Tough Pellicle, and tough off the skin, on my smoked salmon. What am I doing wrong?
My smoked salmon tastes good, but I'm having a hard time trying to get it smoked and up to safe temp (145*) in under 4 hours.
So the pellicle is always VERY hard, plus it is hard to get it off the skin side too. Any ideas/experiences you can share?
I like my smoked fish to seperate from the skin fairly easy and not too much pellicle toughness,
Here's what I did yesterday.
Ya, I know I didn't start with pre-heated smoker. I was hurting, and just wanted to get it done today.
3:00 PM Filled sfb basket 1/2-3/4 full with briquettes and dumped a chimney of flaming lump on top. Placed salmon fillets, halved, on racks in smoker.
3:30 - smoker temp was 205*. Added smoke wood.
4:00 - smoker - 210*. Probed fish and IT was 120*
4:30 - smoker - 210*. IT 122*
5:00 - smoker - 200*. IT 126*
5:30 - smoker - 200*. IT 126*
6:00 - smoker - 220*. IT 133*
6:30 - smoker - 190*. IT 135*
7:00 - smoker - 230*. IT 142*
7:10 - smoker - 212*. IT 144*
7:40 - smoker - 195*. IT 144* Took fish off smoker.
My Maverick doesn't seem to like 145*. jumps to 144 and to 146* Seems to only read 2* diff.
These smoker temps are between what the Maverick showed and what the two end therms showed. Maverick was usually about 10-15* higher than the therm's showed. Maverick was very near the fish. I even took Maverick off the grate level clip, and stuck it on a potato so it would be same height and smoker probes. About 2 1/2-3" off grates Temp diff did drop about 5*, but still showed 10* higher or more. Just double checked Maverick again last night in ice water and boiling water. It's right on. I will remove the smoker therms and recheck them as well, but I'm pretty sure they are very close, as I checked them before installing a few weeks ago. I could be wrong.
Any ideas as why at these temps, it should take 4 hours? I'm trying to figure it out. Almost the same as last time when I even rose the temps a little bit slower.
Maybe it was because I didn't preheat the smoker before starting, or because you may be using insulated smoker & I'm using a CGSP. It's sealed up real good, but still different from insulated smoker.
Finished product is good. But still very tough pellicle, and very hard to remove from skin.
Is preheating smoker, or cold smoking best for tender pellicle and skin removal when eating?
Or is there a process I can use afterwards to correct this?
Anyone can jump in on this. I appreciate any, and all, tips of knowledge.