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Lessons Learned - Salmon Smoking

TeefusTeefus Posts: 603
I smoke a big salmon filet every few weeks, as it's one of my favorite snack foods. Low temp smokes can be tough and it's taken me a few attempts to get things dialed in. I thought I'd share a couple things learned along the way.

1) Eliminate "off flavors" from White Smoke"

One of the problems I'd have with a low temp (sub 200*) smoke is that the lump never got hot enough to burn off the volatiles and prevent off flavors. If it did, throttling the fire back to the desired low temp was all but impossible. It just took forever. This last time I loaded the firebox with fresh lump and got a blazing fire going....the night before. I did a quick cook of some flatirons and shut the egg down. The next day I still had a big load of lump in the firebox that was already cleansed of any volatiles. I just stirred it up, lit a small section with my propane torch, dropped in a couple fist size chunks of apple wood, and installed the plate setter and grate. It burned like a candle. With the vents throttled back I had sweet apple smoke for two hours before it even approached 200* at the dome, and it never exceeded 210*. It took 4 hours to get the fish to 160*. Perfect.

2) Eliminate dripping condensate from the daisy wheel.

One of the problems I've had with low temp smokes (especially in cool or cold weather) is that moisture condenses on the daisy wheel and drips creosote flavored droplets on my food. It looks unsightly on Salmon and tastes like crap on anything. It stops after the daisy wheel gets heated up well. This time I pre-heated the daisy wheel with my propane torch just prior to adding the Salmon. I hit it from both the inside and outside and got it smoking hot. No condensate at all this time.

Maybe I'm behind the curve on this stuff but if not I wanted to share. It made for a better cook. It's hard not to like a better cook.
Michiana, South of the border.


  • kl8tonkl8ton Posts: 2,296
    Thanks for sharing your findings.  Salmon is delicious.  Do you purchase at your local supermarket or do you have a source?
    LBGE - 36Blackstone
    Grand Rapids MI
  • Cookbook_ChipCookbook_Chip Posts: 1,234
    Those tips are worth money!  Love this forum...  Thanks!
    Lovin' my Large Egg since May 2012 (Richmond, VA) ... and makin' cookbooks at
    Stoker II wifi, Thermapen, and a Fork for plating photo purposes
  •  Thanks for the pointers! Good looking out
  • ArkysmokinArkysmokin Posts: 108
    Do you use a wood plank for the salmon or something else?

    Live in Austin/From Arkansas

    XL BGE

  • TeefusTeefus Posts: 603
    kl8ton said:
    Thanks for sharing your findings.  Salmon is delicious.  Do you purchase at your local supermarket or do you have a source?
    Costco. Great fish. Fresh. Reasonably priced. 
    Michiana, South of the border.
  • TeefusTeefus Posts: 603

    Do you use a wood plank for the salmon or something else?

    Nope. I just set it on the grille. 
    Michiana, South of the border.
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,771
    Great insights above.  The only downside (at least for me) with the Costco fillets is that the skin has been removed from the fillet.  I like to run skin side down.  Regardless a great outcome every time.  
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
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