Living in Oregon I have a lot of friends that salmon fish. While I love any kind of delicious seafood I am not so fond of getting up before dawn for anything less than putting a large hunk of meat on the smoker.
So i have a standing offer that anyone can hand over the cleaned fish to me and I'll take care of the prep and smoking for a 25% cut of the booty.
Seem I may have bit off a little more than I can chew with this year's chinook run. I got 30 lbs last week, 20 lbs this week and just heard I have 60 lbs coming Monday. But I'm loving the excuse to keep the smoker running :)
Smoker: Smoky Hollow vertical cabinet, propane
Brine: Mr T's recipe (from this forum) - 22hrs in the bag
Time/Temp: Started at 180°, my smoker has burner problems and won't go over 190, one the salmon added it dropped to 160°, I brought the meat up to 145° on the bottom rack first then moved that to the middle rack and brought the next heaviest rack to the bottom. I had the thinner slices at the very top where it seems to stay cooler from the bottom 2 heavy racks sucking up the heat.
Once I had it to 145 in all the thick pieces I held the smoker at 145°-150° for 2.5 more hours.
Total cook time - 4 hours
This is my third time using Mr T's brine recipe. I put a full tsp of paprika in the brine as opposed to 1/2 but other than that I stick to the script. It came out a little saltier this time, not overpowering but I like it a little on the sweeter side which Mr T's brine usually gives me. I was going for a little less moist on this run and got it just about where I wanted, maybe a smidge to the dry side.
Drying, I used a fan and dried on the counter for about 1 3/4 hour. I've tried to dry for less time in the past and you really do end up with a lot more fat bubbling out which isn't cosmetically pleasing.
Finished and cooling for packaging. I don't use a fan but at least I have salmon to eat while I wait.
Man oh man do I love the look of a lot of these in my fridge, too bad I have to give 75% of it back!