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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Fished out out of Uclulet (Vancouver Island) a couple of weeks ago and came home with enough vacuum packed salmon and halibut to last a good long while. :smile:

I'm on my second round of smoking and would like to make some jerky but really could use some advice. I contemplated using the 'ol trial and error method but thought that would be silly if I could get the straight dope from my friends on iFish...

Can anyone offer some tips....?

Should I cut into strips before dry brining?
Or should I even brine them?
Better to stip across the fillets or with the grain to have the jerky hold together?

Any info would help.

PS: and thanks to surecatch and fisherdan for their posting on dry brine recipies. I use a combo of their ratios and it is deeeeliciuos :grin:
 

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I Googled this one up:

"Fillet and skin the salmon (chums are excellent for jerky) and cut them into 1/4 to 1/2-inch strips, cut lengthwise, not cross-section like a steak. Make a brine from 1 cup non-iodized salt, 3 cups sugar, 1/4 cup of soy sauce, and 1 gallon of water. This is just a starting point for the salt-sugar brine; you can adjust this for your own taste. Plenty of sugar is the key.

"Soak the fish in the brine for 8-10 hours, and refrigerate. Drain and rinse with fresh water. At this point, put the strips in a plastic colander and let drain for about an hour, or you can place them on smoker racks and pat dry them with a paper towel, (spray the racks with Pam first). Sprinkle some red pepper flakes on the salmon strips if you like them hot. Black pepper works well also.

"After the salmon strips have set on the rack for an hour or two, place them in the smoker and burn 3 pan fulls of alder chips and continue to dry the salmon strips until they are toughened to the way you want them, can be 8 hours or more."
 

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didifish, so it sounds like the fishing was good. YOu guys run south to Swiftsure??? How was the water. We are probably going to be going in a few weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Geek,
Thanks for the info, hadn't gotten around to a general WWW search yet. :wink:

Mr. Carp,
Not sure where Swiftsure is.....We went out with Dave Murphy's Sportfishing Guide Service. Very nice guy and very knowledgeable. Pretty simple technique: Run straight south of Ucluelet for +/- 20 miles to their version of the "Chicken Ranch" spot. It is a 180 to 240 feet knoll in about 600 to 700 feet of water. Brings up all the bait fish and the salmon and halibut are just waiting there to be caught. Dave said he had never been skunked there! Pretty impresive! Weather was OK, no rain but some pretty good swell and wind waves on the third day....makes for some good kidney exercize in a 23' Grady-White. :shocked:
 

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Keta- Popeye is looking for you on the Dogs board. THought you were working?
 

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My dad was in the meat business for 35 years. He gave me all of his recipes for smoking and curing bacon, ham, turkeys, jerkey, fish, all kinds of stuff. The trick for regular smoked fish and meat jerkey is to let it sit on a rack and air dry long enough to form a skin, or pelicle. Put a fan on if you have to. It may take a couple of hours or more, depending on the humidity. Be patient.

As far as cures go, I use 50/50 brown sugar and noniodized salt. If you don't like it so sweet, go with 1/3 sugar and 2/3 salt. Add 1 tbs onion powder and 1 tbs garlic powder per 2 cups of cure. You use that as a dry cure, just layer the cure and fish so all of the surfaces are covered. Cover and let it sit overnight. Rinse with fresh water in the morning. Add cracked black pepper or red pepper flakes to the wet surface if you like it hot. Put on the smoker rack and LET IT DRY.

If you want to use the cure wet, add enough water so a raw egg (in the shell!!)will just float. Same deal from here out, soak overnight, rinse, add pepper, let dry.

Now, smoking..... I prefer alder for fish. In my opinion, Little Chiefs just don't get hot enough. For fish, it needs to get to an internal temp of 150F or so to have the right consistency for "hot smoked" salmon. Lox is "cold smoked", completly different. Little Chiefs only get to barely over 110F on a good day. So I smoke it with a pan or two of alder. That takes 2 or 3 hours. I then finish it in a 200F oven with the door open to an internal temp of 150F, usually another 2 or 3 hours.


