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Smoked wild sockeye

Discussion in 'Fish' started by idahopz, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. idahopz

    idahopz Smoking Fanatic

    Costco recently had wild sockeye available for $8.99, which is a sale in my area so I purchased about 10 filets. I like using Costco sockeye (and Copper River when available) because the filets are skin on which holds the fish together during the smoke. Plan is to use alder pucks in the Bradley, and graduated temperature during smoking to lock in the yummy fat. Gradually increasing the temperature prevents the fat from bubbling to the surface, which keeps the fish moist, plump, and flavorful. Marinade is simple: 1/2 Yoshidas, 1/2 soy, and red pepper flakes with the fish strips into storage bags in the fridge, this time for a day and a half.

    Using a 4-rack Bradley with an extra set of 4 racks turned upside down to double the capacity. A dual probe Auber PID controls the smoke generator as well as the cooker temperature, and is programmed to automate the entire process (so I don't need to baby-sit). I like using the Bradley even though the pucks are wasteful because their programmed puck advance produces the sweetest smoke before being extinguished in the water pan. That way the more acrid smoke at the end of the wood burn does not envelop the food - this is especially useful when smoking cheese.
    Smoker is loaded up and ready to go - fish already has been osmotically dehydrated a bit due to the marinade, and has also taken on the color of the Yoshidas/soy mixture.
    A couple of hours into the smoke and the fish is becoming darker as it takes on smoke and the flavors concentrate.
    I forgot to take final pics before I threw the fish into the freezer, so there is a bit of frost on the bags to take this image. The fish will last me well into the next year. It is sweet, savory, and spicy with a bit of red pepper flake heat.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
    tallbm, Bearcarver, crazymoon and 2 others like this.
  2. Holly2015

    Holly2015 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Looks great!

    Sockeye is my preferred salmon and also only wild salmon typically available around here. I won't buy farm raised.

    Now you got me hungry for some smoked salmon dip.
  3. idahopz

    idahopz Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks! Just coincidentally I made a smoked dinner salmon on the same day and used the left-overs for salmon dip the next day - absolutely delicious.
  4. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sounds great, but I can't see any of the pic's.

  5. tropics

    tropics Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Pete no pics showing
  6. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    No pics here either Pete!
  7. idahopz

    idahopz Smoking Fanatic

    Sorry guys, I don't know what happened - the pics were showing yesterday, so I re-did the links and are showing now. Hopefully the links will not go bad again.
  8. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I see four pics now, not sure if there are supposed to be more. That salmon does look good.

    Point for sure.

  9. SecondHandSmoker

    SecondHandSmoker Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Wholly makerel! That's a lot of salmon. In my neck of the woods salmon is pricey too.
  10. idahopz

    idahopz Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks Chris, and thanks for the point!

    Yeah, it is usually too expensive for me but my son and his boys love it, and they are deploying (again) to the middle east soon so they needed salmon treats to ease their travels.
  11. Braz

    Braz Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    That looks very yummy. Wife says we need to be on the lookout for a salmon sale as our smoked salmon supply is running low.
    I like your idea of gradually stepping up the heat. What temp/time increments are you using? At what IT do you usually pull it?
  12. idahopz

    idahopz Smoking Fanatic

    I think it was on the Bradley site where a guy Kummok posted the method, which is basically 1-2 hours at 100F, then 2-4 hours at 140F, and finally at 175 for 1-2 hours. I did 1 hour, then 2 hours, then 1 hour at the temperatures mentioned and it turned out perfectly. I did not measure the I.T., but poked at the salmon with a finger to test the "feel".
  13. SecondHandSmoker

    SecondHandSmoker Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Godspeed to the boys. I am postive the smoked salmon will ease their journey.

    Several years ago, my wife and I had a very bad experience with salmon. Needless to say, we had not eaten salmon for quite a few years. Anyway, after purchasing my smoker a few months back, I have been wanting to try smoked salmon. Last week, we picked up a fillet of farm raised Coho to smoke. It turned out delicous. So when I came across your post, I was intrigued.

    As luck would have it, the Sprouts Market in my area has wild caught Atlantic Sockeye on sale for $8.99 lb. Yep, we are headed there later this afternoon. I will do the smoke tomorrow using your marinade recipe and method.
    Thank you for posting the info since IMHO it is definitely carousel worthy.
  14. crazymoon

    crazymoon Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    IP, Great looking salmon sir ! like
  15. idahopz

    idahopz Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks gents, and thanks for the like!

    Sorry to hear of your bad experience, SHS - can I ask what happened?
  16. SecondHandSmoker

    SecondHandSmoker Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    We both think the salmon was bad. As I recall, it did not have a funky odor before grilling. But it sure did taste funky afterward. I'll spare you the details and leave it at neither one of us ventured too far from the bathroom.

    Now my wife tells me we are not going to the store today. I'll have to wait until tomorrow which puts the planned smoke off for a day. No problem.
  17. idahopz

    idahopz Smoking Fanatic

    Dang, that's a shame - we've been lucky in that Costco goes through so much fish that it has not been bad to date (now that I said that I'll get a bad batch)

    Keep us posted on your smoke
  18. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member

    What I see looks Awesome, PZ !!
    I see 4 pics, but I see 4 "circles with a minus sign in the middle too". Don't know if those are supposed to be 4 more Pics??
    Looks like a Great Set-up too.

  19. SecondHandSmoker

    SecondHandSmoker Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Hello Pete,
    I do apologize for the late reply.
    We did get our salmon fillets. We were in such hurry for smoked salmon that I did not exactly follow your step by step method.The fillet spent only 2 hours in the marinade, Then about 2 1/2 hours in the smoker at a constant 210 degrees. The end result was still delicious though.
    We froze the other fillet. So when it is time to smoke that one, I will be certain to give it time to marinade and do the heat ramp as you have detailed for us.

    We also picked up two swordfish steaks. I am leaning toward a wine and herb marinade followed with a smoke over peach wood.

    Thank you again for the advice.
  20. disco

    disco Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Super salmon, Sir! Truly a smoker full of tasty!