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Thread: Salmon Brine

  1. #1

    Default Salmon Brine

    I just bought a Big Chief and am just learning how to smoke fish. I was wondering if you guys could share some of your brine recipes? Do you guys also have any tips on smoking? Thank you very much.

  2. #2
    Member jakec5253's Avatar
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    Default brine

    I just tried Alaskan Gourmet Batter, and it came out very good. It is from a company in Homer, and is available many places all over alaska. I got mine at Sportsmans warehouse, and the salesman told me that is the brine they sale the most of, and it is also what he uses at home.

    http://www.alaskangourmetbatter.com/default.asp

    Jake

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    For brine i use salt, brown sugar and some PURE maple syrup. Salt to your taste and the key to good smoking is SLOW. I like my smoker that has a water pan over the coals and smoke wood. i love it that way as it keeps my fish from drying out. I use mostly maple and apple wood. At the end i put in just a bit of hickory. It sure comes out good!!

  4. #4

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    Got this recipe from a friend, love it. I also use a Little Chief smoker.

    Mix up 1 cup white sugar, 1 cup brown, 1/2 cup salt. I cut the fillets in strips about 3-8 inches long (usually in half the long way) and then 1/2 inch thick or so. Cutting off the brown meat improves smoked flavor. Layer the strips in a dish that won't spill when the juices build up. Put the sugar/salt mixture between each layer. Let it refrigerate overnight. I drain the juice as they form.

    When you're ready to smoke, don't rinse the salmon. Lay the strips out on your racks and add whatever spices you like.

    I tend to lay the brine on pretty thick and usually mix up more than one mix per batch of salmon. Smoke it for 6-8 hours, depending how done you want it.

  5. #5
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    1)cut fish to size, brush with salt paste leave on one hour, this with firm up the fish. The salt is only to firm the fish and not for taste.

    2) rinse salt off

    3) Put fish in container such as large bowl and add Mrs. Buttersworth syrup enough to cover all the fish,leave for 24hours .

    4) lay fish out to dry 2-4 hours will depend on how quick tackiness occurs.

    5) smoke.... personally I start low heat lots of smoke then I go to higher heat and take the fish off as it gets done.

    with an electric smoker you will just take the fish off when ever they are done to your liking.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  6. #6
    Member Stanly's Avatar
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    Default Here's my .02

    10 Cups Water
    2/3 Cup of Morton Kosher Salt
    1 Tea Spoon Wet Minced Garlic (the kind in the jar)
    1 Bay Leaf
    A Sprinkle of Thyme

    Bring water to a boil, add ingredients, stir and let cool.

    I place the fillets in a large plastic bowl flesh to flesh and skin to skin. Add the brine to make sure all the fillets are submerged. I let them sit overnight, rinse thoroughly and let air dry. I score the fillets down to the skin into 1 - 1 1/2 inch squares. I cover some with cracked pepper and I also take jalapenos (the kind in a jar for nachos) and put them into a food processor and basically make like a relish. I cover the whole fillet with the jalapeno. I also have the Big Chief (front load, the only way to go). I brush my racks with vegetable oil. The only problem with the Big Chief to me is that it doesn't get that hot and can take a long time to smoke the fish when it is outside. Just last week I cut up a sheet of R-15 insulating foam (you can get it at Lowes or wherever) and taped it on all the way around, this made a huge difference helping keeping the heat in. I will put my smoked salmon up against anybodies. Everyone loves it, especially the jalapeno, man, get yourself a cold beer and some crackers and get to it! Let me know if you try this and how it comes out for you. Take care...

  7. #7

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    I used to use my medium size Big chief like most here for many yrs,but drilled a hole in the top and put a cooking thermo-meter in it.Also used a cardboard box around it to contain heat/smoke.I like small wood chunks instead of the bag o saw dust,goes much further.
    Sure that means you have to make your own,but its not to hard to find alder branches.Plan ahead,harvest this yr,use next year and beyond.
    I think I used to shoot for <120 degrees,that means you have to baby sit the extension cord,or come up with a thermostat.
    This year I made a new smoker out of ply 19"x16"x5',works great.I put flashing on the bottom of the firebox portion,and may do the walls to 6 or 7" high,just to reflect the heat back.Internal framing seals quit a few of the gaps/holes.
    Another very loosely fit piece of flashing(i think its 14" wide) with holes in it over the top of the firebox helps difuse the heat and keep the smoking box section fairly easily around 90-100 degrees.
    Perfect for cold smoke curing.If I want hard,hotn fast,out comes the big chief,If I want to dial in a more delicious beautiful moist cure than the new smoke house gets filled up.Keep track of your temp/heat,write it down if you have to.Weather matters somewhat,this yrs damp july kinda makes things hard,but I got extremely lucky last week.
    Brining and smoke time/methods,shoot that could be another post all unto itself.

  8. #8
    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    Default

    I make a 10% brine that is

    2 qts water
    1 cup salt
    2 cups brown sugar
    1 10 oz bottle of soy or teriyaki sauce

    You can keep you fillets in this for up to 24 hrs.
    I've also tweeked it a bit by holding back on the brown sugar and making up the difference with molasses.

