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smoked salmon

char buddychar buddy Posts: 562
edited 8:21PM in EggHead Forum
I was visiting another bbq forum and somebody posted an idea for putting a hot plate inside a ceramic and smoking salmon that way.
Anybody tried this?[p]After brining the salmon, you let it sit for 8 to 10 hours, then smoke it for 6 to 8 hours. To smoke it you take out the charcoal and put a hot plate
on the fire box floor. He said put a cast iron pan full of apple or alder chips one one rack then put a rack on top holding the salmon. He said keep the
temps at 100* for six to eight hours.[p]I remember a while ago someone wanted to pipe hot smoke from a mini egg through the bottom vent of a bigger egg and get cool smoke that way. I don't have
two eggs, but I would like to do a cool smoke salmon. [p]I can't figure out where the salmon should sit for 8 to 10 hours drying out. The fridge? The poster on the other forum said put it in the egg, but he was in
Australia. At my house it's snowing outside and cold. [p]Can the egg get to and hold 100* with just a hot plate inside? Do you have to put insulation around the electric cord coming out of the bottom vent?[p][p]


  • char buddy,[p] As it turns out, I have a bit of experience at this. Lat winter, I got the idea, egged on (sorry for the pun) by some other forum members, to try cold smoking. Here are a few things you might consider:[p]1. I was able to maintain a temperature of less than 100F with a moderate amount of effort just by lighting a very small fire and keeping it that way. I barely cracked the daisy open and alternated the bottom vent very, very, slightly open and closed. This worked fairly well, but I think the next time I'll just try leaving one end completely closed (probably the top) and adjust with the other. Just to be on the safe side, I placed the salmon over a pan of ice, which was placed on cold firebricks. Didn't wait for the BGE to stabilize as I wanted the cold ceramics to help me out with keeping the temp low (plus it would have been pointless to try to "stabilize" the thing then dump all that cold mass in there anyway). Pictures of the setup can be found here:[p]Salmon Pictures[p]I put a handful of soaked alder chips on top of the very small fire and that created a good amount of smoke. I had the salmon on for only an hour or so (maybe it was 1hr 15 min) and that gave me plenty of smoky flavor. Outside temp during the cook was in the 20s and it was pretty windy. Just to make sure I wasn't far off on dome temp, I used my polder probe stuck through the daisy to give me a second opinion. Only time I went over 100F was when I thought the fire was out and left the bottom vent open too long. Keep in mind that I'm pretty sure the salmon didn't experience 100F as it was on top of all that ice. However, becuase of this one variance, I thought of using the small egg piping method (as it turns out someone else had thought of this previously and I think, may have even supplied pictures when I wrote about my adventure).[p]Not sure how the hot-plate would work, but I liked the idea of actually having a fire to do it. Just get a couple pieces of lump going in the top center of the lump pile, then dump the soaked chips on them.[p]I packed the salmon in kosher salt, brown sugar and fresh dill overnight (~24hours), then rinsed well before smoking. Probably could have let it dry a bit first, but I've seen other recipes that tell you to dry it after smoking. I did not dry the salmon at all after brining or smoking and regretted it. The taste was wonderful, but it was a bit too gelatinous to cut into thin strips. Next time I'll let it sit in the fridge for several hours after smoking or figure a way to force some cold air over it to let it dry more. Would be nice to let it stay in the BGE with the slightly warm air, but it is hard to turn off the smoke once it starts (unless you guess just right on the amount of wood to put in there).[p]Hope some of this helps . . .[p]MikeO
  • char buddy,[p] Oh, one more thing. Just about every source I could find on this says to keep the temp below 90F, not 100F. Don't know if it really makes that much of a difference, but like I said, just about everything I've seen says 90 . . .[p]MikeO
  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    MikeO, That was a good informative post. I will quote Ed Fisher in his remark, "its amazing how many ideas the forum members come up with in using the BGE". Innovation!!
    A thought for you in your routine. Delving back into my memory box, there was a fellow that built a small smoke pit adjacent to his meat rack box. I believe he used regular cement block, and topped it with a flat sheet metal square to fit the block size. And made a round exhaust vent in the center. To this he added his piping to the main box. All exhaust ports and entry ports in a stair step level arrangement. His smoke would travel and cool as it went thru the tubings. Maybe you can use this or change it to fit your needs..
    Afterthought, he did add blocks to the top of the metal cap to help insulate and hold it in place. (memory is hazy here)

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