› Groups › CharGriller Owners Group › Discussions › Smoked salmon on CG.

Smoked salmon on CG.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Trying to get a jump on the season, with your tips, for when my son (hopefully) brings, me a few salmon to smoke again.


Last year I had trouble smoking salmon in my CG.  Pellicle always turned out to thick, even when I didn't form one before hand.

Tried water pan, but resulted in "slightly" softer pellicle, and rusted grates.  (Not a fan of water pan in CG anymore)


So how do you do your salmon (skin on) with CG?


I don't want soft baked salmon for dinner, but I do want semi-tender, flakey salmon with a thin skin on top of meat. that you could carry to work & eat with crackers.

Kind of like you buy at stored, but just a little more flaky.  Should I cold smoke it for that. or some cold PLUS hot smoking combination to accomplish the same thing? 

(I always use cure #2 now for fish.)  So time in smoke isn't an issue.


It seems to me that the CG just has too much airflow for moist smoked salmon.  I don't know.


I doubt I can cold smoke salmon in CG, because you apperantly have to have "some" heat.  Hard to keep 80*-100* degrees in CG.  

I have pellet tray from, but it doesn't generate much heat.  Have you done it successfully?  If so, how?


Help!  Help!  Help! Please?  LOL

post #2 of 7

Hi fpmitch - It sounds like we both like our salmon in similar ways. You may want to check out one of my previous salmon smoking threads


For the smoked salmon fillets you don't need to use anything other than salt and sugar in the cure as the curing and smoking period is short and it is not stored for long periods.


I hope this helps - Wade 

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi Wade, good to hear from you again!


I have you bookmarked somewhere, just for smoked salmon info.  Last year, I had a heck of a time in my CG with hot smoking salmon.  Things turned out OK in the end,  "IF" it was frozen & vac packed, for a month or so.  It was actually pretty good then.  But just a day or two after hot smoking, it wasn't so good.  Tuff pellicle, hard to separate from skin and etc.  Pain in the neck, it was.  But with vac sealing and freezing a month or so, it was much improved.


I read your thread, and I've some like that recently at a party.  I would consider that smoked dinner salmon.  Good with fried potato's and veggie's.


I like my salmon a little bit drier, a little bit more storable,  but still able to pull separate flakes/ layers (?) of meat apart.  I know it can be done, because I've done it a few times on a kettle type grill years ago.  Small amount of lit coals in ash pot, and added small broken branches of Maple to it off and on for smoke.   Also had to light a few coals off and on to add to pot.  It was an all day job, but the results were fantastic!


I just can't seem to duplicate that with my CG.  Darn It!

post #4 of 7

A couple of thoughts...


The freezing and thawing process will certainly help it to lose additional moisture when cured. Are you freezing and thawing your latest batches?

The grade of salt will also make a big difference on the moisture removed during curing. A coarse grade of salt will remove much less than fine salt. The same goes with the sugar too.

Try leaving it in the cure for a little longer. The longer it is in the more moisture is removed but the downside is that it will take on more of a salty flavour. I have found that 2 hours works well for me but I sometimes cure up to 3 hours.

Cook them for a little longer. I like my salmon firm but slightly pink so I cook my cured smoked fillets at 180C (350F) for 12 minutes. If you extend the cook time to around 20 minutes it will be drier and more flaky.


I hope you manage to replicate your past success soon Thumbs Up





post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Yes Wade, I freeze all my fish about two weeks or so, for both parasite control, as well as water reduction when thawing.  I thaw in fridge 2-3  days, before smoking.


I've always used a brine solution, and you use a dry brine.  I may be adding water back that I had lost by freezing first with the brining.  I don't know.

The first salmon I had ever done was fresh and not frozen.


I use a brine solution because I'm more comfortable with it permeating all parts as long as I stir it up a couple of times.

And my perfect results came from this method.  BUT... it was entirely a different setup.  Seems the side firebox smoker heat is different.


After last years problems when smoking salmon in CG, I think I will try the dry brining process like you do, 

I've never done it, and it worry's me a bit about cure getting deep into meat without being too salty.

But so many people do it, that I will try it this year if I can.


I'm also going to try just using my instincts again, with both solution brining, as well trying dry curing.  Yes, that means opening the lid to check a lot.  LOL 

I will try a few coals at both ends of actual cooking chamber for low indirect heat, rather than just from the firebox.

I'll use Todd's pellet tray for some smoke.  I may add very small maple branches to coals as well, from time to time.

I won't depend on time, temp, or recipe, to judge doneness.

Just smoke it until it look right. feels right, and tastes right. and reaches 145* or so IT, towards the end for a bit.

By using indirect coals right in the cooking chamber, I should have no worry's about reach a safe temp level at end.  Just bump the coals if needed.



I sure hope my son and his wife trust me enough, to let me try various methods, with some gift fish.

I bought him a portable fish cleaning table in hopes he would return the favor with a few salmon again year. 


Nothing works better than the old Guilt Mobile!  LOL

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Just got the news!

My son & wife caught their 1st salmons the other day.  Woo Hoo! 

Hopefully when we get back from vacation in CO, I'll have some to smoke again.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Just got a "pay back for table"!  LOL   10 lb, of salmon.  He's a good kid!



with your recipe, should I use TQ "equal" to amount as your salt (if I want to add cure)?   Or dilute TQ  with other non-ionized salt?

Unsure with TQ,    Also unsure with dry curing mix brining. 


What is your dry cure recipe amounts? 

And when do you add any flavors in desired to salmon?  In the mix, or afterwards?

This will be my first attempt at dry brine on CG.   Any help is appreciated.


Also what temp and time do you use?  I seem to have lost some bookmarks as well as some PM's.  

Senile, or ignorant with computer?  LOL

Edited by fpmich - 10/24/14 at 3:30am
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: CharGriller Owners Group › Groups › CharGriller Owners Group › Discussions › Smoked salmon on CG.