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Questions on hot smoking salmon.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I bought 6lbs of salmon fillets. Skin was removed and its the whole fillet not cut up.

My questions are as followed.

 

1. Do I leave the fillets whole or cut into smaller pieces?

 

2. Should i put some tin foil under them to keep from drying out?

 

3. What temp. should i be smoking at?

 

4. How long should it take to smoke?

 

Thanks for any input and information given, this is the first time attempting to smoke salmon.

post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMOKINGEAGLE View Post

I bought 6lbs of salmon fillets. Skin was removed and its the whole fillet not cut up.

My questions are as followed.

 

1. Do I leave the fillets whole or cut into smaller pieces?

 

2. Should i put some tin foil under them to keep from drying out?

 

3. What temp. should i be smoking at?

 

4. How long should it take to smoke?

 

Thanks for any input and information given, this is the first time attempting to smoke salmon.


 

1. If the fillets have large thickness variations from end to end, I would cut off the thinner section so you can remove it from the smoker when it's ready, otherwise, it will be overcooked before the rest is done.

 

2. I would use a water pan in your smoker, either vertical or horizontal. If horizontal, place the water pan near the side fire box and the fish towards the opposite end of the cooking grates.

 

3. If an average thickness is an inch or more, 225* should do fine. I have dropped back to around 200* for really thin, small pieces of fish. I have found that too low of chamber temps can at times cause the fish to have a drier interior once it's fully cooked.

 

4. Depends on thickness, however, here's a USDA internal temp chart you can reference for safe internal cooking temps...always cook to temp, not by time...right side of this page is where you'll find fish/seafood:


http://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Internal_Cooking_Temperatures_CFG.pdf 

 

 

Are you going to brine the salmon prior to smoking? Depending on what you want, a brine can impart additional flavors over and above a dry rub (if you are using one) or just a few sprinkled spices/herbs, and can help to retain moisture during cooking. An overnight brine for smaller pieces and 12-18 hour brine for larger pieces can make a big difference.

 

I've never smoked salmon yet, myself, but, with fish, it seems that a little extra prep can go a long way towards a very good finished product.

 

Eric

post #3 of 6



 

Quote:

Originally Posted by SMOKINGEAGLE View Post
Fish should be brined first. I use a dry "rub/brine" of 1 part sugar/ 1 part pickeling salt. + garlic,onion,dill etc. I sprinkle the mix over the fish just to coat.( a very thin layer completely covering the fish overnight)(do not salt/season the skin side, meat side only. we are trying to similate the skin being on the fish here) and place in a plastic container so the fish is flat. It can be layered meat side to meat side.

Next morning it is rinsed very well with cold tap water to remove all traces of spices and salt. It is dried with paper towels and placed on the foil with the skin side buttered and down. Place in front of a fan for 2 or more hours until the surface of the fish is dry to the touch and forms a "sheen" that is called a pecicle. Forming the pelicle is very important. If you are not sure, dry it for 2 more hours
 

I bought 6lbs of salmon fillets. Skin was removed and its the whole fillet not cut up.

My questions are as followed.

 

1. Do I leave the fillets whole or cut into smaller pieces?

If the thickest part of the filet is 3/4" and less, leave in one piece. If over 3/4" I would slice into 1 1/2" wide strips.

 

2. Should i put some tin foil under them to keep from drying out?

Since there is no skin....there is no fat.......I would butter the side where the skin was, and put that against the foil acting like skin

 

3. What temp. should i be smoking at?

Start at 110* w/smoke for2 hours. raise temp to 180 to 200* for 1-2 hours for a kipper. When the fish "flakes" between the "meat sections" it is done. That is a very critical temp point and should be watched carefully. I think it will flake about 135* F. I have never used a therm on fish. The "done point" is when the meat turns from a deep rosy pint to a washed out pink and the meat sections flake. If the skin was on the fish, a white oil would seep between the flakes of meat and you would know it was done at that critical moment.

 

4. How long should it take to smoke?

 

Thanks for any input and information given, this is the first time attempting to smoke salmon.



 

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks Eric and Dave I did put the salmon in the brine. Its a wet brine with soy sauce, salt pepper,water,dry white wine and garlic and onion powder. The thickness of the meat is just less then one inch. I think i will cut the fillets into pieces then smoke for the above temps. I will a post another thread with the end results.

post #5 of 6

Smoke at 225 until 140 IT or until the juice turns a milky color. DO NOT OVERCOOK, it will be dry. It should flake easily.

post #6 of 6

Some great information has been given.  Now, don't forget the QVues.  I REALLY like seeing pictures of Salmon being smoked.

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