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To the salmonheads at the SMF

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
A quick lead into my questions.....a neighbor of mine just gave me several nice salmon filets he caught last Sunday in a river that comes off of Lake Ontario. Today is my day off so here goes my first attempt at smoked salmon. Due to lack of planning on my part and lack of time for a four hour brine, I have decided to go brine-free. My first question is...do I still want to go ahead with the two hour or so drying time? I understand that a pellicle will not form if not brined. Correct? So is there any sense in drying.
Also, I am definitely using Dutch's Maple syrup glaze. My thought is maple glaze, why not smoke with some maple wood? 200-225 degrees for how long or do I go by temperature? Any help would be appreciated and of course.......Qview to follow. Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 27
Thread Starter 
I forgot to mention that the filets were in the freezer until yesterday afternoon, when they were stuck into the fridge to thaw until this morning.
post #3 of 27
You still want to leave them out for a bit, to get to room temp, then blot dry with paper towels. If it were me, I'd rub some brown sugar and pepper mixture on them.

Your cooking temps are fine, salmon cooks pretty quick, and depending on how you like it done, your cooking time will vary (1 to 2 hours). I like to smoke it just until the thickest part is just flakey with a fork but still looks moist. Alder is the choice smoking wood, but maple wood sounds good too. Have at it!!

post #4 of 27

fillet the salmon and cover with rock salt for 1 1/2 hours rinse off salt and place in smoker pelicel will form smoke at 200-225 until fish flakes nicely it should be fine
post #5 of 27
I always wash and pat dry fish before cooking.
Given that you're going for dutchs maple glaze - can't honestly think you'd need to do anything else to them :-)

If cooking at 200-225 and givent that they're fillets and not whole fish I'd reckon on 2 hours or less. It's going to take awhile to dry out at that temp and glazed anyway so I'd probably err on the side of 2-3 hours to make sure they were fully cooked.

Don't forget pics :-)
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys! Just got done washing and patting dry. Layed them out on cookie sheet for a while.

Salmonclubber, the great thing bout my neighbor he doesnt bring them home without fileting them where he fishes. Less work for me! But I can feel bones...dont like bones! I know...I sound like a wuss. Just dont like biting into something hard when eating something soft.

Solar, unfortunately my choices for wood at this time is cherry or maple. Just thought the maple "sounded right" due to the maple glaze being used.

Aardvark, thanks for your input. I always feel that less is more. We'll see what happens.

Thanks again guys! Qview to follow.
post #7 of 27
When I did Salmon a couple weeks ago, I did jam a probe into the fattest part of the fish. I pulled them between 160 and 165 internal temp. That maple glaze is the bomb! Good luck!
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for pumping me up Joneser!!
post #9 of 27
Those are the pin bones. Use your finger to locate them by running it from head to tail, then pull them out with needle nose pliers. I have a set of fishing hemostats that I use specifically for this.

Good tutorial here: http://www.salmonuniversity.com/ol_htfs_pinbones1.html

BTW, maple is excellent wood for smoking fish.
post #10 of 27
Probably the only part of smoking salmon I don't like is pulling those bones, it's really easy but it takes a few minutes to de-bone a couple filets, but needs to be done.
post #11 of 27
You'll love this. I don't even probe my salmon, I smoke until it flakes nicely at the fattest part. My son loves to make this. He made this for about 40 people one time and everyone loved it!!!
post #12 of 27
Looking forward to the qview cool.gif Sounds good !!
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Well Pitrow and Solar...thanks for the tutorial. I just happened to read it an hour and a half too late. I stuck it in the smoker-bones and all! Oh well.
Will fine tune the next time. Thanks smf!
post #14 of 27
Huey's rock salt method is really good also, if you get a chance try it that way & use Alder for wood. That's the way a lot of people I know in WA do it.
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hey thanks Fishawn! Will do. BTW...nice avitar-Whoooooooo!
post #16 of 27
You can pull the bones out after it's done, it's just harder to do because you want to sit down and eat!!

Looking forward to some Qview

If you have any leftovers, smoked salmon makes some great fish spread. 1 filet to one block of cream cheese is a good porportion, chopped celery, onions and some hot sauce. Mix it in a bowl, refrigerate, place on a Club craker with some hot sauce, good eats there.
post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
Mmmmm. now you're talking Solar. Got...or had two big filets. Gave the neighbor a hunk to try and I ate a big ole hunk myself. I think some smoked salmon spread is in the works for the left overs since no one else in the house will eat it. I noticed that the bones pulled out rather easily after cooked.
post #18 of 27
Sounds like it was a success , still looking forward to the qview wink.gif
post #19 of 27
Fishawn's Smoked Salmon Spread: (though everyone does something similar)

* Smoked salmon broken into small - medium sized chunks
* Cream Cheese (room temp)
* Chives or green onion (finely dice)
* Mix & Eat!

> Served with crackers & Chipotle Tabasco & Jalapeno Tabasco & Cold Beer!

post #20 of 27
Next time use a brine or cure, at 225-250 its really just cooked fish. The pin bones can be taken out after or before. I try to keep my heat in the smoker at 165-180 max. That would be smoked fish. Salmon fillets should be brined for 6-12 hrs, on the big ones(18-25 lbs) we brine them for 24 hrs.Brining or curing is critical to smoking fish. The brine/cure actually "chemically cooks" the fish, so lower smoking temps can be used, therefore prolonging the time in the smoker to get good smoke flavor, AND insure proper preserving characteristics.I'm sure the salmon is good, hard to mess up salmon over smoke, but to truly smoke it, you need to do the above.Make sure you eat or freeze it within a few days.

Where are the pics?icon_smile.gif
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