“If You Must Smoke, Smoke Salmon”

(Clever title courtesy of Ray Troll.)

This summer Adam & I took quite the haul in salmon – maxing out our dipnet permit between the Kasilof and Kenai Rivers and solid catches at the Russian. What are we supposed to do with 35+ salmon??

As Mobb Deep would say – “Smoke it”!. Ha.

We’ve done three batches of smoked salmon this fall: two wet and one dry brine. The dry brine is simply brown sugar and pickling salt, packed over layers of salmon in a standard Coleman cooler. The wet brine is a little more: brown sugar, pickling salt, green & yellow onion, ginger root, soy sauce and sesame oil. I’d offer you measurements but we’re completely eyeballing it. Make enough mixture to cover the salmon, but don’t worry about submerging it in liquids as the brine will pull out the salmon’s natural juices.

Salmon Sandpile – dry brine in the cooler

We cut our salmon into strips, leaving the skin on, and marinated it for ~1 day. After it’s sufficiently soaked, we put it on racks and dry them out overnight.

Drying out salmon on parchment paper for the first round

Then! The magic happens. Crank on the Masterbuilt Smoker, put the racks in and let the salmon smoke. We’ve gotten it down pretty well – the smoker runs at 135 degrees for ~6 hours. They way our evening smokes have gone, we set a timer to wake up at the end of the 6 hours, pull in the racks and stick them in the oven to cool over night and vacuum seal them the next day.

Our freezer is jam-packed with smoked salmon now! And our chest freezer is still full of salmon filets. Cheers to catching and creating our delicious food!

Also speaking of delicious, but unrelated to salmon, our kitchen has been afoot with some delicious creations. This weekend I made Banana Peanut Butter muffins and tonight we made Curried Lentils with Apples. YUM!

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