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Old 03-14-2019, 09:37 PM   #1
Wampuscat
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Default Smoking salmon help?

My wife loves baking salmon in the oven. I thought I would be nice and smoke some on our pellet Grill. Needless to say it came out entirely too dry. I did a dry brine overnight and cooked at about 165° for two hours and finished it off with 10 minutes At 300°. The internal temperature came up to about 155°.

A bunch of YouTube recipes said to get the temperature up to 160° but if I had kept going it would’ve been entirely too dry. She likes hers moist. It tasted fine to me when I ate it on a cracker with cream cheese and jalapeño but it wasn’t meant to be an hors d’oeuvre. Is there a way to smoke the salmon and keep it moist? I am going to Alaska in July and hope to have a lot of salmon when I come back.
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:48 PM   #2
sp-bow
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It's been a while since I did salmon, I would have to dig up my recipe. I think I smoked mine around 4 hours. I pull mine when it gets flaky, never checked the temp.. Never had a issue with it drying out. I'll see if I can locate my recipe tomorrow.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wampuscat View Post
My wife loves baking salmon in the oven. I thought I would be nice and smoke some on our pellet Grill. Needless to say it came out entirely too dry. I did a dry brine overnight and cooked at about 165° for two hours and finished it off with 10 minutes At 300°. The internal temperature came up to about 155°.

A bunch of YouTube recipes said to get the temperature up to 160° but if I had kept going it would’ve been entirely too dry. She likes hers moist. It tasted fine to me when I ate it on a cracker with cream cheese and jalapeño but it wasn’t meant to be an hors d’oeuvre. Is there a way to smoke the salmon and keep it moist? I am going to Alaska in July and hope to have a lot of salmon when I come back.
I'd probably just have your outfit smoke it and ship it all back to you
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:41 PM   #4
Ryanm
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I think the way you're currently smoking it is better for snacking with cheese and crackers. This is usually a hit when we have people over.

When we are making it for dinner, the pellet grill gets set at a higher temp and we don't usually brine. Think of it more as an oven. Just my .02
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:22 PM   #5
redleif
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I cook salmon regularly on my gas grill. Put olive oil on filet and seasoning. Cook on indirect low heat. Check every 4 minutes or so. When flesh in thickest part of filet is cooked (check with a fork) take off and enjoy with some clarified butter. To me is easier than cooking in oven and has smoke flavor. Oh, cook skin side down and don't turn filet.
As for smoking salmon can't help you. I've never tried that.
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Old 03-15-2019, 02:37 AM   #6
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Tagged
Also going to AK in July
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:48 AM   #7
wytex
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Sounds like she likes cold smoked salmon. You'll need a cold smoke box or set up for that.
Brine it first , make sure that pellicle forms before you put it on the smoker.
I like the Hi Mtn brine mixes, they have a few for fish. The honey or brown sugar ones are very good for salmon.
Traeger has some recipes on their website for pellet smoking salmon:https://www.traegergrills.com/recipe...salmon-gravlax
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:57 AM   #8
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Did you know you can eat (real salmon) raw?
with that in mind, don't aim to cook the salmon. My ex girlfriend was Russian, and they cut salmon and poured Lime Juice, soy sauce and Russian Mustard on it and ate it with vodka and it was awesome,,, Raw...
Think of it as Seviche, you brine it and smoke it that's good enough, don't cook cook it. Just let it absorb the smoke and it should be good to go.
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:01 AM   #9
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The last 30-45 minutes you can wrap and add lemon juice and butter. Helps with keeping it moist.
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:01 AM   #10
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I grill mine over medium/high heat for no more than 3 minutes a side. I like a crust on the outside but rare on the inside. I coat fish with olive oil, add some kosher salt, and dust with the HEB seafood spice sold in a plastic container in the spice isle. I do use mesquite chips in a stainless steel box to add some smoke flavor. Serve hot with a good romalaude sauce. Even people who hate salmon love it like this.
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:09 AM   #11
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Yeah hot smoking will dry it but it's great. Cold smoking keeps it moist. You can try to bribe it and keep the smoking environment really moist as well using a good size pan of water and having the salmon well salted.
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATI View Post
Did you know you can eat (real salmon) raw?
with that in mind, don't aim to cook the salmon. My ex girlfriend was Russian, and they cut salmon and poured Lime Juice, soy sauce and Russian Mustard on it and ate it with vodka and it was awesome,,, Raw...
Think of it as Seviche, you brine it and smoke it that's good enough, don't cook cook it. Just let it absorb the smoke and it should be good to go.
Fresh raw salmon is the best way to eat it.

