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Smoked Salmon ala Egg

Bruce FrydaBruce Fryda Posts: 1
edited November -1 in Seafood

Ingredients

• 4 lb Salmon filet
• 1 &#189 Cup Canning Salt
• &#189 Cup Brown sugar
• 2 Tbs Molasses
• 2 Oz Tequila

Instructions

A quality smoked salmon, of coarse starts with the fish. I only smoke salmon filets. Most whole smoked salmon taste like cold baked fish. I believe that the flavor and the texture along with the appearance is much better with filets. This batch size can accommodate 2 full filets and another that has been cut into 3 or 4 pieces around the edges of the grill. This is really hand crafted small batches and not intended for large quantities.

The salmon preparation starts with the brine. I really don’t measure anything but here it is. In a plastic pail (2 or 3 gallons) I will fill it to about ¾ full of water. I like that size pail because it fits into the refrigerator. Add canning salt starting with about a 1 ¼ cup and mix it into the water. I will then add salt until a raw egg almost floats. Add about a handful of brown sugar, &#189 cup or so. Add a tablespoon or two of molasses. On occasion, I add a couple of shots of tequila for an interesting flavor.

The filet(s) should be trimmed up, clean and fresh if possible. Salmon doesn’t freeze too well even if it was frozen in a vacuum bag. So fresh is best. With the availability of fresh salmon in the stores and the prices often less than $10 per pound it is worth it to buy a fresh filet for a special occasion. Don’t ever try and figure what salmon cost per pound if you’re going to catch them on your own. $10 per pound is pretty reasonable. Submerge the salmon in the brine. Put the pail in the refrigerator and let it soak for 24 hours, give or take.

Take the salmon out and rinse in cold water. Place the salmon filets on paper towel to wick any moisture off the filet. I put a fan on the filets and let them air dry for an hour of two before putting them in the egg. You will get a better color that way.

When the filets are dry I season them. You can sprinkle them with Cajun seasoning, fresh gound black pepper, even maple syrup or molasses. Black pepper seems to be the favorite.

12 to 24 hours ahead of time, you’ll need to prepare your wood chips. I use apple wood. I use a couple of good handfuls of chips and if I have it, some sawdust. I soak it in beer or water.

I prepare the egg by putting in about ¾ batch of charcoal and get it going to about 1/3 to &#189 burn. At that point I add the apple wood. I squeeze the liquid out of the sawdust if I’m using it. I don’t worry too much about the temp. at this point because the wet chips and sawdust will take some of the heat out of the fire. I immediately invert the plate setter, place the grill on top and put the fish on.

Close the top and bottom dampers to ¼ inch. Put an electronic thermometer in the top. The temp. should be around 175 F. I let it slowly build to 200 to 210 F. That is the target. I start closing the dampers from there to maintain the temp. in the 200 F range.

The fish will smoke fairly quickly. At about 1 ½ hours the fish will be done. I may let the temp. creep up a little at the end if a dryer smoked fish is desired. Generally I leave the fish on a little less than 2 hours. You can always tell if it is completely cooked by pulling on a pin bone in the front portion of the filet. It should come out easy and a tiny bit of clear juice should come out of the hole.

Remove the fish to a wire rack to cool. Make sure it is well back from the counter edge because the dog likes smoked salmon too. ENJOY!

Notes

Number of Servings:

Time to Prepare:

Comments

  • After reading soooo many salmon brine recipes, both dry and liquid, - I'm confused about HOW the end results differ between the two.    What are the advantages of dry versus liquid, if any?   Would appreciate any and all feedback.   (I prefer a "moist" salmon verses "dry" and would rather have moist with a lesser flavor, if necessary, than dry.)

    (I am a new owner of a BGE and trying numerous recipes on EVERYTHING and can use any advise that those with experience have to offer.)

    Thank you.
    Carol
  • I checked all the posts after doing a search for Smoked Salmon, and must confess I am unclear as I was under the impression the target temperature was around 80-90 F (Cold-smoked), but it seems all the recipes suggest a dome temperature around 200-220 for a couple of hours.....

    Am I misunderstanding ?

    What is the target temperature for the fish ?

    Thanks in advance

  • MO_EgginMO_Eggin Posts: 118
    Under 90 degrees is cold smoked salmon (like nova / lox that you put on a bagel with cream cheese), the cure rather than heat cooks the fish; the texture is more like raw salmon.  200+ degrees is hot smoked salmon, which is cooked by heat; has smoke flavor, but texture is similar to baked salmon (but should be much moister).
    LBGE, St. Louis, MO
  • MO_Eggin said:
    Under 90 degrees is cold smoked salmon (like nova / lox that you put on a bagel with cream cheese), the cure rather than heat cooks the fish; the texture is more like raw salmon.  200+ degrees is hot smoked salmon, which is cooked by heat; has smoke flavor, but texture is similar to baked salmon (but should be much moister).
     
    Thanks

  • I will try the higher temperature first, Salmon is in the brine already My goal is like we all know when we think Smoked Salmon from the store
  • jimfastcarjimfastcar Posts: 88
    edited May 2013
    Being new at all this, I am amazed at how much moisture came off the salmon after just a few hours in the Brine. Brown Sugar, Kosher Salt and minced fresh Garlic Can someone explain this please ?
  • jimfastcarjimfastcar Posts: 88
    I will try the higher temperature first, Salmon is in the brine already My goal is like we all know when we think Smoked Salmon from the store
    Delicious ! Ate a little and vacuum packed the fish for future use. Thanks for advice
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