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First time Smoking Salmon

SmokeyLee15

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Did a 3/1 brown sugar, salt brine for about 7 hours. Rinsed and air dried for about 2 hours smoked until IT was 145. The bigger prices turned out great! Smaller pieces were a little dry. I love salmon so this was a great smoke, I’ll play with brines in the future and will probably pull at IT of 140.
 

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cmayna

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Looks fantastic. Your recipe is very similar to mine. Yes, pull at 135ish. Try 4/1 ratio. Good job!
 

SmokinAl

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I don’t brine mine, I just coat them with EVOO & Cajun seasoning. Smoke until they flake apart. Usually about 45 minutes at 225. I usually use mesquite, cause it’s such a short cook. We also do the same prep & cook on the kettle over charcoal & mesquite chunks. Only takes about 5-10 minutes. Just don’t overcook it or you will have salmon jerky.
Al
 

thirdeye

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Did a 3/1 brown sugar, salt brine for about 7 hours. Rinsed and air dried for about 2 hours smoked until IT was 145. The bigger prices turned out great! Smaller pieces were a little dry. I love salmon so this was a great smoke, I’ll play with brines in the future and will probably pull at IT of 140.
You did everything right, now it's time to fine tune your technique. I'm okay with 145° on the thicker pieces, but I pull the tail pieces sooner (and I cure the tail pieces with less time). I know it's hard to resist, but if you let your finished salmon cool on the counter, then refrigerate overnight the fillets will always be moister and the surface will soften and make slicing without tearing easy. I also give the finished fillets a very light spray of olive oil when they are still warm..., this helps with eye appeal and moistness.

The two-hour drying time is probably the minimum, I like 12 hours on a rack in the fridge. If you buy skin-on fillets, they stay moister because of the fat on the skin. Also for a moister product, an internal in the 138-140° will do that. I kind of watch for the albumen, if you see a trace of that it's time to really watch the temp. For reference, here is a close-up of some skin-on salmon I smoked to maybe 142°, and it has chilled out before slicing.
8EpH3xW.jpg

I just smoked this last week, if you look close on the far right piece, the albumen has just barely risen to the surface. My hot smoke time is about 4 hours.
T49Domd.jpg
 

Wurstmeister

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EVOO with a rub, then smoke with beech or alder @165F until IT ~135/140F, cover with foil, serve . I use a Lahr-Jensen Little Chief I “stole” from a hardware store of $35,, Didn’t have a box!? it’s great for “warm smoke” : fish and small items incl vegetables, nuts, cold smoke cheese, etc.. The burner plate temp runs ~165F
 

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thirdeye

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EVOO with a rub, then smoke with beech or alder @165F until IT ~135/140F, cover with foil, serve . I use a Lahr-Jensen Little Chief I “stole” from a hardware store of $35,, Didn’t have a box!? it’s great for “warm smoke” : fish and small items incl vegetables, nuts, cold smoke cheese, etc.. The burner plate temp runs ~165F
I have both a Little and Big Chief. They are my go-to smoker for trout, steelhead and salmon. In addition to the flavor smoked things you mentioned, I use it to double smoke ham hocks and shanks, and sometimes I'll add some flavor smoke to store bought bacon. If it's a hot summer day, in direct sunlight I can pull a 180°, but you're right 160° is average.
UMIPzcB.jpg
 

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