To the salmonheads at the SMF

Discussion in 'Fish' started by dingle, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. dingle

    dingle Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    A quick lead into my questions.....a neighbor of mine just gave me several nice salmon filets he caught last Sunday in a river that comes off of Lake Ontario. Today is my day off so here goes my first attempt at smoked salmon. Due to lack of planning on my part and lack of time for a four hour brine, I have decided to go brine-free. My first question I still want to go ahead with the two hour or so drying time? I understand that a pellicle will not form if not brined. Correct? So is there any sense in drying.
    Also, I am definitely using Dutch's Maple syrup glaze. My thought is maple glaze, why not smoke with some maple wood? 200-225 degrees for how long or do I go by temperature? Any help would be appreciated and of course.......Qview to follow. Thanks in advance.
  2. dingle

    dingle Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I forgot to mention that the filets were in the freezer until yesterday afternoon, when they were stuck into the fridge to thaw until this morning.
  3. solar

    solar Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    You still want to leave them out for a bit, to get to room temp, then blot dry with paper towels. If it were me, I'd rub some brown sugar and pepper mixture on them.

    Your cooking temps are fine, salmon cooks pretty quick, and depending on how you like it done, your cooking time will vary (1 to 2 hours). I like to smoke it just until the thickest part is just flakey with a fork but still looks moist. Alder is the choice smoking wood, but maple wood sounds good too. Have at it!!
  4. salmonclubber

    salmonclubber Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    fillet the salmon and cover with rock salt for 1 1/2 hours rinse off salt and place in smoker pelicel will form smoke at 200-225 until fish flakes nicely it should be fine
  5. I always wash and pat dry fish before cooking.
    Given that you're going for dutchs maple glaze - can't honestly think you'd need to do anything else to them :)

    If cooking at 200-225 and givent that they're fillets and not whole fish I'd reckon on 2 hours or less. It's going to take awhile to dry out at that temp and glazed anyway so I'd probably err on the side of 2-3 hours to make sure they were fully cooked.

    Don't forget pics :)
  6. dingle

    dingle Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Thanks guys! Just got done washing and patting dry. Layed them out on cookie sheet for a while.

    Salmonclubber, the great thing bout my neighbor he doesnt bring them home without fileting them where he fishes. Less work for me! But I can feel bones...dont like bones! I know...I sound like a wuss. Just dont like biting into something hard when eating something soft.

    Solar, unfortunately my choices for wood at this time is cherry or maple. Just thought the maple "sounded right" due to the maple glaze being used.

    Aardvark, thanks for your input. I always feel that less is more. We'll see what happens.

    Thanks again guys! Qview to follow.
  7. joneser

    joneser Smoke Blower

    When I did Salmon a couple weeks ago, I did jam a probe into the fattest part of the fish. I pulled them between 160 and 165 internal temp. That maple glaze is the bomb! Good luck!
  8. dingle

    dingle Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Thanks for pumping me up Joneser!!
  9. pitrow

    pitrow Smoking Fanatic

    Those are the pin bones. Use your finger to locate them by running it from head to tail, then pull them out with needle nose pliers. I have a set of fishing hemostats that I use specifically for this.

    Good tutorial here:

    BTW, maple is excellent wood for smoking fish.
  10. solar

    solar Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Probably the only part of smoking salmon I don't like is pulling those bones, it's really easy but it takes a few minutes to de-bone a couple filets, but needs to be done.
  11. shellbellc

    shellbellc Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You'll love this. I don't even probe my salmon, I smoke until it flakes nicely at the fattest part. My son loves to make this. He made this for about 40 people one time and everyone loved it!!!
  12. 1894

    1894 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Looking forward to the qview [​IMG] Sounds good !!
  13. dingle

    dingle Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Well Pitrow and Solar...thanks for the tutorial. I just happened to read it an hour and a half too late. I stuck it in the smoker-bones and all! Oh well.
    Will fine tune the next time. Thanks smf!
  14. fishawn

    fishawn Smoking Fanatic

    Huey's rock salt method is really good also, if you get a chance try it that way & use Alder for wood. That's the way a lot of people I know in WA do it.
  15. dingle

    dingle Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Hey thanks Fishawn! Will do. BTW...nice avitar-Whoooooooo!
  16. solar

    solar Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    You can pull the bones out after it's done, it's just harder to do because you want to sit down and eat!!

    Looking forward to some Qview

    If you have any leftovers, smoked salmon makes some great fish spread. 1 filet to one block of cream cheese is a good porportion, chopped celery, onions and some hot sauce. Mix it in a bowl, refrigerate, place on a Club craker with some hot sauce, good eats there.
  17. dingle

    dingle Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Mmmmm. now you're talking Solar. Got...or had two big filets. Gave the neighbor a hunk to try and I ate a big ole hunk myself. I think some smoked salmon spread is in the works for the left overs since no one else in the house will eat it. I noticed that the bones pulled out rather easily after cooked.
  18. 1894

    1894 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Sounds like it was a success , still looking forward to the qview [​IMG]
  19. fishawn

    fishawn Smoking Fanatic

    Fishawn's Smoked Salmon Spread: (though everyone does something similar)

    * Smoked salmon broken into small - medium sized chunks
    * Cream Cheese (room temp)
    * Chives or green onion (finely dice)
    * Mix & Eat!

    > Served with crackers & Chipotle Tabasco & Jalapeno Tabasco & Cold Beer!

  20. capt dan

    capt dan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Next time use a brine or cure, at 225-250 its really just cooked fish. The pin bones can be taken out after or before. I try to keep my heat in the smoker at 165-180 max. That would be smoked fish. Salmon fillets should be brined for 6-12 hrs, on the big ones(18-25 lbs) we brine them for 24 hrs.Brining or curing is critical to smoking fish. The brine/cure actually "chemically cooks" the fish, so lower smoking temps can be used, therefore prolonging the time in the smoker to get good smoke flavor, AND insure proper preserving characteristics.I'm sure the salmon is good, hard to mess up salmon over smoke, but to truly smoke it, you need to do the above.Make sure you eat or freeze it within a few days.

    Where are the pics?[​IMG]

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