Author Topic: Salmon Smoking Questions  (Read 3415 times)

Offline DADAKOTA

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Salmon Smoking Questions
« on: September 03, 2011, 09:26:19 am »
Is there any reason to use wild over farmed salmon?

What about buying the frozen salmon and thawing?  Bad idea?

Is one type better than another? Sockeye, Coho, Atlantic?

Would steelhead work?

Offline Quarlow

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Re: Salmon Smoking Questions
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2011, 09:59:52 am »
Taste with a capital T. That farmed stuff tastes nothing like wild. As for buying frozen, go for it. I actually freeze mine before I smoke them. It opens the fibers of the meat and lets the brine and smoke penetrate. Of course it is not neccesary but it is perfectly fine to buy frozen. And let me asure you that if you were to taste wild then farmed you would never eat the farmed again. That said if I was stuck on a deserted island with a box of smoked farmed fish I would eat it, but I would just be thinking about getting off there and smoking some real fish.
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 DADAKOTA

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Re: Salmon Smoking Questions
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2011, 12:45:16 pm »
Thanks Quarlow.  Is one type of salmon better than another?  Sockeye, coho, atlantic, ????  What about smoking steelhead?

Offline Mark64

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Re: Salmon Smoking Questions
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2011, 01:02:51 pm »
For what it's worth I agree totally with Quarlow. Some years ago I went on a fishing trip to the B.C. coast and caught some fresh fish. After I ran out I bought some from a store and had a hard time even eating it. Hard to beat fresh caught fish so now I go every year and fill up my freezer. Haven't had any trouble with eating it even a year later because I get it processed right away and flash frozen!

Offline Quarlow

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Re: Salmon Smoking Questions
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2011, 01:22:46 pm »
As for Atlantic i can't say although I suspect if you got wild atlantic it would be fine. As for the farmed stuff it all comes down to the fact that they are feed pellets of whatever they use. I buy chums for smoking as they are more even in thickness and not overly oily. That said I have smoked all the pacific salmons and pinks are real good. The last time I did some my buddy gave me a sockeye which I had never done before. Man that was the best I have ever tasted. Unfortunatly it is expensive so I generally go with the Chums. They are cheap and smoke well.
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 Smokeville

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Re: Salmon Smoking Questions
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2011, 02:12:39 pm »
Steelhead Trout smokes great! I do a lot of Atlantic salmon, Rainbow Trout and Steelhead Trout. Keep in mind that all of these are only commercially available farmed where I live in Ontario.

With salmon and Steelhead, I use Kummok's brine with the garlic and soy sauce. For Rainbow, just 1 gallon of water with 1 cup of kosher salt and 1 cup of demerara sugar. Plus garlic.

I've also done Lake Whitefish, which is also a member of the salmon family. Very common around the Great Lakes, and very tasty.

I don't smoke much Pacific salmon only because of the cost factor. Plus, it is a matter of demographics. Here in Ontario, we have far more folks from Down East compared to Out West.

Regards, Rich

Offline Quarlow

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Re: Salmon Smoking Questions
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2011, 03:53:22 pm »
Steelhead Trout smokes great! I do a lot of Atlantic salmon, Rainbow Trout and Steelhead Trout. Keep in mind that all of these are only commercially available farmed where I live in Ontario.

With salmon and Steelhead, I use Kummok's brine with the garlic and soy sauce. For Rainbow, just 1 gallon of water with 1 cup of kosher salt and 1 cup of demerara sugar. Plus garlic.

I've also done Lake Whitefish, which is also a member of the salmon family. Very common around the Great Lakes, and very tasty.

I don't smoke much Pacific salmon only because of the cost factor. Plus, it is a matter of demographics. Here in Ontario, we have far more folks from Down East compared to Out West.
Regards, Rich
As you can tell by where all the lottery winnings go.  :'(
What do the wild atlantics taste like in relation to wild pacific?
I like to walk threw life on the path of least resistance. But sometimes the path needs a good kick in the ass.

OBS
BBQ
One Big Easy, plus one in a box.

