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Thread: First batch of smoked salmon a success

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    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Default First batch of smoked salmon a success

    I finally got around to smoking some red salmon last night for the first time. I read a number of recipes on here as well as elsewhere. I wanted something a little sweet, with either soy sauce or terriyaki. I ended up using the following:

    1 cup brown sugar
    1/3 cup noniodized salt
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1/8 tsp black pepper
    1/2 cup pineapple juice
    1/2 cup terriyaki sauce


    I let the salmon (3 small fillets worth) sit in this mixture overnight, about 15 hours total. Before putting the fish into the mix, I used a knife to cut the flesh of the salmon down to the skin in about 1 inch strips. After soaking, I pulled it out to dry. Most recipes I see around here say that you should rinse the salmon off, then pat dry. I just sort of wiped the fish down with a paper towel to remove the excess instead of rinsing it off in water, thinking it would leave more of the flavor. I then put it next to a fan for a couple of hours to form a slight crust on it.

    I smoked it in a Little Chief smoker I borrowed from a friend using 50/50 of apple and mesquite chips. I think it was a bit cold outside for the Little Chief, as there are not any heat adjustments on that smoker. I have a bullet smoker that I can adjust heat on that I will probably try next time. I smoked it for about 7 hours in the Little Chief, changing my chips out 4 times at 1 hour intervals. Since I didn't think the smoker was getting hot enough, I went ahead and put the fish racks into my oven and finished them at 170 degrees for about an hour more.

    This stuff is FANTASTIC!!!! It is soft, which is what I like - as opposed to super chewy jerky. The smoke flavor penetrated well, and all the flavors are still there. I also do not like super salty fish, and will likely reduce the salt just a touch next time, maybe to 1/4 cup, although this stuff is definitely not overwhelmingly salty. Even my wife is raving about this stuff.

    Now to find a smoked salmon dip recipe.
    Never count your days, but rather, make all of your days count.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    J put a cardboard box over the smoke to hold the heat in...works wonders.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Old wool blankets work well as a cover. As for the saltiness, that's why it's normally rinsed. Thorough rinsing removes the salt from the exterior. The other flavors are already absorbed and you don't lose much with a thorough rinsing.

    For a dip, cream cheese, creme fraiche (sour cream in a pinch), lemon juice plus a little zest, grated onion, horseradish, and a little worcestershire... yummy. I don't use recipes so I add each thing to taste or consistency.

    I go equal amounts of cream cheese and salmon, creme to consistency, the rest to taste.
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    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    Default Vince beat me to it...

    If your smoker still has the original box, save it and use as a second layer once the temperature drops below 40 degrees. Just throw it on top, upside down. Done deal.
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    My dip recipe is:

    Chop some green onions in the food processor.
    Add a package of softened cream cheese and a good bit of sour cream.
    Add some garlic powder, a little cayenne, salt, ground black pepper.
    Process until smooth.
    Throw in about half a smoked fillet.
    Process to get a consistency you like.

    Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with paprika, finely chopped chives and serve with crackers, sliced baguette, etc.

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    Great idea on the dip, guys! I made a double batch for the Cardinal game it turned out great!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnSWA View Post
    Great idea on the dip, guys! I made a double batch for the Cardinal game it turned out great!
    Made a batch of smoked salmon dip for the Patriots game today. Didn't work.

    Newbie question:

    If I get lucky enough to have some frozen salmon, can I thaw it and then marinate and smoke it?

    Thanks, - Jay

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    Sounds Yummie, If you like yours a little sweet as it seems you might, try a little diluted honey or real Maple Syrup in a squirt bottle, give it a glaze and put a fan on it for a few minutes until its tacky. I also use 2 blankets over the smoker to keep heat in. For Dip I just like simple smoked salmon and cream cheese mix. Man I'm getting hungry. I still think we need a Yummie Smiley Face!!!

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    If I get lucky enough to have some frozen salmon, can I thaw it and then marinate and smoke it?

    I've had nothing but bad luck with thawed salmon to smoke.

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    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chico99645 View Post
    If I get lucky enough to have some frozen salmon, can I thaw it and then marinate and smoke it?

    I've had nothing but bad luck with thawed salmon to smoke.
    I do a fair amount this way and it seems to turn out fine.

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    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldmil007 View Post
    Newbie question:

    If I get lucky enough to have some frozen salmon, can I thaw it and then marinate and smoke it?

    Thanks, - Jay
    All of my salmon is currently frozen, as I got it last summer fishing and dipnetting. I take it out, thaw it, brine/marinade it, then smoke. Three batches so far and they have all turned out fantastic!!!
    Never count your days, but rather, make all of your days count.

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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    Nice work, guys. I'm taking out 5 reds right now and will marinate tomorrow, smoke Tuesday.

    Thanks for the idea!

    J, what brine do you like the best so far?
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    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phish Finder View Post
    Nice work, guys. I'm taking out 5 reds right now and will marinate tomorrow, smoke Tuesday.

    Thanks for the idea!

    J, what brine do you like the best so far?

    We've done three batches so far. The first batch was the one I put in my first post. The second batch, I reduced the salt a bit, and increased the sugar, teriyaki, and pineapple juice. The third batch, we did the same as the first batch. We thought the first time it was a little too salty, but thought the second batch was a bit too dilluted. So we went back to the first and decided that one was right on.
    Never count your days, but rather, make all of your days count.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmg View Post

    Now to find a smoked salmon dip recipe.

    Here is a simple one:
    Smoked Salmon (trout or char) Dip

    8 oz Smoked Salmon (skinless)
    1 Package of Cream Cheese
    1 oz of Dry Sherry
    Salt to Taste (1-3 Pinches)
    Chili Flake to Taste (1-6 Pinches)

    Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly then allow the flavors to ferment in the fridge for about 2 hours then serve with crackers.
    Sure to be a hit, I would recomend smoking with alder or a fruitwood.

  15. #15

    Default simplicity simplicity simplicity

    I also freeze all my salmon first, then smoke, and usually re-freeze most of that, with no problems whatsoever.

    For smoking, I've used the simplest recipe for a long time: 3 parts dark brown sugar, 1 part kosher salt in a dry rub. I switched from a brine to a rub after reading about it in the AlaskanPantry forum. Has worked great, reduces time, and less overall to do. We had a "taste off" up here on the slope with some of the guys and mine was voted best tasting. This was even with a package that had thawed and re-frozen.

    I also go with just equal parts cream cheese, sour cream, and smoked salmon to make a dip that disappears before your eyes.
    "The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent in fishing" Assyrian Tablet 2000 B.C.

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    Default nickster, don't forget..

    A little pepper and garlic powder to spice it up a little.
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    J, I owe you a 6 pack of your favorite beer. The pineapple juice addition is BRILLIANT. I love it!
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

    "People who drink light 'beer' don't like the taste of beer; they
    just like to pee a lot." --Capitol Brewery

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