First Smoked Salmon on my MES30

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
SMF Premier Member
Apr 7, 2013
Green Valley, Az
Decided to try a different style of smoked salmon yesterday when I saw a really nice half filet just sitting in the meat case at the store. I usually just brine in a mix of sugar, salt and garlic powder, but reading some of the more creative recipes I chose one I saw posted by NWBHoss a couple years ago. It’s great all these posts remain available to search. Here’s the recipe I used, pared down to do just one piece of salmon.

1/4 cup canning salt
1 3/4 cups brown sugar
3/4 Tbsp onion powder
3/4 Tbsp garlic powder
3/4 Tbsp black pepper

Nice piece of fish...had to get it....

Following his process, I mixed the ingredients, covered the filet and put it in the fridge overnight. (forgot to take a photo of the brined fish this morning).The next morning, I fired up the MES30 to a temp of 150° and got the smoker stabilized at that temp. In the meantime, I fired up the AMNPS and set up my just built mailbox mod for smoking. As I mentioned in a past post, I am still having issues with keeping the AMNPS lit  even with a number of air holes. Yesterday, I bought an aquarium air pump and plumbed it into the mailbox with mixed success but better than before. Still have some work to do and may end up getting the MES cold smoker attachment and see how that works.

Over time, I increased the smoker temp to 165° and kept the salmon in until reaching an IT of 142°.

 I’m letting is cool at room temp for an hour or so and then into the fridge to finish off until cocktail hour tomorrow afternoon!
My wife decided she didn't want to wait until tomorrow so the fillet has been tested and approved. Looks great color wise inside and out, moist but flakey and tastes so much better than my basic salt/sugar mix.....New favorite!

When you say leaving it in the fridge overnight, how many hours was it? Would you change it next time?
I mixed up the brine and covered the filet, both sides, then put it skin side down in a covered container. I put it in the fridge about 7pm and took it out about 7am. I rinsed the filet off and patted dry then let it sit to warm up for about an hour while I got the smoker ready for action. Short answer, about 12 hours in the fridge...Personally I thought that would be too long, but tasting the results, it worked out perfectly. In all honesty, I don't think I would change a thing.
Thanks all for the comments. It's a fun learning experience...with lots more to come! I get great ideas and input from you guys!! is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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