Salmon a la Bearcarver

Discussion in 'Fish' started by disco, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have wanted to try smoking some salmon. I have a recipe that I grilled that I want to convert. However, a cooking instructor from decades ago taught me that you always start with a classic recipe before experimenting. My experience on this forum leads me to consider any recipe from Bearcarver a classic so I have started with his recipe prior to going out on my own,

    The original post is at http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/91264/final-smoked-salmon-with-recipe-instructions-and-qview  if you want to see the classic by the master.

    It all started with a sale on salmon. Here in the mountains, buying a salmon filet usually involves mortgaging your home and saving for a year. However, they had a sale on frozen wild pink salmon fillets so I picked up a package. Pink salmon wasn't my first choice and these were skinny straggly trimmed fillets but I can still afford to eat for the rest of the month.


    Bear says to skin the fish. I had to admit to some doubt. I have cooked a lot of salmon when I lived on the coast and rarely skinned it . However, I can not give one good reason not to skin it and it does seem more likely to let more brine and smoke in.


    Whenever I try a new recipe, I start small so I only made 1/2 batch of Bear's brine. I could have got away with 1/3. Bear's Brine recipe is on his post above.


    As the fillets were under 1/2 inch, I left them in for four hours. Bear states give them 6 hours if they are over 1/2 inch thick. Then, I put them on rack, dabbed them with paper towel to dry and in the fridge overnight. to dry the surface.


    Here they are out of the fridge. I have to admit I wondered about drying the surface. My experience with salmon is that the surface will remain somewhat damp for a long time whatever you do. Regardless, they got the drying time.


    I didn't have alder pellets which is my preferred salmon smoke from grilling so I went to my second favourite, Maple. I find it has a similar mild smoke like alder. Here it is loaded in the Bradley.


    Bear's recipe calls for an hour at 100 F. The Bradley only goes down to 120 F so I did the first hour without any heat applied in the Bradley. The AMNPS raised the temperature to 90 F so it was close. the rest of the smoke went like this:

    After one hour at 90 F, the IT was 78. I increased the temperature to 120 F.

    After 1/2 hour at 120 F the IT was 90. I increased the temperature to 140 F

    After 1/2 hour at 140 F the IT was 98. I increased the temperature to 160 F

    After 1/2 hour at 160 F the IT was 109. I increased the temperature to 180 F.

    After 1/2 hour at 180 F the IT was 120. I increased the temperature to 200 F.

    It took 1 hour and 40 minutes longer to bring the IT to 140 F.

    Here is the finished product.


    The verdict. Excellent. There is a nice brine flavour, a touch of sweetness and a nice texture even from these raggedy salmon fillets. This is a classic hot smoked salmon.

    I learned a lot following this recipe and feel more confident about trying to convert my favourite grilled salmon to the smoker. Thanks to Bear for his sharing his experience.

    Disco
     
    bearcarver likes this.
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks nice and tasty Disco! I haven't done salmon in a while because I won't buy farm fish, and our wild fish has been crazy expensive. Wish I could get over to the coast and catch a few.
     
  3. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have the same problem. However, if I keep an eye open, I can occasionally get a buy like this. Too bad. I love salmon. When I lived on Vancouver Island, I used to get a lot of salmon. Sigh, they just don't run in the mountains here. I guess I'll have to settle for some trout.

    Disco
     
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nice Job, Disco!!!

    Glad you liked it !!!

    Thanks for the Heads up!!!  You're my best customer!![​IMG]

    That temp at the beginning didn't matter. The important thing is to stay 160* or under for the first 3 or 4 hours.

    Bear
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2013
  5. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, Bear. I have to admit I wondered if it would be too much smoke. Gladly, I admit I was wrong. It was just right.

    Disco
     
  6. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice work on the salmon! Any regrets skinning them first?
     
  7. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes, but I don't know why. I am just used to cooking my salmon with the skin on. So, I guess it is just what I'm used to. I don't think it made it any better or worse but it was a thin filet. A thicker one and one wonders if the skinning would allow more brine and smoke to get in. 

    In short, I might not skin the next time because that is how I learned to cook salmon.

    Disco
     
  8. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    GREAT JOB Disco.


    You are a awesome cook
     
  9. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, c farmer, but everyone who knows me will tell you I just love food. If you love food, you have to learn to cook!

    However, your generous compliment is appreciated.

    Disco
     
  10. Those look really good man!  [​IMG]   I'm gonna have to do some more salmon soon after seeing those - nice job!  [​IMG]
     
  11. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Smoking B. Us British Columbia boys will agree that everyone needs to do some salmon soon!

    Disco
     
  12. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I know what you mean, I am getting better at cooking thanks to the forum.
     
  13. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I really don't know why the major smoker manufacturers don't tell people about this forum with their purchases. If people who buy your product have success, they will tell others about the great product they just bought. If I hadn't searched out a specific recipe, I wouldn't have found this forum and would still be struggling.

    Disco
     
  14. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Lol. I was searching smoking cheese.

    Sorry for the hijack.
     
  15. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hijack? Hardly. I will always sing the praises of this forum, the generosity of the members and encourage others to enjoy the forums.

    Disco
     
  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I agree-----I did 8 batches of Big Salmon before I got what I wanted. You probably read how I did all kinds of different things in each batch. I ended up liking them without the skin, but these were all BIG Salmon. I have a thread on the forum where I smoked some small stocked Trout, and for them I left the skin on. The skin on a small Trout is like paper, and the skin on a large Salmon is like a Wetsuit.

    Bear
     
  17. Disco

    It looks GREAT!!!! As always a nice Qview.

    [​IMG]I'm poor folk. Maybe I can go catch a carp[​IMG]

    Happy smoken.

    David
     
  18. Wow Disco that looks fantastic and the tutorial/instructions are so easy to follow. I've smoked salmon but only after marinading in Yoshida's and some fresh grated ginger. Now I'll have to give "Salmon a la Bearcarver" a try. I've got some wild sockeye in the freezer.
     
  19. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That looks delish Disco!

    I love Salmon...but it's crazy expensive here.  Lynn loves Salmon patties...so that way we both get some.  Sigh...and yes it's fried!

    Kat
     
  20. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, Bear. I will give it a try if I get anymore of these thing fillets.

    Disco
     

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