If you want to make fish (or meat)jerky use the above process, except: Cut the fish lengthwise, with the grain about 1/4 thick, as wide as you like it, cure, dry, etc. Only instead of drying to 150F, dry until it's just a little moister (is that a word?) than you like it. When it cools it will dry a little more and stiffen up. Deer and Elk jerky takes about 8 or 10 hours, depending on the weather. I would say salmon would probably be 6 or so total.

Another thing, let it cool completly before you put in a ziplock bag. If you don't, moisture will form on the inside of the bag and make it slimy.

[ 06-10-2003, 02:31 PM: Message edited by: Woody ]
 

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Good info Woody !!!!

Digifish

I had some salmon jerkey recently that Sturgeon Paul gave to me and had me try. It was awsome and got me to thinking about doing some myself. Might check him out next time your down in the Astoria area. Can probably glean some info from him.
 

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i had some salmon jerky last winter that Scott Amerman brought along on a trip. Awesome stuff!

Scott, if you're watching this thread, how about letting this guy in on the salmon jerky details.

(As I recall, Scott had it made for him by some local folks around T-Bay area).


Half Canuck
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Woody, now that is some good family traditions to keep (or shall we say share?) :smile:
Thanks very much.

I have been leaving my fish in the dry brine for only 2 hours. I've been using about a 3 salt/1 sugar. Does the meat (fish or game) absorb more salt and/or sugar the longer it sits in the brine? Gotta believe that sounds lika really obvious question but if yours sits in brine over night, and mine sits only two hours, seems like yours wouldn't be 4 times as salty/sugary...? Does it remove more moisture at any rate? so it should take less smoking time.....?
 
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Use less smoke and just clean heat or your end product will taste like tar. One or two hrs with smoke then the rest of the time 80-90 degrees.
 

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in high school i built a fruit dehydrater we used to dry the meat overnight and then smoked it as cool as possible. :cheers: whew wee it came out awesome.
 

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I have been leaving my fish in the dry brine for only 2 hours. I've been using about a 3 salt/1 sugar. Does the meat (fish or game) absorb more salt and/or sugar the longer it sits in the brine? Gotta believe that sounds lika really obvious question but if yours sits in brine over night, and mine sits only two hours, seems like yours wouldn't be 4 times as salty/sugary...? Does it remove more moisture at any rate? so it should take less smoking time.....?
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">The point of curing or brining fish, pig, cow, deer, whatever, is to transfer water out of, and flavor into, the cells. This is done by osmosis. The osmotic pressure (high sugar/salt concentration) outside the cell membrane forces water out of the cell and sugar and salt molecules into the cell. Remember the salt and the slug? Same thing. The benefit to us is twofold, it creates a hostile environment for bacteria,and it taste good! This rate at which this process happens is on a curve. In other words, since the difference inside and outside the cell is larger in the begining, the rate of transfer is faster. As time passes, the difference is less, so the rate of transfer is slower.

The point of my rambling? I think most of the work is done in the first few hours. Leaving it overnight really doesn't make that much difference. I've tried dry and wet, for varying amounts of time. I like to dry brine it over night, and smoke it in the next day. If it's too salty, I vary the ratio of sugar to salt.

If I can only get into another salmon, I'll put my smoked fish up against anybodys!
 

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A while back I filleted a fall fish and cut it into strips from backbone to belly, brined it like for regular smoking, and let er rip in the little cheif. Since the fish was a bit dark, I figured it might be better to leave it in longer, so I ended up at like 12-14 hours. It was pretty well jerkied, and very tasty. Not quite as dry and tough as the jerky you buy at the store, but much more than regular smoked salmon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
thanks Keta, is jerky a different process than just smokin' the bejeezers out of it? sounds like it might be a slower process if, as you suggest, keeping temp. below 90. What's the deal with too high a temp? ...maybe the outside dries to fast and you end up with a hard cracked shell and softer inside or something like that?

No sugar? just a taste thing...? or part of the jeryfication? (is that a word? :shocked: it is now)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Woody-
Thanks again....

I made some salmon jerky using a little from each of the suggestions and it turned out pretty good and the taste is great. :cheers:

Next time I think I will cut the strips a little thinner....and not dry them quite as much... :smile:
 

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Next time I think I will cut the strips a little thinner....and not dry them quite as much...
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">Yep, experiment until you find what you like. Despite my earlier posts, it really is more art than science. :rolleyes:
 
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