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Smoked salmon. Want it more sweet..

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Smoked salmon tonight. It was one filet approx. 1.3 lbs. I did a brine of 1 gal. water, 1 cup kosher salt, I cup lt. Brown sugar. I added 2 TBS of a salmon seasoning and approx 1/4 cup of maple syrup. All of this was added to the brine and it soaked for 2 hours. I let it dry for over two hours and saw the pellicle on the flesh of the salmon. I also kept the skin on. It smoked to 2.5 hrs ( it could have taken it off a little sooner). I was happy with the look and taste, but want more of a sweet/sugar taste. What is a good why to do this? Baste it with something before its done cooking? FYI, I'm a newbie to smoking. This is my 2nd smoke.
post #2 of 16
After the pellicle is formed sprinkle a layer of brown sugar over the pellicle and then smoke, this should help quite a bit.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
I will try that. Thanks!
post #4 of 16

Hi Rusty,

I've done quite a few of these, I usually jazz up the brine a bit more with 2 to 1 Dark brown sugar to salt, and some chili powder. I let mine sit overnight, then rinse thoroughly. I usually sprinkle them with K Pauls's Salmon seasoning, then set them out to dry. A couple hours is usually all they take @ about 180, with alderwood. They come out nice & moist, and they're usually gone if I don't grab 1 for myself!!

 

Happy smokin, will summer ever get here??

 

Fellow MN
 

post #5 of 16
Why not concentrate on quality control so the product is repeatable in texture and taste and add sweetness with the things you pair it with or dipping sauces?

Adding brown sugar after the brining will complicate pellicle formation creating control issues. It will sweeten the salmon but it will not be the same next time you try it.

Actually, your brine could be much sweeter, at 2 or 3 to one brown sugar to salt...
post #6 of 16

I go as far as 4 c.  DARK brown sugar  to 1 c. salt. I also smoke without the skin. Fish candy!
 

post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyreel View Post

I go as far as 4 c.  DARK brown sugar  to 1 c. salt. I also smoke without the skin. Fish candy!

 

Going from a brine made with 25% brown sugar to a brine with 20% is a minor step in adding sweetness. However it may lead to less salt take-up and erratic brining as the sugar does not act exactly like salt in firming up the fish and removing water.

The skin adds a tremendous amount to the appearance, brine control, texture, and ability to get the fish off the racks cleanly. It also holds the pieces together after the fact. I will keep the skin on my smoked fish every time.
art
post #8 of 16

Instead of a wet brine, try equal parts brown sugar and salt (or slightly more brown sugar) in a "dry rub" and put that on the salmon overnight in the fridge. Rinse, allow pellicle to form and then smoke. You really can't use too much of the rub, and when you pull it the next morning the vessel you had the salmon in will be full of the moisture it pulled out of the salmon overnight. I always use dark brown sugar for the richer flavor, and the sweet flavor really comes through well in the finished product. If it is not dry enough, increase cure time and/or reapply the dry rub every 12 hours or so.

post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke Happens View Post

Instead of a wet brine, try equal parts brown sugar and salt (or slightly more brown sugar) in a "dry rub" and put that on the salmon overnight in the fridge. Rinse, allow pellicle to form and then smoke. You really can't use too much of the rub, and when you pull it the next morning the vessel you had the salmon in will be full of the moisture it pulled out of the salmon overnight. I always use dark brown sugar for the richer flavor, and the sweet flavor really comes through well in the finished product. If it is not dry enough, increase cure time and/or reapply the dry rub every 12 hours or so.

Equal parts?  Isn't that way too salty?   I normally use a 4/1 (brown sugar/salt) ratio dry brine and find it perfect.

post #10 of 16

I have not found it too salty, I should have specified that I use kosher salt as well. The rinsing takes a lot off as well.

post #11 of 16

As MossyMo suggested, add your sugar or glaze after the pellicle has formed.  To allow a layer of smoke to penetrate the fish rather than laying on the glaze, try adding the sugar or glaze after a short time in the smoke.  Keep notes and adjust to your taste.

 

Tom

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr T 59874 View Post

As MossyMo suggested, add your sugar or glaze after the pellicle has formed.  To allow a layer of smoke to penetrate the fish rather than laying on the glaze, try adding the sugar or glaze after a short time in the smoke.  Keep notes and adjust to your taste.

Tom

Tom
With all due respect that is a prescription for disaster in a smoker...

The pellicle is everything and adding sugar after the pellicle is formed will wick water through the pellicle and essentially eliminate it. It is a very bad practice in my direct and very long-time experience.
art
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AKhap View Post


Tom
With all due respect that is a prescription for disaster in a smoker...

The pellicle is everything and adding sugar after the pellicle is formed will wick water through the pellicle and essentially eliminate it. It is a very bad practice in my direct and very long-time experience.
art

art,

Disaster?  The short amount of time that the sugar is on the fish in my opinion is insignificant, but this would not be the first time we had a difference of opinion.

 

  I suggest that Rusty experiment on his own using sugar and a finishing glaze then decide for himself if it is disastrous. 

 

Tom

post #14 of 16
When somebody asks a question and I have decades of experience answering the same question and producing very favorable outcomes I usually tell them what I have done that worked... I also tell them about direct failures I have seen first-hand.

I have seen sugar added successfully, but it is far from 100% and there are so many differences in how smokers work that it is impossible to know how it will work for the individual. I much prefer to concentrate on highly successful and consistent methods to allow people to get it right first. If they have a good starting point the chances of future success are far greater. I try to avoid telling folks asking for help to "experiment" especially when I have run the experiments many times.
YMMV
art
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AKhap View Post

When somebody asks a question and I have decades of experience answering the same question and producing very favorable outcomes I usually tell them what I have done that worked... I also tell them about direct failures I have seen first-hand.

I have seen sugar added successfully, but it is far from 100% and there are so many differences in how smokers work that it is impossible to know how it will work for the individual. I much prefer to concentrate on highly successful and consistent methods to allow people to get it right first. If they have a good starting point the chances of future success are far greater. I try to avoid telling folks asking for help to "experiment" especially when I have run the experiments many times.
YMMV
art

Okay.

 

Tom

post #16 of 16

I would do as art had originally suggested by increasing the sugar ratio in the brine.  Try 3/1 (sugar/salt) ratio.

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