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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dinner party coming up this weekend, I want to make some smoked salmon. All I have in the freezer is springer, of which I still have an amount, that for me, can be only classified as sinful riches. Dinner will be planked salmon.

I am going to smoke, yes, springer, for these good friends. I want to then serve some fresh smoked salmon, along with a salmon cream cheese dip I make.

My intent is to do so in my pellet smoker, at 150*, with a smoke tube running with a mix of apple and cherry, until I get an internal temp of 140*.

My planned brine is
1 cup cup kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup onion powder
1 tbsp celery powder
1/8 cup garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne.

Help me kick it up a notch. These are good friends, how can I improve this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You want alder wood for smoking.

I follow this method. Smoked a springer yesterday. Mmmm good. I skip the honey and peppercorn. It takes practice to get it down.
Watching.

I've used alder. I currently like the slightly richer smoke of the fruit woods.
 

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With you being rich, and the awesome Sea Hawk you own ( rich with memories obviously), purchase a Big Chief. Then do the fresh smoked salmon recipe from ex Ifish legend and rapper 50 cent. Best recipe I’ve made.

 

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Sounds to me you want to share the love. If it were me I’d go with what I know with one cook and try a new recipe too. That would make a great conversation during the party and lets everyone be a part of the experience by weighing in on what they enjoyed the most. Smoke each batch like a day apart. You’re a math guy so cut a new recipe in half or something.

I’ve done this and everyone has fun providing feedback to the chef. I always like to have a plan to fall back on in these foodie parties. Good luck SH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
With you being rich, and the awesome Sea Hawk you own ( rich with memories obviously), purchase a Big Chief. Then do the fresh smoked salmon recipe from ex Ifish legend and rapper 50 cent. Best recipe I’ve made.

I've had those, and I'm not a fan. It's what the guy in the video just said, the performance and cooking time depend on the outside temperature with those. He said, in 95* temp, it took him six hours, in winter it took him 20 hours. With my Green mountain, it's the same four hours, every time.

Nickle's recipe is good, no doubt.
 

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1 cup Kosher salt to 1 cup brown sugar is way too salty for me. I usually do 1/2 cup kosher salt to 1 cup brown sugar.
All depends how salty you like it to taste.
I agree, way too salty. After a lot of trial and error I've settled on 1:4 ratio of salt to brown sugar for my dry brine.
 

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I use the dry brine rub. 1/4 cup non iodized salt to 1 cup brown sugar. 1 to 1 is way too salty for me. Rub on fish. Put in fridge overnight. Rinse each piece the next morning. Stack in smoker rack (thickest pieces to the bottom) Hickory and apple on the chips (soaked in water) in a big chief or little chief. I prefer the cold smoke although it does take longer. Last batch was 8 hours about two weeks ago. Been doing that way for 40 years. Comes out excellent every time.
 

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Now that the recipes have been splayed forth upon you Silver, now let's talk temp. I feel the temp that you're smoking at is a tad too high. If you can turn it down to 110 to 120°, that's the money zone. 150° is too high for my liking. Once you get past 120° the water begins escaping the fish too rapidly, causing it to also push out the oh so tasty oils with it. If you end up with yellow or whitish stuff coming out between the flakes, it's too hot. If you keep it at around 120°, your cook time isn't much longer and the product will be so much more tasty.

I also enjoy a 4:1 or 5:1 brown sugar to salt ratio. I do only dry brine. I like it simple so that I can enjoy the smoky fish goodness. And its not sacrilegious to smoke springer. I smoke ALL my salmon and steelhead no matter the quality. I'm munching on some freshly caught summer steelhead now that is out of this world amazing. Damnit, now I need to go have a piece.
 

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One quick tip not yet mentioned that I've found to be crucial is to let the fish form a pellicle after the brine, but before smoking. The pellicle serves to "seal" the fish, prevents cracking in the smoker, and assures all those delicious oils and fats stay in the fish throughout the process.

A couple of ways I've done this: Set the brined fish on the racks and put them in the ridge overnight. The cold circulating air will do it's thing. If rushed, I've also sat the racks in front of a fan for a couple of hours before smoking.

This really makes a difference in the end produce.

Also, I keep it simple. I use a 3 or 4:1 sugar to salt ratio (and use half brown sugar, half white sugar). I forgo any extra spices, but do like coarse ground pepper on the fish as I put them on the rack.

Food Recipe Ingredient Fast food Cuisine
 

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2 things need fixing...

Too much salt, try 5 to 1, sugar X salt. Dry brine, do not wet brine fish. Brine for at least 24 hours. longer doesn't hurt a thing.

Smoker way too hot. You'll end up with BBQ fish. Keep it under 120, 100 to 110 is better. With the low humidity, it'll dry fine. Not that springer dries fine to begin with because it doesn't. Too much fat.
 

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Run the snow tube for an hour or two before turning on the heat. My $0.02. That will allow for some more smoke and bring the temperature up more gradually.

A nice fish smoking link if you haven't seen it:

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Dry brine: 4 parts brown sugar, 1 part kosher salt. Mix thoroughly and use to coat all flesh sides of your pieces of fish. Arrange coated pieces in a non-metallic container, stacking skin to skin or flesh to flesh. Let brine for 24-36hrs.

Once the brine is done, rinse each piece well and place on racks to dry. At this point I like to add fresh cracked pepper. Let dry overnight, 8-10 hours. This forms a nice pelicle on the outside of the meat.

I prefer a low temp smoke and use a Luhr Jensen little chief. In colder months I’ll wrap it in an old army blanket. Smoke until desired dryness is achieved, 5-8 hours depending on ambient temp/humidity and size of fish pieces.
 

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1/4 cup salt and 1/2 cup soy sauce, ginger, garlic, brown sugar AND honey. Honey helps make a nice glaze. I prefer cherry, apple and alder mixed together.
After reading about the benefits of smoking at a lower temp, I think I'll try a batch with the Lil Chief open (cold smoke style). Great discussion: Nuances of Pacific Northwest smoked salmon.
 

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It was hot Sunday. My little chief usually runs around 135F. But is was 92F Sunday and that batch I posted smoked at 150F and took 4-5 hours. It was nice and oily. I prefer smoking in warmer weather. The fish turn out better than winter time smoking IMO.

Also I blow the fan for 90 minutes to form the pellicle. Usually do it in the garage where it's warmer in the morning.

Like the video I do 4:1 brown sugar:salt. Dollar store has the best price on brown sugar I've seen.

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It is certainly good to let that pellicle form. Another advantage of letting the fish air dry before smoking is that according to some seasoned experts, like Karla Steinhauser, says that the first 15 to 30 minutes of the smoke is the most crucial. That's when the smoke really sticks to the meat the most. If it is wet, the smoker has to work that much harder to eliminate the wetness so that the smoke can finally adhere to the meat.

R.I.P. Karla. I miss your tasty morsels.
 
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