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Use of alder wood chips

RRPRRP Posts: 12,724
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
It's me again...the newbie!
I bought some beautiful looking salmon fillets this weekend and plan to grill them tonight using Gretl's bourbon receipe. I also bought a bag of alder chips, but there were no intructions. Do I soak the chips and if so for how long. Also the quantity in handfulls or cups or whatever (I know it's not in board feet!). And do they go directly onto the fire or wrapped in tinfoil? I think the time will be 1 1/2 hours so will I need to add more chips? Thanks again!


Comments

  • bdavidsonbdavidson Posts: 411
    RRP,
    Soak the chips for at least 30 minutes. You can throw them directly on the coals or use a smoking box.... Smoke penetrates uncooked meat so even though the smoke only persists for part of the total cooking time, it will still accomplish the goal (with delicious results!). A handful should do it.
    Let us know how it turns out.

  • sprintersprinter Posts: 1,188
    RRP,[p]I'm always amazed at how long fish takes (or doesnt take as is the case) to cook. Last weekend I cooked a whole black snapper (3-4 pounds) and an Amberjack fillet (about 14 inches long and 1 inch thick or just a bit thicker). With both fish in the egg with the snapper on the bottom and the AJ on top on a second grill setup on firebricks, they only took 30 minutes, probably closer to 20-25, to cook at about 300. I've smoked salmon over low coals indirect, never actually COOKED it. Low and slow smoking will take awhile, I generally go about an hour and a half depending on the size of the fillet. I would cook it much less than that though.[p]I've never used alder wood but Cherry is somewhat similar as far as subtlety of flavor I think. I used some old pieces (actually board feet as you alluded to in your post) of hardwood cherry that I've cut up over the years. I had a piece of 6/4 wood and about 3x3. I soaked this for a couple of hours and toss it on the fire just before cooking the fish. There was plenty of that stuff left over in the firebox to do 6 more fish if I wanted to. The chips will disappear more quickly but a good handful should give you plenty of smoke for the duration.[p]Please take into consideration that I've never used alder, if its stronger or weaker in flavor than cherry, take this into account. My method describes what I do with Cherry and it lays the smoke on pretty good. If your smoke tastes differ, take this into account with quantity of wood.[p]Hope this helps.[p]Troy
  • mollysharkmollyshark Posts: 1,519
    No foil. Once upon a time I wrapped stuff in foil. The egg has such an intense heat that it actually vaporized the foil. Poof. A fistful of chips that have been soaked and drained should do it. I learned to throw them in at a pretty low egg temp. After that, the wood burns far too quickly and you get flame, not smoke. [p]Hey guys, am I getting better at this or WHAT!!!
  • EpondaEponda Posts: 21
    RRP, Alder is fairly strong, a little goes a long way. Soak for 30 minutes, add directly to fire when you put the fish on, and use 1/2 cup first time. Use more or less next time depending on your preference. I usually cook it for 60 - 90 minutes at 275 -300. Another time try soaking before cooking in a brine of 1/2 cup each of salt and brown sugar in 2 quarts of water for 1 hour, rinse, and let dry on a rack until a dull film appears on the meat.

  • RRPRRP Posts: 12,724
    While I'm picking everybody's brain at this, how would wild rice go with this salmon? Any other ideas?

  • RRP,[p]A personal favorite of mine is a wilted spinach salad. Rice would be ok, not a big rice fan though. Good luck with the salmon.[p]Troy
  • RRPRRP Posts: 12,724
    bdavidson, Salmon was a success IMHO! Moist and flaky...had a hearty taste, but not too stong. I just used a fist full of chips, which measured out to be 1/2 cup. I checked it at 1 hour - luckily - as it was done. I'm afraid @ 350 for the suggested 1 1/2 hours and it would have been a goner for sure. I got messed up on my timing so I went with Uncle Ben's white and wild vs the pure wild rice I had planned. Took the suggestion of asparagus and ta da! there you have it!


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