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Thread: Why is my Jared Salmon dry?

  1. #1

    Default Why is my Jared Salmon dry?

    I have tried 4 different recipies for canned/jared salmon. I have followed all the recipies. The recipie that turned out the best by far is the traditional, which is soak the strips in salt brine for a short period and let them dry and then smoke them for 1 hour. I do not smoke them hot. It does not get above 100 deg and I let it dry until the oil starts to come out. The other recipies I have tried are also smoked style and I dry them the same and don't let them get hot in the smoker and the result is the same and the only thing I can think of is that possibly my pressure cooker gets much hotter than I think it does. On the 10# weight the gauge says 12 psi, but after checking it is closer to 13. I read that the state says 110 minutes at 10psi so this is what I did and it sucked. The next batch I tried at 100 min and it was a little better but still dry. The best batch witch was the first batch I described above I did for 95 min but although it has good flavor it is still dry and the color of it is darker than what I have tried from other people...oh did I mention it was DRY? This is killing me, I'm still eating the fish cause I love salmon but I would like to at least like to know what I am doing wrong! Thanks

  2. #2
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    I've found the best way to do jarred smoked salmon is to take unsmoked fish, pack it in the jars, then add a couple drops of liquid smoke. Way easier than trying to get the smoking conditions right and can't tell the difference. Some people also add a little oil to their jars to keep the fish from drying, but I've never had a need to. I'd be careful shortening the process time since fish is fairly susceptible to contamination (plus, I don't think that should really affect the moistness).

  3. #3

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    Is your salt brine drawing out a lot of the moisture? Also, you mentioned that you let the fish dry until the oil starts to come out -- this may have something to do with it. You may want to cut back on the amount of salt in your brine (or eliminate the salt) and then only smoke it for about an hour, then can it immediately after smoking. Also, what kind of fish are you canning? I only can silvers, but I did do one batch of reds a few years ago and it was a little dryer than I care for so I haven't canned any since, but I may have smoked the reds too long and dried them out.

    Here is how I can my silvers, and it always turns out moist, soft and delicious: I'll brine for 24 hours or so in a sweet, wet brine with minimal salt, smoke in my big chief for about an hour (2-3 pans of chips), and then can it without any drying times. The only reason I bother brining it is because I like the flavor that the brine provides.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Member Nukalpiaq's Avatar
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    When my daughter cans salmon strips (cold smoked type), she usually packs the strips in the jars then adds water almost to the top. When I jar one day dried/smoked salmon I cube the fillets into 1 1/2 inch chunks and put into a large pan add water, salt and whatever seasoning we like, usually Mrs Dash. then stir it all together. The point is we pack our jars with wet fish, or if jarring dried/smoked salmon we add water to keep them from drying out when we pressure cook them. So far so good. After making 3 cases this summer we are down to 2 jars left.

  5. #5
    Member ADUKHNT's Avatar
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    All suggestions above are good also do not throw away the bellies they are high in fat, add a piece to every jar and it will help. I do not know so I gotta ask: are you leaving the skin on the fish? If not do that as well.
    Last edited by ADUKHNT; 01-16-2010 at 21:47. Reason: Add info

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