1st time Salmon Jerky w/ Q-View

Discussion in 'Fish' started by arubaariba, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. arubaariba

    arubaariba Fire Starter

    I caught some nice Salmon last week @ Sam's Club and decided to make some Jerky.  I got a lot of great information and help on this bb - so Thank you!!

    The fish put up a great fight, and lost all of it's bones and skin before I was able to land her! Left me with about 4# to work with

    I sliced it into about 3/16" strips by hand (the short way).  Maybe I should have done it the "long" way? Anyhow, it sliced up nice and quick.

    Then I brined it for about 18 hours in the following brine that I pulled off the net somewhere. I doubled it - and next time will cut back on the salt a little.  

    Here is the Brine that I used: I doubled it

    ½ cup canning or Kosher salt, 5.1 oz. by weight.
    ½ tsp. Paprika
    1 ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    1 ½ tsp. cayenne
    1 quart water
    1 Tbs. garlic powder
    2 cups brown sugar
    4 bay leaves

    Combine all ingredients and stir until sugar has dissolved.
    Place fish in non reactive container with brine and completely cover.

    Brine 16-24 hours, mixing up a few times. (*****I am thinking this is much too long because it turned out a bit salty.  Will try only 4-6 hour brine next time)

    I took it out and wiped them dry (will rinse first then dry next time).  Put them on racks and back in the refrigerator to form some pellicle:

    30 minutes later, I decided to put them on skewers instead, to save me a job the next day

    After 15 or so hours (until next morning) - I got the smoker going.  Tried to keep the temp at 150-160, has the door cracked open to help keep the temp and help in the drying process.  I used an old Brinkman charcoal vertical smoker modified with an electrical element that I bought from Cabellas last year.

    Only used 3 total chip boxes (approx 4x6x2" high) for the smoke.  (2) boxes of Alder and (1) box of Cherry chips.  Total smoke time approx 2 hours.  Then I left them in for another 2 hours to dry some more

    I sampled, and sampled some more..... and had a few beers (ok, a few more beers) until I felt they were dry enough

    I thought they turned out really good for the first time.  Maybe a bit salty, so I will adjust by brining for a shorter time and rinsing them when I take them out of the brine.  These go great with beer!
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013
  2. They look great man! I love smoked salmon in any form  [​IMG]
  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks real good, Aruba!!!

    Now that you know what you're doing, I'm betting your adjustments will make them even better!!---Got my mouth watering already!!!

  4. webowabo

    webowabo Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Looks good Aruba. Its on my list to try.. great step by step thread. Thanks for sharing!
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great looking Salmon Jerky there! Wish I could get some fresh salmon in my smoker!
  6. meat lover

    meat lover Newbie

    wow i'm going to have to try making some! looks great!
  7. jeffed76

    jeffed76 Meat Mopper

    Those look great! I'll have to try this at lake Cosco :)
  8. thoseguys26

    thoseguys26 Master of the Pit

    Nice. I never liked fish jerky until I started making it myself. Now it's my favorite. Salt can be a killer though. Next time, I'm sure you'll nail it perfectly and have a recipe that everyone around you will be begging you for.
  9. hagisan

    hagisan Meat Mopper

    Very nice.  I love this stuff.  An old roomy of ours used to do this and for 2 salmon seasons we had the best beer munchies.  Well done.
  10. Wow! Wild caught salmon is in season. Following your example, 10 lbs. is in the smoker right now I'll give you an update when it comes out. Thanks for the tutorial. Although it is better in Baja, I used to live on Greenfield Avenue in West Allis.......
  11. arubaariba

    arubaariba Fire Starter

    Wow!!  I live 1/2 block north of Greenfield Ave (just up from the Gentleman's Club/nudie bar)  - small world.!!  I bet that wild-caught salmon will make a world of difference!!  I am limited here on fresh seafood/salmon... have caught salmon off the pier in Milwaukee on lake Michigan in past years - not the best :(
  12. I got 'er done! I got the smoker way too hot. My temp spiked up to 250 degrees. The upshot was that I got a very dark color and is not pretty like yours! I agree with your assessment that the salt needs to be cut back. But, overall for my first time, Not bad! Thanks, Dave
  13. arubaariba

    arubaariba Fire Starter

    I saw that some people rinse the meat when they take it out of the marinade.  I just wiped it dry.  But - I am really thinking that I also brined it way too long - I think 4-6 hours is enough (like Bearcarvers smoked salmon recipe).  He has not steered me wrong yet. 

    I'll make the changes next time (shorter brine and rinse it off) and try it again when it's on sale - but even at $7.99/lb on sale it is still pretty stiff - at least there is no/little waste.
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Buddy!!! I do my best.

    Those adjustment should make it even better!!! Plus the other one you mentioned earlier----Cutting them that small, you might be better off cutting your strips "With The Grain".

    Is it all gone yet? That couldn't have lasted long!!!

  15. arubaariba

    arubaariba Fire Starter

    Almost all gone Bear..... I tend to give a lot of my jerky (beef) away to family, friends and neighbors because they are all "smokerless" and I want them to experience the finer things in life.

    I learn a little bit more evrytime I smoke and jump on this site!  In fact my older sister just bought her first smoker, and I was over at her house last weekend breaking in her smoker with her first smoke of chicken & ribs.... and passing along some of the things that I have learned over the past 6 years.  Plus she had a cold 12-pack of beer for me.  
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013
  16. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What a great project. I will have to give salmon jerky at try.

    Thanks for posting.

  17. tonybel

    tonybel Smoking Fanatic

    Very nice!
  18. wes w

    wes w Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    This looks awesome!

    Couple questions.  How do you know when its dry enough?   I love salmon.   From the pictures I'm guessing you took the skin off.   I've got to try this it looks really good!  Thanks for sharing
  19. arubaariba

    arubaariba Fire Starter

    Hi Wes,

    I did a lot of sampling (the best part) after the initial 2 hours of smoke. It was the only way that I could see if it was done  [​IMG]  I do a lot of beef jerky - so I figured based on the thickness (approx 3/16-1/4") that 2 hours was a good time to start taste-testing.  The amount of oil in the fish dictated the additional time (2 hours w/No smoke) needed.

    I would break off a little every 30 minutes or so- wanted it dry with a little jerk.  I think I sliced it the wrong way, so mine were tender - but very good  Next time I will slice it the long way, and then shorten-up the strips.

    The salmon that I bought (I mean caught) had no skin - but I have read some reviews of people who keep the skin on when they smoke it.  Not a fish skin fan myself.
  20. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I leave the skin on small Trout, to keep them together, but Large "Thick Skinned" fish like Salmon, I figure if you aren't going to eat the skin, why brine it & smoke it. I have tried it both ways, and IMHO, the skinless is much more tasty.


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