Time for my first proper hot smoke. I've fooled around a little bit with chicken breasts, but those were more grilled than smoked as I figure out temperature control in my little flowerpot.
For the record, there isn't any temperature control . When I start, I can choose how plugged up the bottom vent hole will be, and as I go, I can plug the top hole more or less. My heating element is controlled by unplugging or plugging in.
I tried my best to follow Bearcarver's Smoked Salmon recipe. Rather than freeze the fish for several weeks, I just went to the market and bought sashimi grade salmon, one advantage of living in Japan. The brine was pretty much spot on, although I halved it since I was making something around a pound of fish, not a big batch like he did. Time and temperature were a problem. Once I got it up to 100 degrees, I turned off the heat element, but the combination of the insulation provided by the flowerpot and the heat put out by my smoke wood stick (think pressed sawdust, see my thread above for more info) put things up to the 120 degree range. I tried to bleed off some heat, but it just didn't work, so I ran with it. The salmon heated up much faster than in the recipe, but I was able, by unplugging and plugging the heater back in, to run about ten to twenty degrees higher than the recipe recommended.
All in all, my little blocks of salmon cooked to 140 in a little over three hours. Almost certainly not as tasty as the master version, but they look pretty good, and don't taste (wife and I had to sample some) too bad either:
We'll see what the guests think tomorrow, I'll be holding Thanksgiving then (overseas, I have it when my company can come. As long as it's in November, it counts as far as I'm concerned).