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Author: dawnc Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 55931  
Subject: Dad's smoke salmon Date: 3/3/1999 1:05 PM
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As requested ... (I'll put options in italics and observations in bold.)

Prepare fish:
Filet salmon - remove as many stray bones with needle nose pliers. Cut into desired size chunks. Remember, the fish will shrink as you smoke it. *For fish 15+ pounds, he ususally cuts each filet into 3 chunks. For fish less than 15 pounds, 2 or 3 chunks. (You can use this for any kind of fish, so if you want to chunk it, or use small whole fish you can. I'll give directions for chunk, filet, or whole.)

Brine (you can double, etc as needed):
For 1 quart of brine:
Fill quart jar 1/2 full with good, warm water. Add 1/2 cup non-iodized salt (canning salt) and 1/2 cup sugar (you may use white or brown sugar depending on the taste you want.) Mix until disolved. Add cool water to make one quart.
At this point you can add spices if you wish. Sorry I can't give you amounts but dad makes 4 or 5 gallons of brine at a time. Spices you may wish to add: lemon pepper, soy sauce, tabasco sauce, cracked pepper, lemon juice, lime juice, what ever else you desire ...

Place fish in container and immerse completely in brine. Dad uses a 5 gallon bucket, but he does several fish at a time.

Brine times depend on piece size. Occasionally stir solution and rotate fish:
Pieces to 1 inch thick - soak 8-12 hours or over night.
Pieces up to 1/2 inch think - soak about 4 hours.
Small whole fish - about 2 hours.
(dad throws tail and all into the brine and soaks everthing overnight. Of course, he does catering on the side. When he is plating smoked salmon, he lays whole pieces in the center and uses the meat from the tail as garnish.

Remove fish from brine. Rinse well or it will be salty. The flavor from the spices will remain in the fish. Pat it dry and lay out on a paper towel. At this point, you could sprinkle some lemon pepper or other dry spice if you'd like. It wont change the taste of the meat much, it would primarily be for appearance. Let sit for about an hour. You should see a tacky glaze on the fish when it is ready.

Load fish into a smoker. At this point you will want to follow the directions that came with your smoker. You will want to add wood chips early into the smoking process as most of the smoke flavor happens in the begining.

Thick pieces: 8 - 12 hours; 3 pans of chips
1/2 inch pieces: 5 - 8 hours; 2 - 3 pans of chips
small fish: 2 - 4 hours; 1 - 2 pans of chips

You will want to check meat once in a while unless you are wanting to make salmon jerky <vbg>

Dad's usuall smoking proceedure (keep in mind, he does large batches and has been doing it for years. I wouldn't recommend this schedule until you are comfortable with smoking salmon.):

Put fish in smoker around 5PM. Add another pan of chips around 7-8PM. Add another pan of chips before bed. It's done in the morning. Package in vacuum seal packages.



Enjoy!!!




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