Author Topic: Cold smoke salmon?  (Read 31971 times)

Offline bighoof

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Cold smoke salmon?
« on: December 13, 2003, 10:01:41 PM »
Just read Bradley's offering on cold smoking salmon, just wondering if all they said was about right and if anybody has better ideas and experiences?

thanks jeff

Offline james barr

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Re: Cold smoke salmon?
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2003, 04:32:16 AM »
bighoof,
  I've done more than a dozen batches of Coho Salmon over the last two years and I've had great success with cold smoking.  I brine for eight hours, air dry the fish for one hour, and put in smoker for eight hours at 120 degrees. Disconnect the tower heating element and only use the smoke generater heat plate.  Don't let the temp go over 120.  Everything they say about Bradley and Cold (cool) smoking is true.  And the best way to do fish.   J Barr

Offline bighoof

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Re: Cold smoke salmon?
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2003, 08:50:13 AM »
Thanks james i'll have to try it some time

Offline Chez Bubba

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Re: Cold smoke salmon?
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2004, 01:43:06 AM »
James,

A good trick for when the ambient temp is too high & you're struggling to keep the heat low enough is to put a loaf pan full of ice on the bottom rack. You may have to change it out once over the course of a smoke, but it will keep the internal temp down.

Just an FYI,
Kirk

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Ya think if next time I check into a hotel & they ask "Smoking or Non", they would mind?

Offline DLT

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Re: Cold smoke salmon?
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2004, 04:38:54 AM »
I just purchased a Bradley Smoker and was looking for a brine to use for cold smoked salmon.Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Offline Fuzzybear

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Re: Cold smoke salmon?
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2004, 07:24:28 PM »
I use:

3 quarts water
1/2 cup salt
2 cups brown sugar

stir till all is disolved, place fishies into it, weigh it down with a small plate.

But, I generally let it soak for a minimum of 8 hours and preferably overnight, then I smoke it for no more than 3 hours - this length of time really makes the fish soft so be carefull picking it up

That's just me...others will give you some different choices I'm sure.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out whatever your choice of brining is.

"A mans got to know his limitations"
Glendora, CA - USA!

Offline DLT

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Re: Cold smoke salmon?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2004, 02:58:18 AM »
Fuzzybear.
I just recieved your recipe for the cold smoked salmon.I"ll give it a try and let you know how it turns out.

DLT
Red Deer,Alberta,Canada.

Offline Fuzzybear

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Re: Cold smoke salmon?
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2004, 03:31:00 AM »
Uh...I did forget to mention that my salmon is two inch wide slices of the thick part of the filet - whoops, sorry about that DLT![;)]

"A mans got to know his limitations"
Glendora, CA - USA!

Offline spyguy

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Re: Cold smoke salmon?
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2004, 01:13:56 AM »
<b>BEST SMOKED SALMON (LOX)</b>
After searching for various recipes for good LOX, I finally created this one which is a compilation of many I have heard of, tried and modified. Making good smoked salmon isn't a mystery or a matter of luck, it's a matter of patience and time. With this recipe I have been consistent with my results. This process is for cold smoking salmon (LOX) only, preferably with a Bradley smoker.

<b>My smoked salmon recipe is as follows:</b>

Please read this over a few times, it will help you understand the process.

With this recipe you can make the highest quality LOX you will ever eat. The finished color in almost RED (with COHO) due to the carmel in the brown sugar coloring the fish during the dry brine process. The final texture is like velvet and slices really well.(I slice mine at approx 1/8" thick or a little more). I HAVE TRIED TO EMPHASIZE AND DETAIL THE <b>CRITICAL </b>STEPS AND WHERE TEMPERATURE IS IMPORTANT. If I overdid the details, No apology from me. When I did it for my first time, I would have killed for details. details. details.

Incidentally I recommend the SALMON and HAM knife available at IKEA for $25.00 but keep it sharp and clean.

I have tried many recipes with very good results. After speaking to a few people who do this for a living. I got the process they use but they wouldn't give up the recipe so I created my own. You may add any flavor you want to the wet brine. More garlic, or soya sauce, lemon, corriander seeds There are no rules for flavor. You may use more or less brown sugar depending on your tastes but try mine as is and adjust after you try it.