    Anyways, my smokehouse is 4x4x11ft. I hang the fillets on racks to dry and the smoke is provided by a # 10 can full of wood chips and dampened to a 1/4" opening.
    Now what ?

  9. #9

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    Thanks guys for the help. I'll give these a shot for sure. I guess it's one of those things you learn from experience.

  10. #10
    Member 9601's Avatar
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    Default

    Are halibut prepared the same way as salmon or are they not soaked/cured for as long? Sorry for the temporary hijack.

  11. #11
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 9601 View Post
    Are halibut prepared the same way as salmon or are they not soaked/cured for as long? Sorry for the temporary hijack.

    Why on earth would you want to smoke a halibut!!!!
    They are one of the best tasting fish that swims.

  12. #12
    Member kjashen's Avatar
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    Thumbs up dry brine

    I use a mix of 50% brown sugar/ 50% pickling salt, coat the fish pieces and then stack in a bowl for 45 minutes. rinse off and set out to dry overnite on newspapers. In the smoker the next morning.....yummy. For halibut only let sit in the bowl for 20-25 minutes then rinse and dry overnite. Smoked halibut is awesome!!!! I can't keep any around the house, all our friends come over and eat it all.

  13. #13
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Default

    I cant keep any smoked fish around.

    Doesnt matter if it is Silver or Chum.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  14. #14
    Member 9601's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DRIFTER_016 View Post
    Why on earth would you want to smoke a halibut!!!!
    They are one of the best tasting fish that swims.
    I hear smoked halibut is supposed to be the cats *****.

  15. #15

    Default smoked buttsky

    easy on the heat and time,as they have very little oil compared to salmon or albacore.

    ak4195

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    Post Since you mentioned it....

    Quote Originally Posted by ak4195 View Post
    Brining and smoke time/methods,shoot that could be another post all unto itself.
    Well, allright then...let's hear it! For a Little Chief-type smoker, what do you recommend for smoke times and temps? In my brief fish-smoking experience, if I keep the temp down, I don't see any smoke, so I usually crank it up. It's yummy, but I can't help but think there's a better way to do it so I end up with a firm surface but moist interior of the meet. Also, what effect do you think the pre-smoke drying has, if any, on the final flavor?

  17. #17
    Member JimJimmers's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Wet Brine

    -10 cups water
    -1 cup brown sugar
    -1 cup salt
    -2 tbl sp minced garlic
    -1 tsp fresh ground pepper
    -1 cup finely chopped sweet onion
    -1 bottle Kikkoman's teryiaki sauce/marinade

    ***Brine overnight in fridge***

    Remove next morning, and air-dry (outside) for 8 hrs. The last 2 hours of the drying process, gently baste the fillet tops with maple syrup.

    Smoke to your liking...

  18. #18
    Member cusackla's Avatar
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    Default My Cajun Smoked Salmon Recipe

    SMOKED SALMON à la LOUIS

    1 CUP BROWN SUGAR
    1 CUP SOY SAUCE
    4 CUPS COLD WATER
    PAUL PRUDHOMME BLACKENED RED FISH SEASONING TO TASTE
    ONE WHOLE ONION, CHOPPED
    ABOUT 4 CLOVES GARLIC, CHOPPED
    BLACK PEPPER TO TASTE
    COUPLE OF BAY LEAVES
    CREOLE OR CAJUN SEASONING (Cajuns Choice sold at Carr’s) TO TASTE

    MIX ALL IN GLASS BOWL. MIXTURE SHOULD BE SLIGHTLY CLEAR WHEN SCOOPED THROUGH A SPOON. IF NOT, ADD WATER. SAMPLE MIXTURE, ADJUST SEASONINGS TO TASTE.

    LAY SALMON FILETS IN LARGE GLASS PAN, SKIN SIDE UP. COMPLETELY COVER FISH WITH MIXTURE.

    MARINATE FISH IN REFRIGERATOR 12 - 16 HOURS (REDS & SILVERS); 16-24 HOURS FOR THICKER FILETS (KINGS).

    AFTER MARINATING, REMOVE FISH FROM MIXTURE AND RINSE IN COLD WATER. LAY FISH SKIN SIDE DOWN, PAT DRY WITH PAPER TOWEL. ALLOW FISH TO STAND IN OPEN UNTIL IT GETS A GLAZE (15 TO 30 MINUTES).

    LIGHTLY SEASON FISH WITH BLACKENED & CAJUN SEASONINGS. SEASON AS IF YOU WERE BAKING.

    SMOKE WITH ALDER CHIPS. REFILL CHIP PAN EVERY ONE TO TWO HOURS.

    SMALLER FILETS TAKE 6 TO 8 HOURS. LARGER FILETS MAY TAKE 8 TO 12 HOURS.

    AFTER 5 HOURS, START CHECKING FISH FOR DONENESS.

  19. #19

    Default

    You shold have got a book with the smoker, it has a bunch of recipes in it that I have tried, many are very good but the best one is the simplest. It is the simple recipe that uses water, salt and sugar. You can make adjustments to suit your liking but I stick with the basic stuff and we love it.

  20. #20
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default Water?

    Uck Foooey....

    Use a nice dark beer rather than water........

    I put my spices on right before it goes into the smoker - after brining it.

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