I attempted my first smoked salmon today. I more or less used Jeff's recipe however didn't quite do it like he did. I used a 2.5 lb filet without cutting it up. I left the skin on.
I started with the brine:
1 gal water
1 cup kosher salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp rosemary
I let it sit in the brine for 12 hours overnight before I got it out and rinsed/dried it off and put it back in the fridge directly on the rack for 4.5 more hours (had to go to work for a meeting so I left it in until I got back home)
(Runnin low on beer)
After that I popped it in my GOSM using hickory wood chips. Getting the temp right was a bit of a challenge. With vents in usual position and no water in water pan I could only get it down to 170ºF even on the lowest setting. I then put water in the pan and opened the vents completely. This got it down to about 162ºF. I then figured out that by turning the knob the opposite direction and almost off, I could get the flame even less and was able to keep it at 150ºF for about 2 hours. Once the filet hit an IT of 115F it seemed to stall for about an hour to hour and a half. At this time I cranked the GOSM up to 160F. The IT slowly climbed to about 135 after about 6.5 hours into it but I was getting hungry so I cranked the GOSM up to 180F to finish it off at 145F IT.
The inside was a little moist for my liking. I'm not sure why it seemed to come out a little soggy but the flavor was phenomenal. Maybe I put it in the brine for too long and didn't let it dry long enough? Also, Jeff's book said cook time was about 4-5 hours for a 3-4lb filet but mine took almost 8 total hours to smoke. I know that every piece of meat is different but that just seems like a huge difference. Am i doing something wrong? Do you guys have any suggestions on how to get a drier piece of meat? Any other comments/suggestions?