I promise you won't be disappointed. however labour intensive it is you will thank me. This is a 2 step brining process before cold smoking.

These instructions are for an average sized fish of 10-12 lbs (before being fileted). Coho is best but I have used atlantic with success as well. For smaller fish shorten the time and for bigger fish lenghten time.

1. filet and remove pin bones. Leave fillets whole at this point with the skin on. rinse if you want and pat dry (not completely dry)


<b>Step One Dry Brine:</b>

1. Mix up the following. 5 lbs kosher or canning salt and 6 lbs dark brown sugar. Mix well, use your hands to break up the chunks of brown sugar. This will be used for the dry brining part. You must use COARSE OR KOSHER SALT (non iodized). Any left over dry mix, place in a sealed pail or bag it. It will keep for a long time until you need it again.
2. In a container small enough but large enough for your whole fillets (I know vague as to size but you'll figure it out, I Use a rubbermaid container just long enough for the fillets and wide enough for 2 side by side. Put an even layer of 1/2" of the dry brine on the bottom. Lay first fillet skin side down on this. Now cover fillet with more dry mix (1/2"). Lay next fillet in top with skin side up (meat to meat). cover with 1/2" dry mix. make sure fish is completely covered in the mix (that's why your container is important so you don't waste excess mix) You may continue to layer the fish. You can place them anyway you like as long as they are relatively straight and or flat.
This process will remove excess moisture from the fish and really firm it up. <b>Place this in refrigerator for 7-8 hours. If you forget about it during this part of the process, you will ruin your fish. </b>Set a timer or maybe 2 of them so you don't forget.

<b>Prepare wet brine solution:</b>
While the fish is in the fridge, mix up your wet brining process. I use approx 3.5 gallons of water.(I use a 5 gallon pail for wet brine) to this I add; 6 cups kosher or coarse salt, 6 cups brown sugar, 1 or 2 cups MAPLE SYRUP (the good kind, no Aunt Jemima)some chopped dill to taste, 2 cloves garlic and 1/4 cup whole black peppercorns. mix well to <b>check salinity </b>(how much salt is dissolved in the water) <b>see if a raw egg (in the shell) will float in the mix. If it doesn't add another 1/2 cup salt and mix well</b>. then recheck with the egg. if it still doesn't float add another 1/2 cup salt repeat as needed until it floats. Leave this sit for at least 5 hours before you need it for the next step.

After the 7-8 hours have passed you will see a considerable amount of syrupy liquid in the bottom of the container (the moisture from the fish) now take it out of the fridge remove 1 fillet at a time and cut in half (so it fits the bradley smoker) rinse the mixture off the fish completely. Fish will seem hard, firm and considerably smaller than when you started. the next step will change the texture again. Discard the syrupy mess from the dry brine process (don't use it again either).

<b>Step 2 Wet Brine;</b>
Now place filets in the wet brine cover with a plate so they are completely submerged and leave it for 7-9 hours (refrigeration at this point is optional as the dry brine has pretty much "cooked the fish" already. I do recommend at somewhere near the middle of the wet process, you move the fillets around in the bucket in case some fillets are a little close. When they are done, they need to be freshened (this removes excess salt)

Freshening your fillet:
Remove and rinse the fillets in fresh water. (Rinse out your bucket of all spices, peppercorns etc.) now put the fillets back in the bucket and fill with clean water. Let the water run into the bucket (not too much pressure or you will damage the fish) for 1/2 hour stirring the fish gently with your hand every 7-10 minutes. Taste a small piece of the fish. If still too salty rinse for another 10 minutes but no more or the fish will begin to waterlog (swell). I do mine for 30 minutes and consistently have excellent results.


