The Steelhead Is Running At Lake Sam's (Club)

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thirdeye

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The steelhead action has been pretty slow at Lake Sam's, plenty of salmon but their cousin has been hard to catch. Apparently they are very popular, which is understandable.... it's my favorite too. Mrs ~t~ was shopping and noticed them stocking the fish case (pun intended) and picked up a two pack of skin-on fillets. The first night I grilled a piece and dry cured the rest to smoke the next day.
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I do my curing with the pieces wrapped in plastic wrap, and the blue shrink wrap tray the fillets are vacuum sealed in works great if any syrup-like liquid leaks out. 6 or so hours on the thicker pieces, then a rinse, season and an overnight rest before smoking.
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Into the Big Chief electric fish box for 3.5 hours as close to 150° as I could hold it, and the internal was 130°. I used a mix of A-Maze-N Pitmaster Choice and Pecan pellets, the seasonings were cracked pepper, garlic powder and Cimarron Doc's. I moved the fillets into my convection oven at 200° and let the internal creep up to 140°.
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One day to rest and chill and it's ready to enjoy.
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WI Smoker77

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That trout looks great. I like the color and seeing the seasoning on the outside. Betting it's going to taste awesome.
 

GonnaSmoke

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I really struggle keeping my smoker temp low enough for cold smoking, but my wife loves smoked salmon. I'll figure it out one day......
 

jcam222

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Looks fantastic. I used to do a lot of fall steelhead fishing in some meat by rivers. Been a few years since I’ve had time. Sure would love to get back it sometime.
 

Fueling Around

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What is your brine formula? (I'm too lazy to look up your post from last year.)

I need to order a new element for my Big Chief. I forgot how versatile that unit is for smoking and dehydrating.
 

CFLJOHN512

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Looks like a trip to Lake Sam’s is in order in the next few days.
Looks great man. I’ve been waiting to find the good stuff to cold smoke some.
 

thirdeye

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I really struggle keeping my smoker temp low enough for cold smoking, but my wife loves smoked salmon. I'll figure it out one day......
This is actually hot smoking, but I keep the internal at the minimum safe temp, it's moister than some folks like it.
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For slightly dryer fish I'll take the internal to 150° but then some albumen is almost sure to surface.

Looks fantastic. I used to do a lot of fall steelhead fishing in some meat by rivers. Been a few years since I’ve had time. Sure would love to get back it sometime.
I've a fished them a few times in Idaho, guys would brag about the number of strikes they would get, or fish they lost. They are a challenge.

What is your brine formula? (I'm too lazy to look up your post from last year.)
I need to order a new element for my Big Chief. I forgot how versatile that unit is for smoking and dehydrating.
Here is the SHORT CUT to the long version of my dry brine article.

Both my Chief's were purchased way before smoking pellets were a thing, and Luhr Jensen sold their own brand of chips. Well, pellets are the bomb. I use very small hand-fulls and never empty the ashes, this seems to mellow the smoke just right. When you get your Chief back up and running give pellets a try.

Looks like a trip to Lake Sam’s is in order in the next few days.
Looks great man. I’ve been waiting to find the good stuff to cold smoke some.
Steelhead is fantastic when cold smoked for Nova lox, I think the fat content is perfect. The vacuum sealing tray does a superior job and it does not damage the flesh.
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Fueling Around

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...
Here is the SHORT CUT to the long version of my dry brine article.

Both my Chief's were purchased way before smoking pellets were a thing, and Luhr Jensen sold their own brand of chips. Well, pellets are the bomb. I use very small hand-fulls and never empty the ashes, this seems to mellow the smoke just right. When you get your Chief back up and running give pellets a try.
...
Thanks.
I kind of led you along for the benefit of the others replying that didn't see your previous post(s) and link to blog.
You use pellets in the little frying pan?
 

thirdeye

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Thanks.
I kind of led you along for the benefit of the others replying that didn't see your previous post(s) and link to blog.
You use pellets in the little frying pan?
Yes. Pellets from A-Maze-N are my favorite. I start with about 1/4 cup of pellets, and when I add more it's between 1/8 and 1/4 cup. The only others I have tried are CookinPellets Perfect Mix. 40# is $37 on Amazon, they don't have any fillers either.

When I burned chips I always dumped the ash each time, and at first with pellets I did too. Then I realized that burned down pellets have more robust coals, so I left them to help ignite the new ones. It kind of buffers their burn rate. Experiment because I'm cooking at 5400' elevation.
 

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