When I smoke mine I set the smoker at about 155 and let it sit in their about 5-6 hours to give it th smoke flavor. I don’t worry about getting the internal temp to a certain number because it just allows is to stay shelf stable longer, and mine doesn’t sit for more than just a couple days before it’s all gone.
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:43 AM   #13
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After the dry brine, did you rinse off the excess salt and allow a pellicle to form?
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diamond10x View Post
Fresh raw salmon is the best way to eat it.

When I smoke mine I set the smoker at about 155 and let it sit in their about 5-6 hours to give it th smoke flavor. I don’t worry about getting the internal temp to a certain number because it just allows is to stay shelf stable longer, and mine doesn’t sit for more than just a couple days before it’s all gone.
Exactly!
in my humble opinion, Cold smoke salmon and cook it or not, later.

Last edited by ATI; 03-15-2019 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 03-15-2019, 11:09 AM   #15
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Was it wild (Pacific) or farm raised (Atlantic) salmon? That might make some difference.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:03 PM   #16
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Was it wild (Pacific) or farm raised (Atlantic) salmon? That might make some difference.
Yep, Pacific salmon only here at our house.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:10 PM   #17
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Well, what do they say - if given lemons, make lemonade? In this case, you make squaw candy (i.e, fish jerky). Some good stuff there!
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Old 03-19-2019, 09:29 AM   #18
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This is a pretty good resource for info on curing fish prior to smoking.

https://www.meatsandsausages.com/fish/processing/curing

I have used brines and dry cures with fish and have had great luck with both. I tend to leave them in the cure longer than they recommend and I don't see any negative effects. I cure my fish and then cold smoke it. You can do this with a variety of fish including salmon. I cure and smoke redfish frequently to make fish dip and it's really good for that. I usually use a salt, brown sugar and spices cure on skinless redfish fillets and let them sit in the fridge overnight to 24 hours.

Be sure after you pull them out of whatever cure you use that you wash the fillets very well, pat them dry and then put them on wire racks in the fridge for an hour or two until the pellicle forms. Smoke with good clean smoke. If it's bellowing white smoke you will end up with bitter flavors. You want good clear smoke. I prefer to cold smoke my fish.

These are some skin on redfish fillets I cured and smoked.

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Old 03-22-2019, 08:12 AM   #19
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Here's a recipe Pistol gave me from her friend. I haven't tried it yet, but Pistol said it is the best she's ever had and could eat it every night.

On the brine it depends on how much salmon you are using. I usually smoke about five or 6 pounds and mix up a quart of water a cup of salt, a cup of white sugar, and then I add a couple of branches of rosemary, 1 T black peppercorns whole, one onion sliced, four bay leaves, and some cloves of garlic. In the past I've also put in half an orange rind...Any aromatics you want to add are fine. That's just what I use. I will leave it in the brine 4-12 hours.

I smoke it for two hours at 125° then at 145 Degrees for two hours and finally at 165 for 2 hours. Of course this is with an electric smoker.

(I'll bet you could do 145 for all 6 hours. my comment)

Baste it often.
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:17 PM   #20
Cmack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wampuscat View Post
My wife loves baking salmon in the oven. I thought I would be nice and smoke some on our pellet Grill. Needless to say it came out entirely too dry. I did a dry brine overnight and cooked at about 165° for two hours and finished it off with 10 minutes At 300°. The internal temperature came up to about 155°.

