Smoked Salmon

One of the ways we enjoy our catch of Landlocked Atlantic Salmon from Lake Champlain is to smoke them over a cool smoke (less than 200° F). 
For smoldering wood, I like to use apple if I can find it.  If not, I use hickory.  Either way, I soak the wood chunks and chips overnight in clean water.  This helps the wood smoke and smolder, and reduces the instances of ignition.

I soak my fillets in a brine solution (see below) overnight in the refrigerator, taking care to be sure the fillets are entirely immersed in the solution. 
After a good overnight soaking (at least twelve hours), rinse the fillets well under cold running tap water.  Place the fillets, skin side down on a drying rack.  I like to use the racks in the kitchen oven as drying racks, and I line the bottom of the oven with newspaper to catch any drips.  With the fillets spaced on the drying racks so they don't touch each other, brush them generously with pure Maple Syrup. 
Try to get real pure Maple Syrup! Being fortunate enough to be in the state of Vermont, we always have Pure Vermont Maple Syrup around the house.
Once the fillets are brushed with syrup, let them dry for at least an hour, I like to let them sit for three or four hours.

Smoke your fillets as cool as possible,  the cooler the smoke, the longer the fillets can tolerate the smoking process without becoming overdone and dry.  I monitor my smoker and don't let it exceed 200°F.  If I can smoke fillets for longer than 5 hours (depends on thickness of fillets also) I'm happy, and so are the fish!

The most recent batch will be competing with Turkey and all the fixings at the annual Family Thanksgiving Day Feast.  Two very nice Lake Champlain Landlocked Atlantic Salmon have been smoked, vacuum packed, and are awaiting being set out and served as appetizers!

Brine Solution:
Be sure to use a glass bowl for the brine solution!
2 quarts water, 1 cup white sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup molasses, 3/4 cup non-iodized salt.
I like to use an electric mixer to completely dissolve the salt and sugars.

Fish on, fish H8 me.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

I asked Santa Claus, because I have been great this year, an electric smoker.

I will try this recipe :-)