Author Topic: How I dry brine for smoked salmon.  (Read 13509 times)

Offline Quarlow

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How I dry brine for smoked salmon.
« on: December 21, 2009, 10:40:40 pm »
Ok here is how I do my smoked salmon( sorry I don't have any pics of the process).
First I take the filets and paper towel dry them, then lay them out on baking sheets with high sides(or plastic storage bins), then I mix my dry brine. I use 50/50 brown sugar and course salt(say 1 1/2cups of each or what ever it will take to cover the fish). I use kosher salt. Mix this in a bowl really well. Now you can add whatever you wish here for spices. I have used 1 tblsp of white pepper and 2 tblsp of onion powder, you could add parsley flakes or garlic powder and mix it well. Now spread the dry brine out on the filets in a thick layer covering all of the surface. Put the trays of fish in a cool place for 12 to 14 hrs. Over night basicly. I have an extra fridge that I use. In the morning the filets will be swimming in the liquid brine,check the filets to see that you have no soft spots. If you do put some salt on those spots for an hour to get them firmed up. The flesh should be firm all over. You shouldn't have soft spots if you have mixed well. (My dad always just put a layer of salt straight on the filets and then the brown sugar on top of that without measuring, but sometimes he would make it too salty so I like to mix the salt and sugar to get a more even spread of the mix).
 So once they are all brined and firm I like to rinse the mix off with water. I guess this is where I should dry with paper towel and then let them pellicle but till I came to the forum I have never heard of it and dad never did it, so the next time I will brine it the morning for 12 to 14 hours, rinse, towel dry and then put them in the fridge with a fan on them to set the pellicle, then start the smoke in the morning. I like lots of smoke so I did my last batch for 6 hrs of smoke and then just heat till  its as dry as I like it.(I will go with Kummoks temp ramps on my next batch so as not to get boogers) I usually smoke with alder and apple but last time I used hickory which turned out good, as I said I like strong smoke flavour. Any questions just fire away.




























































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Offline tsquared

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Re: How I dry brine for smoked salmon.
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2009, 10:45:34 pm »
I've never dry brined for hot smoked salmon before, usually I do it with spring salmon when I want to make scotch smoked ala Jack Whelan's book. How is your texture when all is done? I personally like mine a little drier than most people seem to.
T2

Offline Quarlow

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Re: How I dry brine for smoked salmon.
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2009, 10:53:08 pm »
We like ours dry, with just enough moistness to hold it together. It is a personal thing so you have to try it and see what you like best. I like to use dogs for smoking as they are not as thick but still large filets. Plus they are usually cheap. I did a 10lb coho on the last batch and it was the best I have ever tasted, but it was free from my buddy and he got half.
I like to walk threw life on the path of least resistance. But sometimes the path needs a good kick in the ass.

OBS
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One Big Easy, plus one in a box.

Offline seaeagle2

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Re: How I dry brine for smoked salmon.
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2009, 04:17:27 pm »
Thanks for posting this, I've always used a brine mix that an ex girl friend got from former Fisheries professor at the U of Washington, now I'm going to do 1/2 wet, and 1/2 this way.  I've got a freezer full of pinks and a couple coho, plus some marlin, and one of the guys from New Zealand  posted a marlin reciepe, so I'm getting ready to make some smoke.
"If people worried about the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles" Doug Larson

Offline Kummok

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Re: How I dry brine for smoked salmon.
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2009, 07:05:55 pm »
Great post! Sure sounds like an easy way to get the fish ready for the smoker, Q.   Will be interesting to see how SE2's "1/2 wet and 1/2 dry" batches comes out for a texture comp?!?!?

Offline Quarlow

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Re: How I dry brine for smoked salmon.
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2009, 10:04:07 pm »
Yeah that will be interesting. Good luck SE2
I like to walk threw life on the path of least resistance. But sometimes the path needs a good kick in the ass.

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Offline simmered

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Re: How I dry brine for smoked salmon.
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2010, 02:13:56 pm »
Okay, so I got my smoker for christmas and have tried the indian candy recipe on bradleys website. Needless to say it came out quite salty. I used normal table salt and light brown sugar. Not the sweet taste I was hoping for. I see lots of people use the coarse salt instead of the table salt. Is there a difference? And if I used less salt would the fish be sweeter in the end? How do other people make their indian candy?

Offline Quarlow

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Re: How I dry brine for smoked salmon.
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2010, 04:19:05 pm »
Well you can use table salt but it is not the best thing. It is iodized and that effects what you are making and you also need to use a lot less. Someone will be along to give you the right amounts but anytime you are using salt for cooking in general it is best to not use table salt. Course salt is better and I use kosher salt most of the time.
I like to walk threw life on the path of least resistance. But sometimes the path needs a good kick in the ass.

OBS
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Offline Paddlinpaul

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Re: How I dry brine for smoked salmon.
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2010, 05:31:18 pm »
I used this recipe right out of the Bradley Recipe book that came with the smoker (can also be downloaded from their website in PDF format). I used alder pucks. I used Atlantic salmon from Costco that has no skin on it. Smoked for the 3 full hours. I used cans as weight, not sure why, but it said so.

SMOKED GRAVLOX
Ingredients:
1.5 kg (3 lb.) fresh salmon, filleted,
45 mL (3 tbsp.) coarse salt
25 mL (1-1/2 tbsp.)sugar
15 mL (1 tbsp.) coarsely ground black peppercorns
fresh dill
Preparation for Curing:
Leave skin on salmon and cut fish it in half
Place one half of the salmon, skin side down,
in a ceramic dish with sides.
Rub very well with the mixture of salt, sugar
and peppercorns.
Spread a good covering of dill
Rub the second half of the salmon with the salt
mixture
Place the second half on top of the dilled first half,
skin side up.
Cover with foil, then weight down with cans,
or a wrapped brick.
Refrigerate for 36 - 48 hours, turning occasionally.
Baste with the liquid as it accumulates. Be sure to
weight it down each time.
Note: The salmon will give off a little liquid.
After Curing:
Remove the fish and scrape away the dill and seasonings.
Pat dry. Let air dry for 1 hour.
Smoking Method:
Place the cured salmon, skin side down,
on oiled racks.
Cold smoke for 2 - 3 hours or until very lightly
browned. This will vary depending on wind and
weather conditions.

The results and pics are on this post:
http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=13303.15
Turned out great. My family and friends devoured it.
With my Bradley, no one tells me to quit smoking!