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NautiRogue

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  • Smoked Salmon and Low Temp Cooking

    Over the weekend, I smoked salmon for the second time.  I'm not a real fan of salmon, but my wife loves it and she thought last night's most recent BGE product was heaven!

    I'll take the compliments where I can get 'em, but the truth is that I was just damned lucky that it turned out well.  The recipe that I have for smoking salmon calls for a dome temp of 150 to 160.  The first time I tried this, I figured that since I have a CyberQ WiFi, it should be no big deal to maintain this temp.

    Uh huh.

    I knew that I needed to get the fire established before settling down to 150 indirect, so I let it burn for a while before putting the plate setter on, closing the dome, and dropping the temp down.  The dome temp had gone to 275, so it took a while to settle into 150.  I realized that during this time, the CyberQ knew I wanted 150, so it wouldn't be doing anything and that likely, the fire would go out before the dome temp got to the set temp.  So, I tried to ease it down by setting the CyberQ temp at intervals while it dropped.  The theory worked, but it took forever. 

    So, the dome was finally at 150.  I threw some Alder wood on the coals, put the salmon on the grid, and was ready to sit and watch it for the next 3 hours...  It was cold (probably in the teens), snowing, and windy... And I had to leave to run an errand for about an hour and a half.

    But I had the CyberQ WiFi, right?  I ran my errand and monitored the cook from my phone.  Eventually, I watched the temp plummet.  The fan was at 100% output, but the temp was dropping like a rock.  I'm guessing a big wind came up and put out the fire, and I was nowhere near home to do anything about it.  So, I just thought that this cook was a fail and the salmon would be crap.  I gave up on monitoring any further, but when I got home, the CyberQ had continued running and had re-lit the fire!  It wasn't the best fish in the world, but it was a good try.

    Yesterday's second attempt at a low-temp cook went similarly, but I was home, so when the fire died and I saw that the dome was down to 118, I went out, took the salmon, grid, and plate setter off, and re-lit the fire.  After about 4 hours on the pit, this salmon (according to my wife) was absolutely perfect!

    Does anyone have any suggestions or tips for reeeeeealllly low and slow like this? 

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