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Wet vs Dry, for Salmon. Fresh vs frozen - Page 4

post #61 of 71
Thread Starter 

oops!


Edited by fpmich - 11/8/14 at 2:44am
post #62 of 71
Thread Starter 

Yesterdays smoked salmon came out purty durned perfect for me, in spite of some setbacks.

 

Brine:

2 c. Apple Juice

1 & 1/2 qt. water (6 c.)

 

Heated Apple Juice and simmered with 6 Bay leaves, 2 tsp. pepper corns. 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper, 1 tsp. Paprika, 1 tsp onion powder.

After mix had cooled down, I added 6 smashed cloves garlic,  1 c. TQ & 4 cups of sugar.  (2.c. Splenda, 1/ 1/2 c. brown sugar, 1/2 c. Maple syrup.  Brine for about 8-10 hours.  Rinsed, patted dry and place fish with fan on for 1 1/2 hours.  Then placed loosely draped with saran, overnight.

 

11:30 AM placed fish in front of fan for another 1 1/2 hours. 

1:30 PM Started smoker pre-heating, but had to wait for it to cool down some, before adding fish, so fish sat on counter without fan another hour, or so.

 

Excellent Pellicle!

 

 

4:PM - Ready to smoke... Almost! 

I actually had to remove some larger lumps and open both sfb, as well as chamber lid, to get down to 120*.

Smoked one hour at 100-120* with AMNPS, using Alder and Cherry pellets.

 

Fish in smoker flesh side up at 4:00 PM.  Temp ran from 120* down to 95*  Added some lit coals.

TBS.  Can't see it?  Enlarge pic, and notice difference in the grass and leaves to right of smoker.  Slight hazy looking.

 

 

5:00 PM @ 140*

 

5:45 PM dropped to 122* - added a few lit coals.

Flipped salmon over to skin side up and insert probe.  It was at 90* in thicker portions.

ALSO TENTED fish inside chamber, in hopes of controlling too much air flow.

 

6:30 PM @ 163* and IT at 97*

7:00 PM @ 163* and holding.  100* IT  All is good so far, right?

 

 

NOPE!  Went to dump and the store for 30 minutes(note to self... Don't Do That!)  LOL

7:30 PM @ 115*  IT at 100*.   Added some late lit coals  in a hurry.

 

8:00 PM @155* and IT of 104* reached.

 

8:30 PM @ 160* &  IT of 111*, so added a few more coals.

 

9:00 PM @ 178* _ IT of 124*,  Added two small wood chunks of Apple.

10:00 PM At 152  & IT of 135*  Added 1/4 chimney of hot coals.

10:45  @ 210 and IT of 145*.  Pulled from smoker and rested inside.

 

As they looked after removing foil tent.  (taken with flash after dark.)

No, the BBQ therm is not  touching the IT probe.  Camera angle is all.

 

After flipping flesh side up again in house,

 

Near perfection.  No super leather skin.  Broke right apart with just a little pressure.  Not too moist, and not too dry.

Tenting and turning flesh down midway though, seemed to do the trick!

I ate that one right away, and it was great, except it was missing some flavors that some folks have told me not to use. 

I will add my flavors back to my next batch.  They may have been leathery last year, but they tasted better.

 

I got 1 more fish, maybe 2, to do yet, if my brother gives his up to science.  LOL

 

So Bear, and many other folks on the forum who recommend, low to medium high, rather all high temp start to finish.  Hat's off to you for educating me.

 

6 hours or so, in smoker was total time.

post #63 of 71

Nice Job Frank!!---Where there's a will there's a way!!Thumbs Up

 

They actually ended up looking like mine do!!:drool

 

A little darker & harder on the thin edges, which I always trim off & give the thin edges to my Son----His favorite Fish Jerky!!

 

:points:for not giving up & staying at it !!

 

 

Bear

post #64 of 71
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the compliment Beer.  I appreciate it.  Nice to know someone else thinks it looks good too.

I was real happy with this last fish.  (Other than I wish I had added some other flavors, but that will come later.  Right now, I'm concentrating on basics.

 

Now a question for you.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bearcarver View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fpmich View Post

 

So I would be better off cold smoking longer at under 80*-90*  maybe 2 hours, and then take it it to 130*

and then to 150-160-180* or 190* to finish to IT, within just a couple of hours or less, for reduced pellicle toughness?

