Waiting to Smoke Salmon After Brining?

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79josh81

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Jul 24, 2020
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Hey everyone, new member here and relatively new to smoking meats. I’ve been creeping around the forum for some time just learning different things about smoking and have a question that I really need some clarification on.
I have a small electric smoker and have been smoking my own salmon and trout with pretty good results. Typically I brine overnight, form a pellicle for a few hour the next day and then smoke right away.
Right now I have some fish in a brine from last night and planned to pull it out and smoke it today but life happened and now i won’t have time to smoke it until tomorrow. My question is what do I do? Can I pull it out of the brine, bag it, and just leave in the refrigerator until tomorrow? Should I form a pellicle first and then refrigerate? I just don’t want to screw up all this fish and waste it. Any advice from some of you experts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

Jonok

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Feb 4, 2019
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I like to do a typical “Lox cure” and after the usual 72-96 hrs coat the non-skin side with turbinado sugar, rest for 12 hrs refrigerated and smoke at low temp (90-130 f) with fruitwood for 2-3 hrs.
 
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79josh81

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Jul 24, 2020
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I like to do a typical “Lox cure” and after the usual 72-96 hrs coat the non-skin side with turbinado sugar, rest for 12 hrs refrigerated and smoke at low temp (90-130 f) with fruitwood for 2-3 hrs.
So with that type of a cure being longer, would I be fine with just taking my fish out of the wet brine, putting it in ziplocks in the refrigerator, and then forming the pellicle and smoking it tomorrow afternoon then?
 

Bearcarver

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So with that type of a cure being longer, would I be fine with just taking my fish out of the wet brine, putting it in ziplocks in the refrigerator, and then forming the pellicle and smoking it tomorrow afternoon then?

I would take it out of cure & leave it uncovered until you're ready to smoke it.
Here's how I did some before we were curing fish:
Smoked Salmon
Smoked Brook Trout & Tilapia

Bear
 

79josh81

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Jul 24, 2020
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Well this batch is all finished. This is the first time I’ve smoked whole fillets instead of steaks and I think I’m going to go back to steaks. It just seems to smoke better in smaller pieces and removes more of the moisture. These still taste good though!
5A61D727-2669-4C0C-B6F5-1E427DF14FF6.jpeg
 

cmayna

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Looks good. What species of Salmon is that? Did you end up drying it overnight, uncovered in the fridge? Also, what is that on the upper rack?
 
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79josh81

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Jul 24, 2020
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Looks good. What species of Salmon is that? Did you end up drying it overnight, uncovered in the fridge? Also, what is that on the upper rack?
The majority of the fish is freshwater Rainbow Trout with some King Salmon mixed in. I had already ziplock bagged it and put it in the fridge before I got the advice to leave it uncovered so I just left it in bags overnight and then pulled it out to form the pellicle for 4 hours the next day. The other upper rack is just a big half fillet of King Salmon with all the tail sections of the other fillets. The fillets were too big to fit on the racks whole so I had to cut the tail ends off so they'd fit.
 

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