Having seen so many people have success with the cold smoked salmon, I thought I'd toss my little method out.
Its not "cold" smoked, but it sure turns out fantastic! So good, I have friends buying salmon and asking "will you smoke this for me?" LOL :woohoo:
Its a two part process really, one being the brine and the other managing the temp on the egg.
First the brine for one or two large skinned fillets. That's right, I said "skinned" - I find I get smoother smoky flavour right through the meat that way.
4 cups water
4 cups water (yes, total 8 cups)
1 cup kosher salt
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
2 gloves of garlic, finely diced (not crushed)
Put the first 4 cups of water into a pot, and get it warm, but not too hot (we're not making soup here!)
Turn OFF the heat.
Add the salt, sugar, syrup, pepper and garlic and stir until all the salt / sugar has dissolved. Remove the pot from the stove and add the remaining 4 cups of VERY COLD water. This is to help cool down the brine.
If the brine is still warm to the touch, wait until it has cooled down to room temperature.
Now depending on what type of containers you have (I have two plastic ones that can each hold a fillet cut in half), pour the brine into the container(s) then put your happy salmon in it. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Now, you can brine it longer, but I've found that after 24 hours not much changes.
Next take your salmon out of the brine and rinse thoroughly in cold water, then pat dry with a paper towel. Now they're ready for smokin!
Now to fire up the happy egg. I start it in two places near the centre. You'll need the plate setter, but leave it off for now.
This next part is all one step, do everything right away.
Keep an eye on the temp. Once it hits about 180, close the vents down. I close the bottom to about 1/8 inch, and the DFMT to just a sliver. Add your wood CHIPS (not chunks!). I use 1/2 and 1/2 maple and alder and use about 2 cups total. I just pour the chips all right into the centre, pretty much covering the coals - the smoke will start immediately so don't inhale (unless you're into that sort of thing? LOL). Right away put the plate setter in legs up, put the grill on. Give the grill a spray of "pam", slap on the salmon and close the lid.
The temp should DROP quite a bit (sometimes just above 100).. but will slowly (and I do mean slowly) climb. After about 3 hours, I check the temp. Usually its around 160-170 - I might open a vent a tad to get it up to about 200 (at the most) just to finish it. Total time on the egg is 3-4 hours.
You can eat it right away (well, I ALWAYS have a little nibble!), or refrigerate or freeze. I cut mine into "appetizer" size pieces, wrap them in cling wrap and freeze right away (while still warm).
Absolutely the best smoked salmon I've ever had!