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Help! first smoke ever and it's too salty..

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

I posted in the fish forum yesterday but did not get a response..

I want to fire up the smoker and try this again, but I'm uncertain how I should adjust the recipe.

 

 I brined in the recipe below for 24 hours. Then let it air dry in the fridge for another 12 hours.

I fired up the propane smoker and loaded it with non soaked apple wood. I filled the water bowl with the brine. It smoked for an hour and 40 minutes at 225 degrees.


The Shark is the darker, thicker fish in the pic. It came out perfectly! The Cod and Haddock have good flavor, but are a little too salty. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you,

Randy

 

2 quarts water

1 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup coarse kosher salt

1-1/2 tbls crushed black pepper

1 tsp granulated garlic

2 tbls Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar

4 bay leaves

 

simmer water at low temp

add all ingredients and simmer until dissolved

remove from heat, cool to below 40 degrees f

add fish, brine in fridge 24 hours

post #2 of 28

Les Salt and rinse first, before cooking . . .

post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 

Thanks for responding.

 

I rinsed really well. I'll try cutting the salt by a 1/4 cup. That should fall in line with the 1 cup to 1 gallon rule.

Do you think brining for a couple hours opposed to overnight will help as well?

post #4 of 28
That's a strong brine for 24h brine time.I only wet brined fish once and didnt like the result (salty and not the texture I expected).

I find dry brining easier and consistent. Takes a few hours.
post #5 of 28

Hi Randy,

In my experience, brining shark is necessary to draw out the urea/ammonia, but I wouldn't brine cod or haddock.  Think of English fish & chips.  They typically use either of those fishes, but the only seasoning used is in the batter.   Great tasting fish don't need much help in the seasoning department, imo.

 

ps  If you live along the Gulf coast, try finding some dead black mangrove wood for smoking fish.    

post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Randy View Post

Thanks for responding.

I rinsed really well. I'll try cutting the salt by a 1/4 cup. That should fall in line with the 1 cup to 1 gallon rule.
Do you think brining for a couple hours opposed to overnight will help as well?
yes I would not do it for a day on fish. Way to easy for the salt to get in deep on softer meats.
post #7 of 28

For skinless fillets a 4hr brine should be all you need. 

post #8 of 28

As mentioned above the fish was almost certainly in that brine for too long. I usually dry brine mine and it stays in contact with the salt/sugar cure for between 2-3 hours maximum

 

If you have not looked at this it may help you out

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/171886/comparison-of-salmon-curing-methods

post #9 of 28

Randy,

IMO--The length of time in Brine depends on the thickness of the Fish pieces & the strength of your brine.

 

I explain that in my Smoked Salmon Step by Step (Below):

 

Link:

 
 
Bear
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks Bear. I found the link very helpful.
post #11 of 28
Randy, morning... a fool proof method is equilibrium brining... weight the fish and the liquid... add 2% salt and 1% sugar and spices... for the liquid, I try to stay around 25% weight of the fish... example: 4# fish 1# liquid... 5#'s of stuff needs 0.02 x 5 = 0.1# salt, 0.05# sugar.... refer for a day or 2... impossible to over/under salt... adjust salt% to your taste after a trial run... after brine, let sit in refer for a day or so to come to equilibrium in the meat... cure can be added if long cold smokes are in the works at approx.1-1.5 grams per pound for 140-200 Ppm cure rate...
post #12 of 28

I did salmon once and it came out waaay too salty too.  It has something to do with the way you brined it.  Too long?

post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mummel View Post

I did salmon once and it came out waaay too salty too.  It has something to do with the way you brined it.  Too long?

I dry brine and wet brine my salmon all the time... It never comes out salty.... I weigh the fish and weigh the salt... that way, it can be left indefinitely in the brine.... no guessing....
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post


I dry brine and wet brine my salmon all the time... It never comes out salty.... I weigh the fish and weigh the salt... that way, it can be left indefinitely in the brine.... no guessing....


That's true what Dave said.

If you go by the equilibrium method like Dave does, and use the proper amounts in the brine, it can't get too salty.

With the method I use you have to brine for the right amount of time---Longer for bigger pieces & shorter for smaller pieces, but I don't get any too salty either, because I'm careful to not brine anything too long. If I would leave small pieces in my brine as long as I do the bigger pieces they could be a bit salty.

 

 

Bear

post #15 of 28

Does dry brining salmon work just ask well?  I've been dry brining all my meats lately, around 36 hours. 

post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mummel View Post

Does dry brining salmon work just ask well?  I've been dry brining all my meats lately, around 36 hours. 

Yes.... weigh the fish.... add 2-2.5% salt (depends on how much salt you like)... add 1% + sugar (depends on your taste also) and add spices for flavors... garlic, onion, etc...
Then you can leave it for up to 3 days.... depends on the thickness of the fish... Rinse in ice cold water for a few minutes, I usually rinse for 2-3 minutes.... then dry....
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post


Yes.... weigh the fish.... add 2-2.5% salt (depends on how much salt you like)... add 1% + sugar (depends on your taste also) and add spices for flavors... garlic, onion, etc...
Then you can leave it for up to 3 days.... depends on the thickness of the fish... Rinse in ice cold water for a few minutes, I usually rinse for 2-3 minutes.... then dry....

 

Great info TY.  What about the weight to salt ratio for meat?

post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mummel View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post

Yes.... weigh the fish.... add 2-2.5% salt (depends on how much salt you like)... add 1% + sugar (depends on your taste also) and add spices for flavors... garlic, onion, etc...

Then you can leave it for up to 3 days.... depends on the thickness of the fish... Rinse in ice cold water for a few minutes, I usually rinse for 2-3 minutes.... then dry....

Great info TY.  What about the weight to salt ratio for meat?



I don't understand your question....
post #19 of 28
I read your comment as, 1lb of fish = 0.02lbs of salt correct?

Does that same ratio apply to dry brining meat with kosher salt?
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mummel View Post

I read your comment as, 1lb of fish = 0.02lbs of salt correct?

Does that same ratio apply to dry brining meat with kosher salt?


To make life easier.... get a grams scale... 1# = 454 grams.... 2% = 9 grams.... MUCH easier to figure...

Meat for smoking, BBQ'ing, etc.... 2% is a good starting point.... Some bacon can have 2.5 - 3% salt.... I stick with 2% for my bacon....

You want to use the least amount of liquid possible and still do the job.... That increases the concentration in the liquid and forces the equilibrium process...

For curing meats, 3.5 - 10% salt can be recommended... depends on the recipe... always follow the recipe...
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