Offline weedenb

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Re: Salmon Smoking Questions
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2011, 04:07:50 pm »
DADAKOTA,

In my part of the world the very mention of Atlantic salmon would get you hanged from the nearest jib pole! Suprised that Kummok hasnt chimed in yet, google Ray Troll, Alaska Salmon, Farmed,  etc.....

Prejuduce aside, we have basically 5 main salmon species,  King ("Spring" to you silly Canuuks), Red (Sockeye), Silver (Coho), Chum (Dog) and Pink (Humpy's). Atlantics are a farmed raised only species which doesn't exist as a wild run anymore and are not only illegal here but treated as an invasive pest.

Politics aside, they are all good depending on what you do with them. Kings are very rich and high fat and for mine usually end up on the grill, Red's are good for about everything but are known for smoking, Silvers are all around good but are not as fatty so will dry a bit after frozen. Chums are the underdog but are very rich making a good smoker but a bit strong for some tastes. Pinks are on the bottom of the list just because they are very delicate, lean and fine textured but they are the best for canned or poached.

From personal experience, Kummok's recipe will do all of them justice. I'm just about maxed out in freezer space for the season but I think I can fit a few more Coho in this weekend and then I'll spend the winter keeping the smoker warm.

Several bags of these Sockeye filet's



And a just about full Coho freezer which I hope to top off this weekend.



Robert...........
« Last Edit: September 03, 2011, 07:23:38 pm by weedenb »

Offline DADAKOTA

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Re: Salmon Smoking Questions
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2011, 06:40:08 pm »
Thanks for the Kansas City I have no opportunity to catch my own and have to rely on the grocery stores and Costco.

Offline weedenb

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Re: Salmon Smoking Questions
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2011, 08:54:51 pm »
DADAKOTA,

Sorry for the tease photo's (I couldn't resist) but back to your original questions. Frozen is not only fine but preferred, unless you live on the docks and its in season they all are frozen. If you see a nice fillet at you local grocer sitting on a bed of ice with some fresh greens for show it was probably thawed out the day before so if it looks good ask them to get a fresh one out of the back still in its original flash frozen vac bag. Salmon are a fish like any other so use your eyes and nose to tell the good from bad. The processing chain will do more good or bad than the actual species chosen. I'm just fortunate that I can catch my own and every step from hook to mouth is in my own hands.

I've seen some very good product in the lower 48 stores at a price I couldn't beat at home and likewise some I wouldn't feed to the local garbage bears much less my dogs. Sockeye and King are probably overpriced just about everywhere just because of the name recognition (and they are good) but I have seen some very good troll chum fillets at various big name chains at a good price (Keta is the latest name marketing ploy).

Apologies to Quarlow also for my Cunuck reference but I promise I did not catch a single treaty fish this year!

Robert.........




Offline Kummok

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Re: Salmon Smoking Questions
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2011, 12:41:20 am »
Is there any reason to use wild over farmed salmon?
I can't actually improve on the advice/opinions already shared, DADAKOTA...Simply put, wild is great, farmed is cheap and causes one to glow in the dark ;)

What about buying the frozen salmon and thawing?  Bad idea?
Same here....others have given excellent advice. I would challenge anyone to a blindfold taste test to tell the difference between fresh and frozen, when smoked.

Is one type better than another? Sockeye, Coho, Atlantic?
Better?...Depends upon what you intend to do with the salmon. Some are "bad" right out of the water...especially spawner pinks and spawner chum. As Weedenb advises, the "processing chain" can make or break the quality of the salmon. In the end, given a perfectly processed/prepared salmon, it comes down to personal taste...for me, a feeder King is hands down top of the food chain


I'd encourage you to search the "Fish" section for more threads on salmon choices....this question comes up from time to time and has been discussed in better detail by many salmon munchers on this forum. Here's a couple "blasts from the past" to get you started: http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=816.msg8065#msg8065
http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=2167.msg20682#msg20682

Would steelhead work?
They used to ...before they formed a union  :o :o  I'm gonna pay for THAT one from my union friends!! Steelhead (unless they're from the Klamath River!) are great smoked, but more mild flavored than salmon

Offline Smokeville

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Re: Salmon Smoking Questions
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2011, 07:01:24 am »
Just to add to the fun of it, much of the farmed ATLANTIC Salmon and Steelhead comes from Chile.  Honest!   ;D