Drying before smoking:
Remove fish pat dry with paper towel and lay on your Bradley racks skin side down. (use them upside down that way the fish will be suspended to dry top and bottom) allow to dry for approx 1 hour. (when they become a little sticky on the meat side they are done and ready for smoke.(remember cold smoke only) You may smoke from 1-3 hours depending on your preferences and tastes with alder smoke. (make sure auxiliary burner is off or better yet unplugged from the smoke generator)

<b>WATCH THE TEMPERATURE CAREFULLY IF IT GOES ABOVE 80 YOUR FISH IS RUINED</b>.
I use a Polder barbeque thermometer with the remote pager and have the probe hanging through the top vent and the pager to notify me if the temp gets to 75.
With it being winter, I fill the bisquette bowl with snow and add a good block of snow or ice between the bottom shelf and the lower plate. (even if you cover 2/3 of the holes in the plate, it has no effect on the smoke reaching the fish)As the snow melts it drips into the bowl (not on the smoke burner) good design by Bradley. Place a large aluminum pan under the water bowl to catch any water will overflow from the water bowl. Doing it this way maintains 60-75 degrees when its -10 outside. When my pager goes off telling me its too warm, I know the snow melted and add more. You may use the bottom shelf and fill an aluminum pan, but that way you lose the ability to use the bottom shelf. That's up to you. Just watch the temperature (do I need to say it again)

I Just smoked 60 lbs of fresh Alaska COHO fillet On Valentines day. This is my method. If you have any questions let me know. For those who try it you won't be sorry. Please post your results.
feel free to share this with others but please give credit where it is due.

The next time I smoke salmon, I will take illustration pictures to go along with this and post the link here.

(edited to reflect the post by CHEZ BUBBA)

Thanks
Mitch Unger

Offline Chez Bubba

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Re: Cold smoke salmon?
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2004, 01:45:27 AM »
Mitch,

Excellent post, I have printed it so I can fully digest it later. My only input is, if you allow excess moisture to flow out the door of the smoker on a regular basis, you will eventually ruin it.

Not all that moisture comes out the door, some of it will run down into the plastic housing that contains the temp slider switch. Also contained in there is a microprocessor board that doesn't like moisture.

If you're only going to ever cold smoke, I guess this wouldn't be an issue, but if you want to hot smoke as well, then you might be creating a problem.

Happy Smokin',

Kirk

http://www.chezbubba.com
http://www.brianswish.com
Ya think if next time I check into a hotel & they ask "Smoking or Non", they would mind?

Offline Fuzzybear

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Re: Cold smoke salmon?
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2004, 02:31:33 AM »
Kummok!

Where's the salmon man!

We're waiting![;)]

"A mans got to know his limitations"
Glendora, CA - USA!

Offline spyguy

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Re: Cold smoke salmon?
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2004, 03:31:46 AM »
I got my smoker in early December, I could only practice on atlantic farmed salmon. Then the bad news about the quality of the fish was released. I have a 3 year old daughter who can eat 1/4 lb for breakfast, then again for lunch and then for dinner. She asks for it regularly. So when the Pacific market opened last week. I ordered 60 lbs of cleaned fillet. With the quotas so low on the west coast fisheries, and availability limited there you go. She can eat what she wants, and I know she is eating clean quality fish. Locally pacific goes for up to $40.00 / lb cdn. So I look at it as though I saved $1,800.00.

Mitch

Offline Fuzzybear

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Re: Cold smoke salmon?
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2004, 02:43:41 PM »
Mitch:

Where do you order your salmon from?  I'm on the West Coast in Southern California...

Thanks!

"A mans got to know his limitations"
Glendora, CA - USA!

Offline spyguy

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Re: Cold smoke salmon?
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2004, 03:05:27 PM »
I order mine from a local fish monger. A place called Deep Sea Fish Importing. Their number is 416-630-6230 . Ask for Joe and tell him I sent you. He is located in Toronto but can make arrangements depending on what is wanted etc. I had them fillet the fish for me and he does an excellent job. Including removing pin bones carefully so as not to damage the flesh. I do not know about California but feel free to ask him. His prices are very good as well and this company supplies many of Toronto's best restaurants. I have used other suppliers for seafood in the past but this company is #1 as a family owned and operated business

I know for a fact that as of Feb 17 2004 they have 4 whole fresh pacific salmon in the store @ 6.99 cdn /lb (not filleted)

Mitch

Offline Fuzzybear

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Re: Cold smoke salmon?
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2004, 03:17:13 PM »
Over on Toro Road?  Yikes, that's like 2190 miles from my house!!!

I'm thinking the cost would be prohibitive - I found a place in Alaska that is shipping for $15.95 lb for King Salmon and $9.95 lb for Coho (U.S. Dollars)

How do those prices compare to yours?

"A mans got to know his limitations"
Glendora, CA - USA!