Fish turner out rubbery

Discussion in 'Fish' started by ssajn, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. What did I do wrong or is this normal.
    Tonight I smoked some salmon. Last night I used a dry brine using 5-1 Brown sugar to salt. Brined in the frig over night. This morning I rinsed the fish in cold water to remove brine and let sit on racks in the frig for about 5 hour. Then to the smoker for about 4 hours at 175 degrees. After three hours kicked the heat up to 185. After four hours took the fish off. Upon sampling I find the fish salty and rubbery although the fish is still moist and not dried out. This is the second time my fish is rubbery. Any ideas why? I think I like a wet brine better.
  2. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Welcome to SMF.  My first thoughts are, way to high in temps.  The dry brine you did is very close to mine.  I typically room dry for 2-3 hours but don't think your 5 hours  in the fridge has much impact on your issue.  I normally start out  at 125-130*  for an hour, bump up to 140-145* for another hours, bump up to 155-160* for another hour or until the IT (internal temp) reaches 140*.    What type of salt did you use?  Non iodized? Your ratio of 5/1 sure seem fine.

    Is the Salmon you use freshly caught or previously frozen.
  3. Thanks for the reply and suggestions. I started smoking at 165 deg as I always do when I wet brine but wasn't getting any smoke. Air temp was in 30's. After letting it go for a few hours I turned it up to about 185 then 200. The salt I used is non-iodized table salt. The fish had been previously frozen.  The other fish I had in the same batch was ocean perch and catfish nuggets. 

    I was wondering if I let it sit in the brine too long (overnight) Thought maybe I should try maybe 4 hours instead, rinse well then dry before putting in the smoker.

  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You need to figure out how to generate smoke at about 120 deg. F...   Try Todd's AMNPS...
  5. I have one and used it to smoke cheese earlier in the day but it went out about 2 hours into the cheese. Didn't think I;d need it because I wasn't cold smoking the fish.
  6. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Are you saying above that you had perch and catfish in the same batch as with the Salmon?  Still think you are cooking the fish with way too high temps but honestly can't say if that would contribute to the rubbery texture as you are describing.  What size were the Salmon pieces?  Nugget size, similar to the catfish?  If so, then to me, yes brining such small pieces overnight would be too much.  I do Salmon nuggets in a 4-5 hour brine.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
  7. The ocean perch and catfish were thinner than the salmon. They were more rubbery than the salmon. If I try a dry brine again I will brine for a much shorter time as you recommend. The salmon was a fillet cut into quarters with the thickest being about 1/2" thick. Thanks for your help and recommendations.

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