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smoked salmon

AnEAnE Posts: 26
edited 11:47AM in EggHead Forum
Morning, gang- Happy Friday! I need some input here on the salmon I cooked Wednesday night--been a bit swamped with my daughter's birthday yesterday, and couldn't get to y'all till today...I brined a 2 pound salmon fillet for 2 days then smoked it on the alderwood plank with firebricks and alderwood and chardonnay barrel chips for 45 was delicious, but the texture was like that of Scottish smoked salmon or gravlax-which is a fine way to eat it, but I was looking more for a Northwest Indian style where it would flake and really be cooked through. Did I brine it too long?? Should I try smoking it for several hours??? Any ideas?? Anyone from up Pacific Northwest way who knows the secret??? THANKS!! Cheers! Elizabeth


  • Elizabeth,
    I smoke salmon and lake trout all the time. I'm not familar with the term you used. Does that mean it was mushy? I usually brine it for 2 days minimum. The guys up at the 'deer shack' like to use a brine with wine in it. I don't! The wine makes it too strong tasting and tough. I generally cook mine over a low fire, about 225 degrees, with a pan underneath and apple juice & water in the pan. About 1 hour to 1:15 minutes and the fish flakes like the best you've ever eaten. Moist, tender out of this world! I haven't tried the alder plank yet! I've got to locate one first! We are headed to the big city in a few minutes to look for that and a few other eggsentials! Yuk! Yuk! When we get back I'll e-mail you the recipe and particulars. Meanwhile, tell me what "gravlax" means! Sorry 'bout my stupidity![p]Dr. Chicken

  • AnEAnE Posts: 26
    Dr. Chicken,gravlax is a raw salmon filet recipe from Scandanavia-you marinate the salmon for several days then slice it really thin and serve on dark bread-it's basically raw fish cured by the salt and spices..which I love, but I wanted something different!! My salmon wasn't mushy, but in the center had that raw, sushi-like texture... I want it flaking!! Thanks- I'll try brining maybe a little longer, too!!cheers! Elizabeth

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Dr. Chicken, Try Cooks Nook for the planks..Lowest price in town, and if you write in the comments box in their order blank, "Tell Don Char-Woody sent ya" you get a extra 5% off on the plank, and anything else other than kitchen utensils you may want. Just a special favor to the BBQ users of the planks. My commission is zero-except a occassional e.mail cut of salmon...Cheers C~W[p]BTW..Be sure and read MaryB's recommendations on the use of it.[p]
    [ul][li]Cooks Nook for Chinook's Salmon Planks[/ul]
  • AnE,[p]For the 'hard-smoked' Pacific Northwest style indian salmon the trick, I believe, is to cook it at very low temperatures for a long time. We're talking ~100 degrees or so. Something that I've found tough to do on the egg. You might well get something similar by cooking as low as you can for longer. At those low temperatures I don't think you'll have to worry about overcooking and with the Egg you shouldn't have to worry about it drying out too much either. Unfortunately even though I'm a Seattle native I've never smoked salmon this way. I do vaguely remember my Grandfather using one of those flimsy cardboard smokers at low temps and smoking all day maybe two days and the salmon turned out as good as or better than what you commonly see in the stores up here. Unfortunately he passed away when I was pretty young. Just barely before I started gettin' my interest in cooking.

  • AnEAnE Posts: 26
    Seattle Todd, THANKS very much- I will try to get it really really low next time!! Cheers- Elizabeth

  • AnE,
    I dig out the original recipe in the morning and fire it off to you! I pretty much do it from memory any more. The recipe has all the particulars and other pertinent information. Better you have the "real thing" to begin with, then you can adjust to your taste or preference.[p]Dr. Chicken

  • Char-Woody,
    Thanks C~W! I will! I will![p]Dr. Chicken

  • AnE,
    I like fillets not steaks. I leave the skin on always
    For kippered or Hot smoked I start around 80-100* for good
    smoke penetration for about 1-2 hours then gradually raise
    the heat (which what kippering means).I try not to get over 180* and time and temp. rate varies..but leaves you with a flakiers texture that crumbles when you cut is not raw or mushy like lox,nova or gravalox.
    I also think a wet brine and 2 days is too long. Try useing a dry-salt (salt -sugar) and sprigs of dill. 1-2 inch fillets need about 12-24 hours max..then I wash that off and let dry for an hour with either a fas or good circulation.
    The product needs lengthy smoke time I usually try for 12 hours but can finish up similar product in as short as 4.
    Its always better cold the next day-days.[p]But the only way I like it hot is over more intense direct heat for only an hour or two. Youll always get a moist flaky
    robust tasteing texture that way, and all I use for that is some lemmon , and lemmon pepper.[p] "Confessions of a Hyper-Smoker"

  • FritzFritz Posts: 179
    alt,[p]I agree with you about direct heat and slamon. I think that is the way to do it if you eat it hot.[p]I have yet to perfect the indirect plank method to my liking.[p]Fritz
  • AnE,
    I save brining salmon for smoking at low temps for longer
    When I want moist flaky salmon instead of brining
    coat the salmon with a mixture of salt, brown sugar (I like dark), dill weed, tarragon,and other spices to taste.
    Coat fillets and cover with plastic wrap and refrig for 1 to 2 hours.
    Remove from refrig and wash, allow to air dry for aprox
    an hour, until tacky. Cook at 225-250*, smoke with alder or
    fruit wood until fish hits 145-150* internal.
    Have taken cash pots in Canada and PNW with this method.
    The mixture is 3 tbsp salt to 1/3 cup brown sugar.
    The reason for brining is so you can smoke and then store
    the salmon to eat later, very good but not what you are trying to do I think.
    Hope this helps.

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