In other word faster at end then holding at 130*-150 for too much time?

 

Since we aren't using cure on these, I would skip the cold smoking, so there aren't too many hours in the danger zone.

 

Bear
 

 

Why would you, using less a strong brine than I am, ((without cure, (using a stronger salt only brine)) be okay for you to smoke almost 8 hours, and not me, using a stronger brine than you  (without cure)?  You've confused me Bro'.   LOL 

I'm sure I am miss-interpreting what I read, or am even more dense than I think I am.

Doesn't a good salt brine give some leeway from the 40 to 140 in 4 rule?

 

I like the TQ, or cure#1 flavor sometimes, but also want just the regular basic 4 to 1 sugars to salt brine, with other flavors added, for my fish at other times.  Without any TQ or cure#1 it leaves more of just a salmon taste.

 

So I don't always want to use a cure in my brine's, wet or dry.

------------------------

 

To everyone,

I can't see much difference between my first batch of dry brined fish  - vs.-  my latest wet brined.  Pretty much the same results to me as to texture of fish.   Actually the dry brined came out more moist than I like, but I think that was my temp control.  Too high too fast.

 

My tenting to restrict air, and flipping fish over midway, along with lower temps seemed to produce the texture I want, in this particular smoker.  I only got one more fish to try this experiment on to see if I can get same results. 

 

If so, then I will mark it as a successful idea, born out of frustration.  LOL.

 

This forum is so great!

 

PS:  The 210* temp on this last smoke , was only for last 10-15 minutes before I pulled it.  It wasn't prolonged heat at that temp.

It spiked!

post #65 of 71
Thread Starter 
Bear I just noticed that you don't air dry in front of a fan a couple of hours,
but just leaved racked & uncovered in fridge overnight, and use low temp in smoker to finish forming pellicle. Could this be what I am missing with you long smoking vs. mine?
post #66 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by fpmich View Post
 

 

Why would you, using less a strong brine than I am, ((without cure, (using a stronger salt only brine)) be okay for you to smoke almost 8 hours, and not me, using a stronger brine than you  (without cure)?  You've confused me Bro'.   LOL 

I'm sure I am miss-interpreting what I read, or am even more dense than I think I am.

Doesn't a good salt brine give some leeway from the 40 to 140 in 4 rule?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fpmich View Post

Bear I just noticed that you don't air dry in front of a fan a couple of hours,
but just leaved racked & uncovered in fridge overnight, and use low temp in smoker to finish forming pellicle. Could this be what I am missing with you long smoking vs. mine?

Great Questions Frank!!

Yes I go longer than 4 hours with my brined fish, because of the salt in the brine.

I just don't do things that aren't in my opinion necessary, without moving toward completion. 

If you look at my Big Smoked Salmon Step by Step, my total time between 40* and 140* is only about 5 hours, but that is because I started my pellicle in the fridge overnight, and finished the pellicle in my smoker in a relatively short time. Then I didn't do any cold smoking, because that just adds a lot of time that doesn't really put much smoke on the fish, and doesn't do anything to move the IT toward completion. However I still kept my smoking temps low enough to get the texture I like to be for snacking instead of a moist & flaky Dinner Fish. 

So since I know the salt in the brine makes the window longer for safe smoking, I'm not afraid to go longer than 4 hours in the Danger zone, but I don't push my luck, by getting my pellicle in 2 hours in front of a fan at room temp, or by cold smoking for 2 hours. That IMO is 4 hours in the Danger Zone that don't do much in the way of moving toward completion. I believe I have gone as long as 8 hours, but all 8 hours were moving toward raising the temp to completion.

These reasons may sound strange to some, but they are my reasons for doing what I do, and it works Great.

 

 

Bear

post #67 of 71
Thread Starter 

Thanks Bear.

 

Correction to my comment earlier:

I see now, after re-reading again, that your brine salt ratio is the same as mine. (1 cup per gal of liquid, or 1/2 c per 1/2 gal,) 

Not less strong.  You just used less sugar.  Just write it off to an fpmich moment.  LOL

 

OK... I'm getting there.

 

When using cure (nitrite) I don't have too worry too much about time air drying. Which is what I used this time.

