IFish Fishing Forum banner

Seeking Unique Smoked Salmon Recipe

466 Views 16 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Large Edward
If any of you have ever eaten the smoked salmon at one of the Hillstone Restaurant Group restaurants you know what I'm trying to recreate. It's not a dry texture and it's not lox. It's somewhere in between and in my mind it's perfection! My brother, who is a chef, says 12 hours at 90 degrees. Haven't tried it yet but that just seems like a ton of smoke. Was thinking maybe a sous vide & smoker combo?

Have purchased (and made) so much smoke salmon that is just dry as a bone. Got some from Tony's the other day and tossed it all!

Tips much appreciated!

Attachments

See less See more
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
I have done the five cents one on here and it's awesome best I have ever had by far.
I have done the five cents one on here and it's awesome best I have ever had by far.
I'm sure it is. I'm looking for a completely different consistency.

Attachments

See less See more
Just smoke to your liking, then finish it off in the oven. If you can get your oven to go that low. Check salmon every now and then until you reach the desired doneness. Or just call this restaurant and ask how they do it. Or go there and ask to speak with one of the chefs.
Actually I think this is what you're looking for check out this link
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Just smoke to your liking, then finish it off in the oven. If you can get your oven to go that low. Check salmon every now and then until you reach the desired doneness. Or just call this restaurant and ask how they do it. Or go there and ask to speak with one of the chefs.
Of course I have called the restaurant! :) They don't give out their most popular recipes very often.
Actually I think this is what you're looking for check out this link
Probably more to it in order to get identical to Hillstone's but worth a try!
You would'nt have to apply smoke for the entire 12 hours.
You would'nt have to apply smoke for the entire 12 hours.
I wonder what the benefit would be for 12 hours of 90 degree heat then? That's not enought to cook it right?
My attempt to achieve the results you are seeking would be to sous vide at 120 degrees for 20-30 minutes in a solution of salt, sugar and, horror of horrors, liquid smoke. The exact brine recipe to produce the exact flavors you are looking for will take experimentation. To use real smoke I would sous vide as before and use a cold smoke to minimize drying out the fish after sous vide.
I like my smoked salmon to retain a lot of moisture. Two things accomplish that in my mind.

1, air dry salmon after brining until it forms a good pellicle. This helps retain moisture during smoking and actually increases the adhesion of smoke.

2, don鈥檛 overcook/smoke. Timing depends on temperature and fish thickness/size. So I monitor it closely after about 4hrs. I鈥檒l pull the thinnest piece and see if it flakes open, if so, I eat some and see how I like it. Setting a timer doesn鈥檛 work unless all your pieces are the same size and the smoker temp is exactly the same every time. I use a big chief, so it鈥檚 very different depending on ambient temp.
I wonder what the benefit would be for 12 hours of 90 degree heat then? That's not enought to cook it right?
You're correct. Cold smoking isn't sufficient to cook the fish. I prefer my fish to be cold smoked as I think it tastes much better.

I use three Big Chiefs to accomplish the smoking task but since they're not temp controlled I rely a lot on outside temps.

When it comes to the discussion of hot vs cold smoking, cooked vs uncooked, and brine strength below are a few articles by university extensions that detail the process and risks.

Some key takehome messages:
Most modern recipes don't actually use enough salt to act as a presentative. 1.5+ pounds per gallon is a good spot to start.

Fish cook at 95 degrees. So when you're smoking at 160 you're hot smoking which is cooking the fish but also increasing food safety. Doesn't mean that your fish doesn't taste good but it is cooked

Cold smoking occurs at temps of 90 and below. If you're in this range (as I am) you need to pay very close attention to food safety and preparation. Freezing your fish below zero for 2+ weeks will kill most parasites (worms and the like). A higher salt brine will help preserve the fish and prevent bacterial growth. Temp management for brining is below 38 degrees and needed for safety (most refrigerators are 40 or more).

From a personal perspective I vastly prefer to cold smoke and feel that it tastes better. I do use a lot of salt but with proper care it doesn't taste that way.




See less See more
I would just add that your smoked fish hasn't completely finished reaching its final uniform moisture level until it's been removed from the smoker, the skin peeled off, cooled to room temp, then refrigerated overnight. I put mine in big zip lock bags and flip them over regularly the first couple of days my smoked fish is in the fridge. This evenly distributes the good fish oil by "moisturizing" the drier areas that were directly exposed to smoke by transferring oil from the now exposed super oily and moist skin side. The end product is uniform after a day or so and you will see the excess oil in the bags.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
I would just add that your smoked fish hasn't completely finished reaching its final uniform moisture level until it's been removed from the smoker, the skin peeled off, cooled to room temp, then refrigerated overnight. I put mine in big zip lock bags and flip them over regularly the first couple of days my smoked fish is in the fridge. This evenly distributes the good fish oil by "moisturizing" the drier areas that were directly exposed to smoke by transferring oil from the now exposed super oily and moist skin side. The end product is uniform after a day or so and you will see the excess oil in the bags.
I do the same. Except. I make sure to leave the bag open until the fish have fully cooled so as to limit the amount of moisture trapped in the bag.
Try 170 for 4-6 hrs, internal temp of 130-135, dry brine (1/2 cup kosher salt 2 cups dark brown sugar- per large Chinook fillet) prior for 8-24 hrs. Rinse fillet and dry on wire racks until desired pellicle forms. Only need smoke for the first 20 min, then just heat is fine. Definitely need a water pan inside the smoker for humidity.

Dryer product 145 8-12 hrs.
If the fat weeps to the surface of the fish, brush it all over the fillet and lower the heat. You want the fat/moisture to stay inside the fish, pellicle helps a lot, but too much can be too tough and jerky-like.
I do the same. Except. I make sure to leave the bag open until the fish have fully cooled so as to limit the amount of moisture trapped in the bag.
Good move. Water moisture is not a friend of smoked salmon.
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top