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Wife puts on a Christmas spread for the Teachers and Staff.... I make the smoked meats

Discussion in 'Fish' started by bbally, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. bbally

    bbally Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Every year my wife and her coworker put on a Christmas spread of foods for the staff as the school she works at:

    I am in charge of the meats for the feast.

    I watch for specials and make things getting ready for the event.

    Recently I found a really nice three pound side of Norwegian salmon that was listed for the rediculously low price of $3 per pound.


    Into a simple satuarated salt water solution for the 30 minutes I use to set the flesh.  Over the years I have won a lot of money with this salmon recipe and method.  I get asked about the secrets a lot.  The salt I use for all types of smoking is important.  So here is the salt secret I have used for making many many products that have a taste most people cannot put a finger on, but can taste when they pick the one they like best.


    I have checked in Germany where the salt is made... it is pharmaceutical grade and well above FDA and USDA food grade.  Do not use the Reef Salt they make, this mixture has the proper balance of minerals

    to be the salt used of the ancients with modern protocols to be safe.

    After 30 minutes in this solution its into the honey, maple, sorghum cure for 4 hours.


    After 4 hours in this, wash it and let it dry a couple hours.  Into the smoker, I like a heavier smoke on my salmon products.  The oak and hickory mix with an alder background is my smoke of choice.  Smoked in the correct order it produces magic, order is Alder light for 30 minutes, oak, hickory, for 60 minutes, back to alder for 45 minutes and then oak and hickory til we hith 142 F.


    After this cools about 15 miutes, I will lay a sheet of plastic wrap (culinary duct tape) over it to get the surface of the salmon oil wetter with its own fats.  Then I vacuum pack and freeze.  If you have not checked it out, I did a salmon pictorial guide a long time ago.

    Bbally smoke salmon guide

    Anyway if you get a chance to cure some salmon, take the time to do it.  Very nice end product, and an excellent meat to learn the difference between smoke woods, the order of smoke and how it affects the fish, the cure mix and how smoke temperature affects the spicing of the cure, and lots of other advanced methods many many many of you are obviously ready to start to tackle and master.

    I read most of the cure posts on the site and have been done so for years, some of you have been so successful at the curing... but don't get satisfied with where you are at.... there is a lot more food chemistry to learn after you master the curing and smoking... there is the search for perfection!
  2. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's a beautiful side of salmon, Bob.  Thanks for the tutorial. [​IMG]
  3. sumosmoke

    sumosmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    How much you wanna bet those folks that work with your wife have the date circled about 6 months in advance? I know I would if I knew  you were cooking!!

    I've never smoked salmon in my life but now I have a way to go when I do try. Thanks for sharing your tips/secrets, Bob.
  4. squirrel

    squirrel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've never smoked salmon either, but will certainly use your method when I do. I gotta find some alder wood first though! Thanks Bob!
  5. bbally

    bbally Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Find a local wood shop or cabinet shop.  Tell them the types you need.. drop off Salmon, brisket, pork or anything you are smoking every so often and they will keep boxes of all different odds and ends for you for receiving the foods.  Or pay them if larger pieces are needed.  Works for me for 18 years here where I live.
  6. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    very cool of you.........teachers are undervalued imho.
  7. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Great post as usual Bob and good on ya for supporting the teachers. Our whole circle of friends are teachers and several of our kids including our son is teaching.  Food and fundraisers are always most welcomed by them [​IMG]if I could
  8. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Great post as usual Bob.

    I think I could eat that whole slab, without any help at all---looks great.

    I (and Squirrel) can get Alder dust from Todd, but I worked in Cabinet shops for 20 years, including my own for 10 years, and I had never even heard of Alder until I joined this site.

    Thanks Bob, (your "Smoked Salmon Guide" is great too!)