First time smoked salmon.

Discussion in 'Fish' started by ak1, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    So here's my first attempt at smoking some salmon.

    It's a sockeye fillet. I brined it in 1 gallon of water with 1 cup of salt & 1 cup of sugar. After 24hrs, I pulled it from the brine and let it sit for about 3 hrs before smoking. I smoked it using maple wood for about 4 1/2 hrs before it finally hit 145 internal.

    I think I may have buggered it up though, it looks awfully dark. I've got it wrapped in clingwrap and in the fridge. I'll try it in a few days and see what it tastes like.

    Here's some pics. First one is pre smoke, second one is after it was done.
  2. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    OOps, here's the second pic.
  3. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    What temps were you smoking it at? Doesn't look to shabby! The real test is when you taste it. After all who cares what it looks like as long as it tastes good! Once you get hooked on salmon its hard to stop making it.
  4. miamirick

    miamirick Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    i always marinade my salmon in a rub with brown sugar and a few other spices that gives a sweet taste and it always turns out very moist. just cover and let sit overnight the brown suger is awesome
  5. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Smoked at around 225 average. I kept the smoker between 200-250 throughout the smoke.
  6. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Next time try smoking them around 150 and you will have less darkness on the fillets.
  7. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If I do that, should I brine the fillet's longer?
  8. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    What I do is put a dry rub mixture of salt and brown sugar on the fillets over night then I rinse them and let them dry, then I put a little bit of brown sugar, garlic powder and pepper on the fillets and put them on the smoker at around 150-175 until the internal temp is 140 which is usually around 3-4 hours depending on the thickness of the fillets.

    I can give you the recipe for the dry rub if you are interested.
  9. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    If it was to hot it would have been cooked more than smoked and the fillet looks tight and not flaky to me. I say [​IMG]I also figured out that sugar in a brine will make the meat/poultry/fish look to dark to the eye but taste just right. Some of my whole chicken smokes looked like they were burnt but the smoke level was perfect.
  10. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    So, I decided to pull it from the fridge, and slice it up. Here's the pic.

    It tastes good, but seems a bit dry. Maybe I'm too used to store bought smoked salmon.
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    It looks fine. Looks like it tastes good too.

    I think the yellow streaks on your last picture show you had your temp a little too high, and some of the fat cooked out. I try to never go above 200 degrees. Smoked Salmon isn't supposed to be real moist----only a little moist. Grilled & cooked Salmon is supposed to be real moist.

    Hopefully I'll get time in the next couple days to post my compilation of the 8 batches of Smoked Salmon I've done in the last few months. I've been writing a complete record & recipe with instructions of the best Smoked Salmon from those 8 batches (with Qview).

    Stay tuned

  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    BTW AK1,
    If you think yours is too dry, you may be thinking of the Salmon they serve at weddings and some buffets at restaurants. Those "whole" Salmon are very moist, because I think they are more "cooked" than smoked. In my book, real Smoked Salmon could be put in a ziplock baggie in your shirt pocket for a day of deer hunting. It would stay slightly moist all day in your pocket, but not get all mushy. Might scare the deer, but who cares----it tastes soooo good!

    Yours looks fine, as far as moisture goes.

  13. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Great, Thanks.
  14. flyfishjeep

    flyfishjeep Smoking Fanatic

    It looks Dang good to me!

    It's on the "to do" list
  15. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I figured out where I screwed up. One of the thermometers on the Chargriller was buggered. I let the temperature get too high, and ended up almost cooking the salmon. Still, really tasty, but just a bit dry.
    I'll be trying another batch soon. Will let you know how it turns out.
  16. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    So, I'm trying another fillet.
    It's been brining in a salt/maple sugar solution since Friday. Sat out since this morning to form the pellicle. Just on the smoker now.
  17. treegje

    treegje Master of the Pit

    Man that looks great...[​IMG]
  18. wingman

    wingman Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Rbranstner is right on! No higher then 180. Regardless, the Salmon looks great! [​IMG]
  19. rgacat

    rgacat Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I thought your 1st one looked great. I can't wait to see this one also.
  20. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Well, I screwed this one up. I fell asleep on the sofa watching the indycar race. Fillet, ended up dried out, and burned along the edges.

    Oh well, there's always next time[​IMG]

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