 

But for just salt cured (without nitrite added), I should use fridge and low temp in smoker to start.

I agree.  I get nervous when only using salt brine.

 

Guess it's time to bring my "Red Green" style of dryer for in fridge drying, again.  A little computer fan.

 

 

Then start in smoker with just coals, at around 120* for an hour, without any added smoke.

 

Then add smoke for the rest of the time, gradually bumping temps up to 190* over 5 to 7 hours.

 

That should be safe for a salt only brine, right?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearcarver View Post
 
Then I didn't do any cold smoking, because that just adds a lot of time that doesn't really put much smoke on the fish, and doesn't do anything to move the IT toward completion. However I still kept my smoking temps low enough to get the texture I like to be for snacking instead of a moist & flaky Dinner Fish. 

Bear

 

I always thought cold smoking let smoke penetrate deeper in to fish or meat.  Am I wrong, or does it just take longer to penetrate, by cold smoking while leaving flesh in raw state.

 

You are very good at confusing me Bear, but also very good at explaining your reasons.

 

So explain away my friend.  As Fraiser Crane says in his program, ... "I'm listening".  LOL

post #68 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by fpmich View Post
 

Thanks Bear.

 

Correction to my comment earlier:

I see now, after re-reading again, that your brine salt ratio is the same as mine. (1 cup per gal of liquid, or 1/2 c per 1/2 gal,) 

Not less strong.  You just used less sugar.  Just write it off to an fpmich moment.  LOL

 

 

I always thought cold smoking let smoke penetrate deeper in to fish or meat.  Am I wrong, or does it just take longer to penetrate, by cold smoking while leaving flesh in raw state.

 

You are very good at confusing me Bear, but also very good at explaining your reasons.

 

So explain away my friend.  As Fraiser Crane says in his program, ... "I'm listening".  LOL

 

This could be a matter of opinion, but IMHO smoke doesn't stick as well to cold clammy meat, whether it be Fish or Bacon. That's why I don't do it any more except with things like cheese.

Cold smoking is fine with Bacon, but it takes at least twice as long to get good color & flavor as it takes with a little heat (100* to 130*). IMO   Why would fish be any different?

I start both of them above 100*.

 

As for Cure, I haven't used it on fish yet, but I want to try it the next time I have some fish to smoke. It'll be with TQ.

 

Bear

post #69 of 71

I agree with Bear that cold meat temp does not absorb smoke as well as room temp plus.   Thus why I always room temp dry my Salmon during pellicle formation.  Then off to the smoker it goes.  Yesterday when I did my Salmon filets and nuggets, I let the smoker hover around 100+ a little before I added the AMNTS.  Came out as expected......mucho el perfecto.

post #70 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearcarver View Post
 

Nice Job Frank!!---Where there's a will there's a way!!Thumbs Up

 

They actually ended up looking like mine do!!:drool

 

A little darker & harder on the thin edges, which I always trim off & give the thin edges to my Son----His favorite Fish Jerky!!

 

:points:for not giving up & staying at it !!

 

 

Bear

Bear, no hard edges on this last two batches.  No jerky edge at all!  They turn out perfect!

 

I think I will portion them a little bigger next time though.

 

Disaster hit my first batch in freezer due to my stupidity!  

Will start new thread tomorrow with a pic, on how NOT TO...

post #71 of 71
Thread Starter 

Thanks Cmayna & Bear, & everyone, for helping me to achieve a good fish smoke.

 

It also took a little thinking "out of the box" on my part, because we all use different smokers.  But I got there, with your help. Thank you.

 

As near as I can tell, there is no difference between wet brined, and dry brine in the final product. 

I guess it just depends on what you are comfortable with using.

 

I like wet brining better.  I also like it both ways.  With & without nitrite. 

I think I like it a little better without nitrate added.  Or maybe is smaller amounts for just a bit of added flavor.

 

I will also start another thread requesting info on cold smoking vs. hot smoking fish.  I understand that a True Lox, is only salt cured raw, and Gravlox, or Nova, is salt cured &smoked cold.  Never had either one, but I'm sure I would like it.  But I don't think is it a snacking with cracker fish.

 

I sure like my Smoked Salmon with crackers, during Rose Bowl and Super Bowl games.  It's a tradition with me.

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