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LOCATION: Recipes >> Outdoor Cooking >> Smoked Salmon 01

Print this Recipe    Smoked Salmon 01

SMOKED SALMON

1 to 2 gallons water
1/2 lb pickling salt or more
1/4 lb brown sugar or more
3-4 tbs pickling spice
2-3 tbs paprika

Put the water on to boil, adding the entire 1/2 lb of salt, stir
until salt is dissolved. Add sugar and stir. Add the pickling spice
and paprika. You may not be able to get the sugar to dissolve, but
if you can, add more salt. Irrespective of the amount of water,
you want to achieve a super-saturated saline solution with the salt
and sugar. The mixture will be super-saturated when you have salt
granules on the bottom of the pot at a boil.

Boil the mixture covered for five or so minutes, and either set it
aside to cool, or put it in a sink of cold water (change the sink
water several times as it gets hot).

I cut my fish in fillets and then in pieces about two to three
inches wide. Brine the pieces for 3.5 to 5.0 minutes, depending
upon thickness. Don't brine longer than 5 minutes, I consider that
the absolute upper limit, no matter the thickness of the meat.
This brine time imparts salt/sugar/pickling spice flavors to the
outer tissues, that then diffuse through the meat as it dries.
I've tried the products of people who leave the meat in brine for
so long, all you taste is salt. Don't make that mistake, too little
salt is MUCH better than too much.

Take the pieces from the brine and place on a paper towel-covered
board. Allow to dry at least until a pelicle (hard outer surface)
has formed. I like to dry mine longer, but you at least want the
excess moisture to evaporate off.

Smoke the pieces, skin side up; alternating the ones on the lower
racks with those on the upper racks between chip loads.

If your smoker is warm, the paprika will cause the meat to darken
without your having to smoke the heck out of it. Too many hobbyists
impart a creosote flavor to their meat in the attempt to make it
LOOK like it's smoked. Paprika is a great way to make it look
really well-smoked without having to leave it in too long. If your
smoker is cool, the cooking will turn it dark.

I hate to have to freeze mine, but I do anyway out of necessity.

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