Author Topic: smoking salmon  (Read 7367 times)

Offline annette b

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smoking salmon
« on: October 16, 2010, 07:18:26 am »
 HELP I have the original Bradley, second time I'm smoking. I used a readers digest recipe for the brine. I forgot to wipe off excess brine when I placed the salmon in the smoker. I had about 6 lbs of salmon cut in strips on 4 trays in the smoker. I smoked for 5 hours and removed the salmon. I think something is wrong not sure what because off the strips of salmon appear to have "fat" on every crease of the salmon. Doesn't look very appealing. what did I do wrong? Any comments, suggestions will be appreciated
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Offline KyNola

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Re: smoking salmon
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2010, 07:39:02 am »
Most likely used a temp that was too high.  Essentially you rendered all the fat out of the salmon and it pooled on top.  You can probably wipe the majority of it away.

squirtthecat

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Re: smoking salmon
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2010, 07:43:08 am »

Check out Kummok's methods for smoked salmon here:

http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=107.0

Offline annette b

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Re: smoking salmon
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2010, 07:48:45 am »
the temperature I maintained was about 110 degrees F
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Offline KyNola

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Re: smoking salmon
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2010, 07:59:06 am »
If that temp is correct then I am totally confused.  What were you using to monitor the temp in the tower?  The thermometer in the door of the OBS is sometimes inaccurate.

Offline BuyLowSellHigh

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Re: smoking salmon
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2010, 09:08:08 am »
Are you sure that is fat you're seeing and not "curd" formation?  Not harmful or a problem, but is technique related.
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Offline Slamdunk

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Re: smoking salmon
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2010, 09:57:17 am »
BLSH, could you explain "curd" formation - don't think I've ever heard of that expression before.

Annette, what type of salmon were you smoking? Some have more fat in them than others.

Offline BuyLowSellHigh

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Re: smoking salmon
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2010, 10:16:04 am »
"Curd" is the white stuff that looks like, well, curd, that forms on the surface of fish when it is heated rapidly and internal liquids "boil" out.

I guess I am a bit confused - annette said she held 110 (F I assume). That's too hot for cold smoking and too cold for safe hot smoking. My guess is this is an issue of temperature measurement and control, and from the description of four loaded racks I would suspect is worse on the lower racks.

Here's a good reference on smoking fish that also explains "curd" formation

http://www.foodsafety.wisc.edu/assets/pdf_Files/smokingyourcatch.pdf
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Offline KyNola

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Re: smoking salmon
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2010, 12:58:46 pm »
Isn't "curd formation" the same thing as the fat and oils cooking out of the fish and rising to the top of the fillets because the smoking/cooking temp was too high?

Edited:  Went and read the article BLSH posted about "curd formation".  Question still stands BLSH.  The article states it is the result of water boiling out of the fish.  Does the water boiling out of the fish bring fat and oil of the fish along with it to form the curd formation?  Otherwise it would seem to me that the water boiling out of the fish wouldn't deposit anything on the surface of the fish other than water.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2010, 01:10:07 pm by KyNola »

Offline BuyLowSellHigh

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Re: smoking salmon
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2010, 01:36:09 pm »
I think you're probably right - curd is probably is fats and small proteins  that were brought to the surface.  The reason I asked was the appearance of curd implies boiling of the water from within the fish, which means heated too fast.  The appearance of fat on the surface as a fairly uniform or beaded oily layer would not imply boiling.  "Curd" looks pretty much like  what the name suggests, as opposed to fats by themselves.  If it's a curdish appearance then we know it got pretty hot, pretty fast, i.e. basically baked fish. 
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Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: smoking salmon
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2010, 01:43:17 pm »
If it is the white blobs, this has come up in the past. Those white spots are coagulated protein that surface during the smoking process.  The white spots are not harmful, just as cooked beef or chicken juices can be eaten and are not harmful. As mentioned, it is a sign that the fish was cooked at a high temperature. You can blot it off with paper towels while the fish is still warm, or scrape it off after it cools.


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NePaSmoKer

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Re: smoking salmon
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2010, 03:15:50 pm »
I'm with Ky.

Mix it
Brine it
Rub it
Marinade it
Stuff it
Jerk it
Smoke it
BBQ it
Eat it

Offline BuyLowSellHigh

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Re: smoking salmon
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2010, 03:43:59 pm »
HabS is correct - if it's the whiteish curd like stuff, like I said in my first post it's not a problem other than appearance and the smoked fish is fairly well baked.  Enjoy it and work on perfecting the temp control for a "better" product next time.

If, however, the temp was as stated -- 110 °F -- and not higher, and it appears oily or wet on the surface, then you may have a problem.  That would suggest it ran between cold smoking and hot smoking and kept the temp in a danger zone as far as bacteria are concerned. Annette stated she didn't remove the excess brine from the surface and placed what I would expect would be wet fish in the smoker.  That means no drying before smoking, which means no pellicle. I can see the possibility were a piece of brined salmon then held at 110 °F for 5 hours could end up with an oily appearance and be a problem.

Without a better description of exactly what she did including temps and how they were measured (especially IT in the fish), all you can do is guess.
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Offline chumly

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Re: smoking salmon
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2010, 09:53:20 pm »
That is the grease coming out of the fish. It is the best part so eat it up and next time keep the temp down.