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Smoked Salmon

Hardware:

1 H2O Smoker

Software:

20 pounds FRESH salmon fillets @ 1.99/pound (the previously frozen stuff
tends to fall apart in the smoker)
20 pounds Kingsford Mesquite Charcoal
12 pack of your favorite beer
5 hours of spare time

Wood:

1 part Hickory (dry)
1 part Alder (dry)
1 part Apple (dry)
2 parts Mesquite (dry)
1 part Mesquite (green) (Swipe it from a neighbor's tree)

Procedure:

1. Light charcoal
2. Fill 2nd tier of smoker with water and the above wood mix
3. Have a beer, wait...
4. When the coals are fully ignited, toss some dry wood mix (see above) on
them and put the salmon on the cooking grills
5. Have a beer

Supervision:

Smokers are generally a real pain in the butt. The wood flares up, the
charcoal craps out, etc.

To properly smoke a salmon:

1. Have a beer
2. Toss 3-6 new charcoals on the pile for each beer
3. Check for smoke
If no smoke then:
(a) Toss some wood on the mess - make certain that you
maintain the ratio
(b) Have another beer
4. After every beer, check embers and wood for functionality, correct as
needed

5. DO NOT answer the doorbell. Your neighbors can smell what you're up to!

The Importance of beer:

1. It establishes a basic timing cycle: Once you decide to smoke salmon,
you absolutely MUST do so at reasonable intervals.

2. Reasonable intervals are easily established by how long it take to drink
a beer! After each beer, check the smoker! No brainer!!!

3. Even if your initial try at a soft-smoked batch of salmon fails, after a
12-pack, and having to check everything after each brew, you won't care!!!

4. Some smoker proponents suggest that one should use beer instead of water
in the H2O pan. I can't imagine a worse use of resources. I'm a firm
believer in "Conserve Water, Drink Beer"...

When Its Done:

1. It'll be done in about 4-5 hours provided you followed the rules and
kept things smoking.

2. It'll cost you about $3.50/lb. as opposed to the sometimes $20-30/lb. at
the store.

3. No additives. Totally natural - no kippering, no chemicals added, etc.
That means that you have to refrigerate your work, and consume it within a
few weeks...

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