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Need Advice for First Smoke

WiscoNovice

Newbie
6
1
Joined Aug 1, 2018
Hi all, new member here. I've been enjoying reading the posts and I'm finally going to take the plunge and try smoking some fish this weekend.
My wife bought me a Brinkmann Smoke-n-Grill bullet style smoker, and a coworker recently dropped off a 15 lb chinook salmon. I butchered the salmon and froze it as individually wrapped fillets.

I think my next steps are:
1) Thaw fish for 24 hours in the fridge
2) Cover in dry brine and let sit in the fridge (what recipe/how long???)
3) Rinse brine off with cold water and let fish sit in cool, dry, place for an hour to form a pellicle
4) Smoke over apple or cherry chips for ~2 hours

I have a heat gun to measure temperature (anyone do this? I dont have a reliable thermometer, just the heat gun).

So, what brine recipes have worked well?
Do you do anything to the fish before you put it on the grate? Salt and pepper maybe?
Should I use something other than water in the water bath? Lemon chunks? Red wine?

Also, any tips or tricks to using my new smoker would be appreciated!

Thanks!
 

zachd

Meat Mopper
264
92
Joined Feb 17, 2016
I always pat the fish dry before the dry brine too
I would say 8 hours - 10 hours should be just fine
I would put some air movement over the fish if you are going to let sit for an hour to form the pellicle

I usually do something like 4 cups brown sugar, 1 cup kosher salt mixed , I sprinkle some garlic powder on the fillet first then put the brown sugar salt mix on top of that. When its done brining a lot of liquid drip off the side.

I don't temp my salmon anymore I just go by when it becomes flakey
When I cook mine I like to start it off at a lower temp to begin with 165-180 for 30 mins then bump up the temp to 220
I don't put anything on the salmon after I brine it but towards the end of the cook I like to glaze the salmon with real maple syrup or honey

I have found I personally like alder the best with salmon
 
Last edited:

zachd

Meat Mopper
264
92
Joined Feb 17, 2016
Oh and if you have not all ready the fillet sections from the head to about half way back you can take a needle nose pliers and pull out the pin bones. Just feel for them with your fingers. The tail section of the fillet should be good.
 

WiscoNovice

Newbie
6
1
Joined Aug 1, 2018
I always pat the fish dry before the dry brine too
I would say 8 hours - 10 hours should be just fine
I would put some air movement over the fish if you are going to let sit for an hour to form the pellicle

I usually do something like 4 cups brown sugar, 1 cup kosher salt mixed together comes out so put it in a pan in the fridge otherwise on a plate the liquid may
Before putting that on I sprinkle some garlic powder on the fillet first then put the brown sugar salt mix on top of that. When its done brining a lot of liquid drip off the side.

I don't temp my salmon anymore I just go by when it becomes flakey
When I cook mine I like to start it off at a lower temp to begin with 165-180 for 30 mins then bump up the temp to 220
I don't put anything on the salmon after I brine it but towards the end of the cook I like to glaze the salmon with real maple syrup or honey

I have found I personally like alder the best with salmon
Thanks! This is very helpful!
I cut it into smallish pieces, so I'll probably experiment a little bit and see whether I like glazed or not.
 

zachd

Meat Mopper
264
92
Joined Feb 17, 2016
And I should say the heat gun will not work as it measures the outside temp not the internal temp

If you want to do a wet brine
do this ratio
1 cup dark rum
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
I throw in some minced garlic as well


Hope some of this helps I don't get too crazy with my salmon as I like to keep things simple but the honey or syrup glaze is great

I am sure other will chime in as well but this is the stuff that works for me and that I like as I smoke a lot of salmon I go to Alaska every other year and usually bring back 100lbs + of Sockeye I really don't measure anything really but these are about the ratios I would do.

Hopefully your cook goes well! take some pictures and post your cook when your done!
 

WiscoNovice

Newbie
6
1
Joined Aug 1, 2018
Tomorrow is the day!
I just experimented with a couple of different seasonings and put the dry rub on. It's in the fridge waiting for tomorrow now!

20180804_003816.jpg


20180804_003953.jpg
 

WiscoNovice

Newbie
6
1
Joined Aug 1, 2018
Well, it turned out great! The piece with the Wildtree sweet and smokey glaze in particular stands out! Thanks for the advice.

20180804_145510.jpg
20180804_145805.jpg
 

zachd

Meat Mopper
264
92
Joined Feb 17, 2016
That wild tree sweet and smoky sounds good I am going to order some and try myself
 

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