A bunch of YouTube recipes said to get the temperature up to 160° but if I had kept going it would’ve been entirely too dry. She likes hers moist. It tasted fine to me when I ate it on a cracker with cream cheese and jalapeño but it wasn’t meant to be an hors d’oeuvre. Is there a way to smoke the salmon and keep it moist? I am going to Alaska in July and hope to have a lot of salmon when I come back.
Cold-smoked salmon recipe starts with a tablespoon per pound of fish of Morton Tender Quick over the fillet surface. Then more salt and spices for a dry cure. I put 1/8" to 1/4" of Kosher salt over the entire fillet for 24 hours then desalinate in cold fresh water for one hour. Then overnight for the pellicle and then 2-3 hours in a 50-70 degree smoker with a fruit wood. I'm looking to get a firmer texture for the finished product, but have yet to place a weighted board over the fillet. I hate mushy lox, but the firmer texture I get with my process suits me. I smoke a batch every time HEB has Salmon on sale
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Old 04-18-2019, 01:06 PM   #21
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I live on Lake Michigan. Been smoking trout and salmon since I was young. Only have one recipe because it can't be beat. The recipe is 3/4 cup of brown sugar, half cup of salt to two quarts of water. My tweak is I use a heaping 3/4 cup of brown sugar, the salt I don't fill the half cup so about a quarter inch from the top. Soak fillets in the brine for 8-10 hours for medium size fillets. Fillets must be completely submerged so I normally have to make a double batch. Then simply smoke until done. Soak smaller fillets for no more than 8 hours. For fish I would say over 10-15 pounds soak for 10-12 hours. For Fish over 15 pounds soak for 16 hours.

You can add Mrs. Dash or Cajun seasoning on the fillets after brining them if you want a little something different.
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Old 05-05-2019, 08:11 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryanm View Post
I think the way you're currently smoking it is better for snacking with cheese and crackers. This is usually a hit when we have people over.

When we are making it for dinner, the pellet grill gets set at a higher temp and we don't usually brine. Think of it more as an oven. Just my .02
I am with you! I don’t cook it often because I can’t afford to fill my boys up on it ( it is about the only healthy thing they will chow down on) but when I do salmon I do a whole filet and brush on a mixture of soy, siracha garlic, and a little honey and cook it skin side down with the Yoder set on 325 until it flakes easily with a fork...somewhere around 25 minutes. Brush the mixture on a couple of times during cooking. My family fights over it, it is great!
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Old 05-07-2019, 10:35 AM   #23
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Did some last week, I like it a little dry. All gone!
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Old 05-14-2019, 04:58 PM   #24
skeeter
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I have an electric smoker. My wife and daughter really like smoked salmon. I could take it or leave it. I smoked several fillets at 210 degrees for an hour and a half. I thought it was ok, not a big fan, but my wife and daughter said it was really good. It wasn’t dry, had a hint of Smokey flavor. I use a small handful of the Texas blend Traeger wood pellets. Get he smoker up to temp, add the pellets, wait for the smoke to start rollin, put the fish in the smoker and set the time for 1.5 hrs. Dun.
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:59 AM   #25
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Greek seasoning is what I use as a "rub" when smoking salmon.
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:46 AM   #26
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Subscribed... going to Alaska in July
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:48 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamper View Post
I live on Lake Michigan. Been smoking trout and salmon since I was young. Only have one recipe because it can't be beat. The recipe is 3/4 cup of brown sugar, half cup of salt to two quarts of water. My tweak is I use a heaping 3/4 cup of brown sugar, the salt I don't fill the half cup so about a quarter inch from the top. Soak fillets in the brine for 8-10 hours for medium size fillets. Fillets must be completely submerged so I normally have to make a double batch. Then simply smoke until done. Soak smaller fillets for no more than 8 hours. For fish I would say over 10-15 pounds soak for 10-12 hours. For Fish over 15 pounds soak for 16 hours.

You can add Mrs. Dash or Cajun seasoning on the fillets after brining them if you want a little something different.
And what is your smoking method?
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