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Smoked Salmon - Looking for a dry cure / brine that isn't sweet

jakester

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This weekend I smoked my first salmon. I did a dry cure / brine with 4 parts brown sugar to 1 part kosher salt (i doubled the recipe so it would be 8 parts to 2 parts). I left it in the fridge around 12 hours and it was salty and sweet at the same time both on the stronger side. The reason I doubled the recipe is because i had a whole filet and i thought it had to be completely covered. My question do you guys think it was sweet and salty because of too much brine?

Anyone have any cure / brine recipes that will give smoke salmon good flavor but not sweet. I have sweet fish period!

 

wade

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Hi Jakester. Are you looking to end up with a hot smoked salmon or a traditional cold smoked salmon? Here is the way I dry cure my salmon/trout for cold smoking and it has a nice balance of salt:sugar. I go on and cold smoke these however the fillets work well hot smoked. The only difference I make when I hot smoke them is that I remove the rib cage and pin bones before they are cured.

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/237224/smoking-fish-an-old-dog-can-still-learn-new-tricks
 

jakester

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For now I just wanted to nail down the hot smoke although i like cold smoked fish over hot smoke fish any day of the week but that is a more involved process but i will cold smoke sometime soon. 

So how much sugar and how much salt do you think would be good for a whole salmon filet?
 

wade

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I use a 50:50 mix of salt and sugar and sprinkle it over the fillets so that it barely covers the surfaces of the fish. 500 g will easily cure 2 salmon sides. I find that course grain salt actually works better than fine salt - but either are fine. Place the fillets on a wire rack over/in a pan in the fridge to allow the liquid to drain away as it comes out. This ensures that the salmon does not become too salty from the brine. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for 24 hours. Rinse under the tap and leave to dry for a couple of hours in the fridge before smoking.

Alternatively, if you want a quicker cure time then make sufficient cure mix to completely cover the fillets (cut into steaks) and leave these to cure for about 3 hours. I do not usually use this method for whole sides of salmon but it works well for salmon steaks.
 

jakester

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Joined Jul 25, 2016
I looked at Mr. T's recipe and it's a liquid brine, i prefer dry cure / brine. 
 

jakester

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Joined Jul 25, 2016
Wade - with 50:50 mix of salt and sugar the fish doesn't turn out salty? That just sounds salty for a dry cure / brine. 500 grams is about 4-5 cups right?
 

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