adding smoke

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Feb 8, 2006
Im going to be smoking some salmon this weekend. I bought some brine mix by HI MOUNTAIN and it says to soak in this mix for 24 hrs in the fridge. After following directions it says to pre-heat smoker to 200 degrees. Place fish in smoker. NO SMOKE for the first 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, begin smoke.

How is this done?
Rockiestring - All meat, sausages, poultry and fish included must be dry or at least feel tacky on outside before smoke is applied otherwise meat will not develop proper color or even flavor. Your salmon will be obviously very wet so after brining leave it for a few hours at room temperature. Pre-heating smoker and holding fish for 30 min will help to dry it. That's the idea. The same applies to sausages. After a few hours of drying time fish develops on outside "pellicle", type of secondary skin that helps it to aquire right color during smoking. Drying time in a pre-heated smoker is of course much shorter.

Then you apply smoke and time will depend on how big is your fish or how thick is your fillet.
Ok, so your saying add wood after 30 minutes. Im assuming to start with just all charcoal until I reach 200 degrees then after 30 min. add the wood for smoke? Will the charcoal be letting out some smoke? Thats where I guess I got a little confused. I thought the charcoal will be emitting smoke withing the first 30 min.
How long does the charcoal need to burn before smoke doesnt come from it?
Thank you for your advice.
Rockiestring - charcoal will be my last choice when smoking meats as it will lleave unpleasant flavor. If you have to use it - burn it outside first until covered on all sides with ash, then place it ina smoker.
Why don't you read about some real traditional ways of smoking at :

Great photos.
Rockie, Siminole has given you some good advice and yes after the 30 minutes drying time add your smoking wood to the smoker. Good luck and let us know how it turns out!

If I remember correctly you have an ECB smoke n pit. Go out and get your self some lump charcoal, check out to get a feel for the different types of lump that are out there. If at all possible DO NOT use briquettes. Get it going good and hot in a charcoal chimney. Then pour it in your firebox keep your exhaust flue wide open and once you get up to 200* start to control your heat with the air intake on the firebox door. Put on your salmon, personally I think waiting 30 minutes to add smoking woods with a brined salmon sees a little long, but to each his own. Once you are ready to add smoke place a couple of wood chunks, for salmon I always use an Alder/Apple mix, along the side of the charcoal and you should be good to go. For what is worth I always try to keep the fire in my fire box as small as possible to let both my exhaust flue and the air intake to be wide open, because a choked fire can lead to a bitter fish. But the most important thing is to not stress over the details, after all there are only two things better to do with salmon than smoking them; 1)Eating them and 2)Catching them :)
I really appreciate your alls imput. I will ditch the briquetts and get lump coal. Im assumming lump coal has no additives and such so its a cleaner burn. Thanks again fella's. Ill let ya know how it turned out this weekend.
I like the simple approach, rub the salmon with brown sugar, lemon pepper, mixed with a little salt. Smoke at about 250 to 300 for about an hour, with cherry smoke the whole time. It seems to me, at the temp they say and for the time, the fish would almost be cooked, before you started to smoke it. BEAR
Rockie-Next time you get ahold of some salmon, check out my Smoked Salmon with Maple Glaze recipe. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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