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Author Topic: doubled smoked salmon?  (Read 4267 times)

Offline watchdog56

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doubled smoked salmon?
« on: March 02, 2014, 09:34:42 AM »
I put some salmon in the brine overnight. It had about 2 gallons of water,1 cup of canning salt until a raw egg would float, 1 cup of brown sugar,1 tsp cure #1, and 1 bottle of liquid smoke. I took out of frig and soaked in plain water for 1 1/2 hours because the last time they came out to salty. I smoked for 3 hours using alder. They do not have much flavor.

Do you think I could give them another smoker for  a couple of hours or would it not make a difference?

Offline Salmonsmoker

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Re: doubled smoked salmon?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2014, 07:49:17 PM »
The extra smoke time might give them some more flavor. Not sure why your brine recipe would call for liquid smoke when you're going to smoke them with real wood smoke. You might have better luck with a dry brine. The mix ingredients would be in direct contact with the fish and you'd get more flavor transfer.
Give a man a beer and he'll waste a day.
Teach him how to brew and he'll waste a lifetime.

Offline watchdog56

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Re: doubled smoked salmon?
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2014, 04:17:09 PM »
The recipe is an old one when I had a BR***man smoker. Just never took it out.

Offline pmmpete

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Re: doubled smoked salmon?
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2014, 09:34:37 PM »
Watchdog56, I have the following thoughts about the recipe you used:

1.  Low salt concentration.  One reason the salmon you smoked didn't have much flavor may be insufficient salt.  The brine recipe you used creates a low concentration of salt, and you may not have left the fish in that brine long enough to develop a tasty level of saltiness in the fish.  Or, by soaking the fish in plain water for an hour and a half after brining it, you may have removed too much salt from the fish.

The lower the concentration of salt in a brine recipe, the longer you'll need to leave the fish in the brine to produce the amount of saltiness which you find tasty.  When trying out a new recipe for the first time, leave the fish in the brine for the length of time recommended in the recipe.  If the fish ends up too salty, leave the fish in the brine for a shorter time the next time you use the recipe; if the fish ends up not salty enough, leave the fish in the brine for a longer time the next time you use the recipe.  If you learn how long to soak fairly thin fillets in a particular brine, and you want to smoke some thicker fillets, you'll need to leave the fish in the brine for a longer time to get the same degree of saltiness and adequate brine penetration into the center of the fillets.

The salt concentration produced by the recipe you used is quite low.   As a result, you'd need to leave fish in that brine for a long time to get a desirable amount of saltiness.  A brine which is 100 salometer degrees is fully saturated.  If you put the entire cup of salt in 2 gallons of water, the brine you used would have a concentration of only 14 Salometer degrees.   If you used less salt because the egg floated before you added the entire cup, the concentration would be lower than 14 salometer degrees.  Tests have shown that the "floating egg" test doesn't produce consistent salt concentrations.

For information about making brines and a brine table, see http://www.wedlinydomowe.com/sausage-making/curing/making-brine . Here's how to do the salt concentration calculation for the brine recipe you used:  A cup of salt weighs about 10 ounces.  One cup of table salt in 2 gallons of water is 5 ounces, or .313 of a pound, in one gallon of water.  If you check a brine table, that is only 14 salometer degrees, which is a pretty low concentration.

In order to reduce the amount of trial and error required to produce good results with new brine recipes, I adjust all my brine recipes to 60 salometer degrees, which produces pretty short soaking times.

2.  Cure #1, a bad idea in fish brines.  1 teaspoon of Cure #1 is enough to treat 5 pounds of ground meat.  When you put Cure #1 in ground meat, 100 percent of the Cure #1 ends up in the ground meat.  The problem with using Cure #1 in fish brines is that unless you have access to lab facilities, you have no way of determining how much Cure #1 will end up in the fish.  I don't use Cure #1 or Morton Tender Quick, which contains Cure #1, in fish brines.  I rely on clean processing practices, drying the fish adequately while smoking it, and vacuum packing and freezing the fish after it's frozen to produce safe smoked fish.  The salt in the brine helps to kill bacteria, but the salt concentration in most smoked fish is too low for the salt by itself to reduce spoilage.

3.  Why the liquid smoke?  I agree with Salmonsmoker: why add liquid smoke to your fish brine when you're going to smoke the fish?

4.  Try Kummok's fish brine recipe.  I suggest that you try the brine recipe which Kummok provided in the "Bradley Smoked Wild Alaskan Salmon" posting at the beginning of the fish sub-forum.  It's one of my favorite recipes, it produces consistently excellent results, and I use it frequently.  When you get that recipe figured out, you can start trying other recipes.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 03:10:41 PM by pmmpete »

Offline tailfeathers

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Re: doubled smoked salmon?
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2014, 07:21:05 AM »
"4.  Try Kummok's fish brine recipe."
X2! Pretty foolproof, awesome results. Believe me, if I can do it without screwing it up,, anyone can.
Where there's smoke, there's HAPPINESS!!!

Offline watchdog56

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Re: doubled smoked salmon?
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2014, 03:12:14 PM »
I think I will go with Kummoks. Any I idea how it would be in a spread?

Thanks for the info.

Offline pmmpete

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Re: doubled smoked salmon?
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2014, 09:24:17 PM »
I think I will go with Kummoks. Any I idea how it would be in a spread?

Excellent.

Offline iceman

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Re: doubled smoked salmon?
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2014, 04:41:50 PM »
Kummoks salmon makes for a killer salmon salad sammie too!  ;)