Should water be in drip pan for smoked salmon?

Discussion in 'Fish' started by mlee6659, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. mlee6659

    mlee6659 Newbie

    Hey everyone, I just bought an electric smoker the other day and want to try making some smoked salmon. I found a recipe online but the only thing I'm not sure about is if I'm supposed to have some water in the pan above my heating element or if I should just leave the pan empty. I'm new to the whole smoking process so any suggestions or other basic tips would be much appreciated!
  2. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    No water in the pan for the fish is already pretty moist.  What's the detail of your brine?  Wet?  Dry?  Please plan to let the fish air dry (either room or in fridge) for 2 hours + in order to form a pellicle.  What flavor wood? 

    I'm doing lots of Salmon this weekend using Alder and Apple wood.  Any questions or concerns please ask in advance.

    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    If you are hot smoking it for dinner, then I would put water in the water pan.

    We like ours with Cajun seasoning & butter.

    Here's one I did a few years ago.

    Hope this helps!

    Also I see this is your first post, so when you get a chance would you swing by "Roll Call" & introduce yourself.

    Then we can all give you a proper welcome.

    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  4. mlee6659

    mlee6659 Newbie

    Thanks for the replies you guys!

    Cmayna- I did a wet brine for my salmon. I just followed this recipe
    For my wood chips I bought a bag of jack daniels white oak chips. I'm kind of regretting it. Hopefully it doesn't leave a weird flavor. I might have to pick up a bag of apple wood chips. That sounds like it would make for some pretty good flavor. 

    SmokinAl- That looks like a pretty good recipe! I will have to try that for my next batch. 
    One thing I'm curious about is what effect different cook times and temps have on the salmon when it comes out of the smoker. With the recipe I went off of it's saying to set the temp to 180 degrees for 5 to 6 hours and with yours you have 215 for much less cook time. I've checked out a few different recipes and they all vary quite a bit with cook times. Do you have any ideas on how this batch I've got going right now would turn out if I cook it at 180 degrees for 5 hours? I've never smoked anything before but that seems like quite a long time fish. Also, thanks for pointing out the roll call. I'll have to head over there and post a thread!
  5. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    All of my smoked Salmon is basically a finger food.  Not an entree, so my smoking is done at low temps such as 1 hour at 125, 2nd hour at 135, 3rd hour at 145-160 until I reach an IT of 140.   Also I do a very simple dry brine of dark brown sugar with non iodized salt which for me helps prevent too much cover up of meat flavor.  But that's just me.  There are so many different recipes and smoking methods to satisfy so many different taste buds.  

    I would consider using alder or apple or both, which is most common.

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