Hey folks, first I'd like to say I've read a lot of threads on here and really appreciate the information. This is only my second time smoking salmon with the intention of wrapping and resting in the fridge (not counting when I smoked half a fish to be eaten immediately).
I have read a wide range of answers to the 'what temp?" question. From what I've gathered, and for the result I am looking for - fairly traditional Aaskan smoked salmon - I'm aiming for the the 120-130f range. The difficulty I am having with this is I am using hardwood lump as my fuel and I'm having a really hard time attaining and staying in that range. I love lump because I have to use very little, it's wood, and burns for a very long time, but I just can't seen to get it that low.
My smoker - The ceramic kamado style one at Costco. Vision Grills, not the pro version that is seen more online.
My current method of starting the smoker:
I arrange lump around the sides, and in the middle I put an electric starter with a handle. I put a few good sized chunks on and around the starter, plug it in, and give it about 8-10 minutes to get going. I turn it off, spread the now hot lump just a little bit as I don't want to start all the lump that's in the smoker. I close the lid, and try to get it up or down to my desired temp.
Since I want to get it so low though, any suggestions? It came with stackable racks so on the bottom rack I put a foil tray filled with ice as I read to do that somewhere, and on the top rack I lay the fish. After a while of trying to bring the temp down I just put the fish on as I just didn't want to mess with it any more to be honest.
The temp is currently 164f and I know that is way hotter than I want. I know that's caused some liquid to appear on top of the fish, in blobs, and it's ugly and I know it's not the best way to smoke them. I am open to any suggestions.
Thanks for your help!