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LOCATION: Recipes >> Preserving Meats >> SMOKED SALMON

Print this Recipe    SMOKED SALMON

1 gal water (at least a gallon, I use a couple)
1/2 lb pickling salt (at least)
1/4 lb brown sugar (at least)
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.

adapted from a receipe sent to me by
Brian Bigler -- Lynnwood, Washington U.S.A.


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