Have any tips for 1st time salmon smoker?

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Nitty

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Jan 28, 2020
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If I ever want fish or seafood I always get out at a restaurant so I don't know much about cooking it to begin with. I have more research to do but the little bit I've read it seems like there is a lot of room for error with a newbie when using a brine. But I did find a recipe where all they did was season it and throw it on the hot smoker for an hour or two and it gets good reviews. I was thinking of starting there but I bet the brine way is tastier. I have a local guy that sells wild caught sockeye so I was going to get that.

Any general or specific tips or thoughts for 1st time salmon smoker?
 

912smoker

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I have never tried a brine. Usually don't have plan ahead and have enough time :emoji_laughing:. My wife prefers teriyaki and I prefer a rub so I coat her half in the sauce and mine with Meat Church Holy Voodoo. I use a pan with a rack for the drippings.
Smoke at 250 for 1 1/2 hrs or so until it hits 140 IT and pull. I will coat hers again around 130 IT.
Always turns out great.
I'm sure you'll get more ideas soon !

Keith
 

DougE

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I hot smoke salmon similar to what 9 912smoker does, but I smoke mine at 180° until it hits 140°. I have brined, but felt like it didn't make that much difference with hot smoked salmon. For cold smoked salmon, definitely brine.
 
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BigW.

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May 13, 2019
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I have only hot smoked with no brine. Just some seasoning and smoke til done. It is delicious. Need to do it again.
 

Nitty

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Jan 28, 2020
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Thanks for the input. Like sven svensson says, anybody else have a lingering fishy flavor to other meats when smoked later? Definitely don't want something like that to happen. Put pan underneath to collect the juices like 912smoker says and clean it real good after the fish smoke and that should fix that issue?
 

mr_whipple

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Jul 3, 2021
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I brine salmon everytime I smoke it. I used to use the method over a meat heads site, but the last few times I switched to the dry brine method I got from thirdeye thirdeye Both are good but I'm sold on the dry brine. I'm with DougE DougE , no leftover fish smell at any point
 
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912smoker

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Thanks for the input. Like sven svensson says, anybody else have a lingering fishy flavor to other meats when smoked later? Definitely don't want something like that to happen. Put pan underneath to collect the juices like 912smoker says and clean it real good after the fish smoke and that should fix that issue?
I have never had the lingering fishy smell either.
What type of smoker are you using ?

Keith
 

thirdeye

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Any general or specific tips or thoughts for 1st time salmon smoker?
First you need to determine if you want to cure and smoke, or flavor smoke your salmon, trout or steelhead.

Cured and smoked salmon is either brine cured, or dry cured. This takes several hours (based on thickness), then the fish has to rest overnight so it's ready to smoke. The smoke time also varies with thickness. Here is some dry cured and smoked Steelhead
pKDS4YS.jpg

For flavor smoked salmon, you just season and cook on a medium fire, indirect (or have a raised grate) and use some small splits, chips or pellets for the smoke flavor.
JBUlxRY.jpg
When you see the albumen start to form, the fish is almost done. If you cook it until it flakes easily, it's probably overdone. I shoot for an internal of 145°.
RqobSlM.jpg
 
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millerbuilds

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No need to brine if you are going to hot smoke. Just make sure you check and pull the salmon by the time the IT hits 135 -140 (or sooner if you want med-rare) Once you go over 145 it gets dry and tough.

For hot smokes, I have never had fish smell remain.... When I cold smoke fish in my SmokinTex I have that issue, to combat that issue, once I pull the fish I o do a burn out where I load it up with wood and run it at 300 for 2 hours.

Jason
 

cmayna

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We're all talking hot and cold smoke but I question what running temps are you all actually using while under those two temp catagories?

To the OP,
Is your desired finished product an entree for a dinner or a snack, like with crackers and cream cheese?

I also have a dedicated fish smoker (MES40 Gen 1). Could never imagine smoking any other type of meat in it. It's sooo fishy! :emoji_blush:
 
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SmokeyLee15

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Jan 13, 2021
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You should try smoking salmon and cold smoking salmon. Two very different types of smoking. I only brine salmon that I'm going to cold smoke, only in cooler temps. I use only use a smoke tube for this, about 24 hrs. Otherwise you can season the salmon with anything you want. If I'm smoking salmon I'll use a lighter rub. Blackened salmon is basically searing the fish so use a hot smoker or just a grill, fish wont be on long enough to absorb enough smoke to make a difference.
 

forktender

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I will never again smoke anything fish in my meat smoker, it will for sure leave a fish odor that has to be burned out.