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Smoked salmon brine?

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So i think ive gotten pretty good at smoking things and keeping temps where they need to be for differnt things (i even do cheese now) my crowning achievement so far was a 10 lb pork loin i smoked for 12 hours at 160 degrees using maple and some cherry, man that thing was so tender you could cut it paper thin without half freezing it but i get of track. so anyway im gonna try my hand at salmon as my pop just kicked down a good amount of fillets from michigan.

i found a few brines on line but i would like something tryed and true straight from one of us vrs. a HSOforum.

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2 quarts distilled water, 1 cup pickling salt, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1T onion powder, 1t. garlic powder, juice of 1 lemon. Soak fish in brine 18-24 hrs, rinse well, sprinkle with a little white pepper(black also works), allow to air dry for about 1 hr to develope pelicle. Smoke.

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I guess it depends on how involved a process you want, or how you like your smoked fish to turn out. I like a sweet smoked fish, some prefer a saltier fish. My brine takes a lot more time than some are willing to put in, but IMO and others, it is worth it.

Here is mine. Keep in mind it is a sweet brine and the fish ends up being fairly sticky.

Fillet and skin. Remove any "off" colored meat. And I slice the fillet's into about 2" wide strips across the fillet width wise.

Place fillets in a tupperware container. (Mine is 11 cups)

Fill with water and add about 2-4 table spoons of salt, place in the fridge and let sit 12-24 hours. (The longer it sits, the saltier the fish gets) DONT GO MORE THAN 24 HOURS IN THIS STEP!!! sick

Remove and pat dry.

Clean container and replace fillets. In a bowl mix 1cup (a big cup) brown sugar, 1 can beer of choice, fresh ground peper(whatever looks good), and a tea spoon or two of hot sauce or choice (I use green tobasco). Poor "brine" over the fillets and top off the container with cold water. Put back in the fridge. (At this point you can also add or adjust the mix, A splash of brandy, some star annise, lemmon juice, whatever. Just make sure you taste it before pooring it over your fish.)

24hours or so later remove the fillets, again pat dry, and again clean the container. I like to then season with Jerky seasoning and again back in the fridge for 24 hours. (I use Shore Lunch Hickory BBQ, because it is a sugar cure mix. Remember I like sweet smoke fish. If you like salty fish, use a salty jerky cure.)

Smoke @ 200-210 degrees for an hour then flip. Smoke for another 30 - 45 min and check. Smaller/thiner peices are done, remove them and let them cool. Bigger/thicker peices I let go for another 15-20 min then shut off the gas and let them cool untill the smoke from the trays stops.

Serve hot off the grill, w/rice, greens, and a beverage of choice. Or cool completely, pat w/a paper towel to get the oils off and put in the fridge (sealed container) and eat cold as a nice treat. Break it up for salmon dip, whatever you like to do.

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thanks for the reply guys i saved a few fillets to try out with recipes from you guys ill let ya know how it turns out.

i eneded up using a recipe i found from an alaskan bushmen that i found i just altered it a bit.

mind you this is for about 12 pounds of fillets

1 cup picking salt 2 lbs brownsugar 1 quart teryaki sauce i gallon o water and i added 1 cup o capitin morgan and 4 tablespoons cayen and 4 tbls of minced garlic, i also reduced the teryaki to 15 ounces vers the full 32. the brine tasted really good so im hopefull.

so in the fridge for about 14 hours it went pulled it out patted dry let sit out on the rakcs for 3 hours to get my pelicle and now

its gone threw the first 1 1/2 smoking at 100 degrees

about to got add some more coal to pop ir up to 140 for another 1 1/2-2 hours then finally finish it off at 170-180 for another hour. from what i read if you see white coming out of the meat you are smoking it to hot and too fast and expeling the oil.

sure wish i could share with you guys thats half the fun for me

thanks again

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forgot to mention i use hard wood charcoal for short smokes (under 5 hours) and charcoal for any longer time?

I also lucked out and was on a job (im a pipefitter) where the flooring guys where putting in class one maple and cherry so the gave me all the scrap which is about 300 pound of perfect size an wonderful quality smokeing wood

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I have found with my Weber Smokey Mountain, that I can go 8-10 hrs. on a single, large load of natural lump charcoal depending on the outdoor temp, and the amount of food I smoking. I did up 34 lbs of pork butt last weekend. Put the last load of coal in at 11:00pm. At 6:30am it was still at 175 deg.

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my only issue with big loads of coal is the initial temps can go well in excess of 200 degrees hence cooking not smoking. this is the case with my smoker which is a vertical box with the fire bowl on the bottom then the water bowl and then 2 racks above that. the whole box is about 3 feet tall. now if my fire box was sepreate from the smoking chamber (which will be the next until i build) i could get away with that.

But on another note my salmon turned out wonderfully it had really good underlying flavors that mix well but also where easy to seperate form each other.

so thanks again guys for the posts

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