Smoked Salmon 101
I’ve been looking for an easy brine for smoked salmon. We had 50+ lbs of pink salmon from Neah Bay to smoke up, so I adapted one from Tom Nelson’s Salmon University. Its a dry brine which is simply a 4 to 1 ratio of brown sugar to Kosher salt or non-iodized salt. Mix in a big bowl and liberally coat the fillets. Smoke in the big cheif for 4 hours and its good to go! Some of the best product I’ve made so far and VERY easy to do. I’ll give you the link as well: http://salmonuniversity.com/rs_htss01_step02.html
I didn’t have garlic on hand, but I didn’t matter, I prefer the smokiness of the wood chips, in this case, I used Alder. Now, off to vacuum seal and freeze! A package of smoked salmon shared amongst friends around the holidays will remind of the huge run of Pinks that we enjoyed fishing in the hot summer of 2009.
The key to a good smoked salmon in my opinion is to use freshly bled and on iced fish. I don’t care how dark a salmon is, once its in the river, I won’t use the “oh, that’ll be fine for the smoker” comment, as part of its skin is peeling off and chucks of tail are missing. We bled all our fish immediately upon netting them, and packed them with ice. I generally never cared for the taste of Pink salmon, but this is some of the best, and many folks would probably never guess its Pink salmon using this simple recipe.
Let me know if you have any other good recipes to share on how to prepare fish, crab, clams, or anything you’ve enjoyed in the past. Im ready to crack open a bottle of Hefeweizen and enjoy some more smoked salmon.