1,122
    You can reduce the saltiness by soaking it in water, try a few hours to start.
    Felton, Ca. 2-LBGE, 1-Small and waiting on a mini
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  • GrannyX4GrannyX4 Posts: 1,460
    Jerryp, it might have been "chewy" if it was over cooked. I cook mine to between 130 and 135. I like it a little on the rare side.
    Every day is a bonus day and every meal is a banquet in Winter Springs, Fl !
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  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 7,145
    Actually, many prefer the chewy texture of a smoked salmon, if it is cooked just right, there are those that think it is spoiled or undercooked. Depends what you use it for. Served as an appy on crackers or bread, it often has something else with it so the chewy texture is just fine, not jerky mind you, just with a little attitude. 

    If you are just smoking for a meal, why would you cure it? 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
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  • jerrypjerryp Posts: 226
    It wasn't cooked by heat. It cured for 48 hours and cold smoked for an hour. I expected the texture but not the saltiness. I like it, but I like salty stuff. My wife commented on the saltiness.
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  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 14,935
    Ideally, you want to add enough cure so it cures without becoming too salty.  It's kind of an art form - I put the fish skin down on a bed of cure, then pour the cure on top proportionally to the thickness of the fish.  I go about 24 hours with the cure on, then wash it off and let it sit for another 24 hours to distribute.  Then taste it - if it's too salty, soak in cold water for a few hours like billyray said.  Taste again - when the salt is right, let it sit and get a pellicle then cold smoke.  You want to make sure the cold smoke doesn't heat the fish over 90F or the texture will change.

    If you cold smoke, I'm assuming you're using a sodium nitrite cure - dangerous if you don't.

    Smoke lightly and for longer periods.  I try to get 4-6 hours of smoke on the fish.  Then let it rest in the fridge for a day or so.  If the outside picked up some nasty smoke, you can rinse it, but try to get a mild, long smoke versus a heavy short smoke.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

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  • jdgcreanjdgcrean Posts: 44
    @nolaegghead - any thoughts on Ruhlman/Polcyn's cold smoked salmon method? I brined for a 1.5 lbs coho filet for the recommended 36 hours. cold smoked with cherry traeger pellets in an a-maze-n q set up on just below the fire box, salmon at felt line. taste was fantastic, but fish was mushy. wondering if i over-brined?
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  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 14,935
    @jdgcrean - What temperature did you cold smoke at?  If you go over 85-90F the texture of the fish can change.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

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  • jdgcreanjdgcrean Posts: 44

    didn't use my maverick, but temp was consistently low - had to relight the amps a few times, and the grill was never higher than essentially room temp.

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  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 14,935
    Ambient where I am is too hot (that's why I put an AC in my cold smoker).  Anyway, here's some info on the temp....but it sound like the fish got too hot.  It's possible the fish just started off that way.  Over brining would give you a very firm fish, and very salty.

    http://www.meatsandsausages.com/meat-smoking/cold-smoking
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

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  • jdgcreanjdgcrean Posts: 44
    many thanks for the thoughts. very helpful @nolaegghead
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