Quick Sockeye Salmon

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Paul_in_PVE
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Quick Sockeye Salmon

Postby Paul_in_PVE » Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:01 pm

Given the recent spate of rainy and mid-50s weather in Southern California, it seemed right to smoke some Salmon. About my third time and first go in my new, cheap grill - came out pretty nice! Key learning here with Salmon is to let it properly "dry" after you finish curing - to form the pellicule. More on that shortly.

Bought about a 1.5lb fillet of Sockeye Salmon at Ralphs - on sale at $8.99 a pound (normally about $15 / lb). Went with about a 1 cup salt, 2 cups brown sugar cure, with a few shots of bourbon for flavor (next time, will go rum - fine salmon and the smell of a dive bar did not make for the perfect combo)

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Went ahead and rubbbed on evenly, then let set the the refirgerator for about 7 hours, skin side down

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Might go with a bigger dish next time, but the salt pulled out the liquid nicely...

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Rinsed off the fish, and placed it on a oven rack, in the kitchen, overnight. UNFORTUNATELY, the signifcant other decided to wrap and put back in the refrigerator sometime around midnight - so I was forced to "re-cure' the next morning. Because of this, the "pellicule", or that knid of shiny, tacky outside cure you need, never formed just right.

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Regardless, on to the grill it went (and yes, I have yet to really "seal" my grill, so excuse the jury-rigged foil set-up I have right now....

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Ran a light charcoal base and used some cherry and apple sparingly - Tried to keep the temp at about 180 or less the whole time. As I understand salmon, you are shooting for about 150-160 degrees - hot enough to kill any parasites, but not so hot as to bake and dry it. Probably got a bit to hot at the start (200 or so), but managed to get it down to a respectable 175 or so and spent about 3 hours getting the salmon to 160. Tried to finish it a bit hotter, and pulled off when the digital thermometer was mostly in range. Finished product looked nice - let it cool just a bit, then ate up! Good consistency - a little bit dry, but excellent flavor - the cherry and applewood were a good combo.

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Smoked salmon "keeps" great as well - a good morning snack with a bit of cream cheese or a quick dill remoulade (easy to make).
What worked? The wood selection, the curing, keeping a lower temp.
What needs improvement? The post cure drying, or "pellicule" phase. Important to have on a rack and get plenty of room-temperature air (not unlike those photos you see of people hanging fish to dry). That really sets the process - and this process was interrupted. Also, would probably add a bit more sugar to the curing ratio. Jim Beam was a poor choice - tastes like a cheap shot at a bar, and if you are going to add non-essential flavor, add something a bit more "pure" (like rum). Finally, I would have liked to keep the temp just a bit lower and finish hotter - but all and all, it was a darn good expenditure of $9.00, and I am looking forward to the next one! Will do a few fillets next time.

Any advice from the experts?
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OldUsedParts
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Re: Quick Sockeye Salmon

Postby OldUsedParts » Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:04 pm

That fork sample in the last pic looks good enuff to eat :laughing7: :tup: :salut: :cheers:
OUP

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Sailor Kenshin
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Re: Quick Sockeye Salmon

Postby Sailor Kenshin » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:35 pm

Been wanting to try this, but scared...how low do you have to go, and how long does the fish need to 'air dry?'

Yours looks gooooood.
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Paul_in_PVE
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Re: Quick Sockeye Salmon

Postby Paul_in_PVE » Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:01 am

Sailor Kenshin wrote:Been wanting to try this, but scared...how low do you have to go, and how long does the fish need to 'air dry?'

Yours looks gooooood.


The longest part is the "air dry" - differing schools on this, but basically if you cured it properly, you are looking at least 4 hours on a some kind of rack. You want to get a decent amount of cooler, circulated air here - even a area fan set on low might be in order. Hot, humid air will not get it done. You can put it in the refrigerator overnight as well, but you want get as good of results in my limited experience. Don't worry, it won't spoil out in the open - the salt curing would have largely taken care of that.

Basically, you are trying to get a lacquer-like cover on the fish called a pellicle. It makes for a much better consistency and absorbs the smoke nicely.

As far as cooking, it shouldn't take more than 2 hours.... if I am going to cook fish in such a manner, I would insist on a good digital thermometer. Good luck!
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CaptJack
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Re: Quick Sockeye Salmon

Postby CaptJack » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:13 pm

Image
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Kiwiruss
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Re: Quick Sockeye Salmon

Postby Kiwiruss » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:47 pm

Paul that looks pretty darn good to me, have you ever smoked eel, I have a friend who does it . I do swaps with him, smoked eel is really amazing, I have mine on crackers with horseradish sauce. I've never been big on salmon though.

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woodenvisions
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Re: Quick Sockeye Salmon

Postby woodenvisions » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:19 pm

Wow, that looks really good !!
I'd tear that up !!

...........Oh wait !!!!, there's food in that pic :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:

Lol, the first thing my brain focused on was that spent JB bottle :P :P :P

As for the chow, I'd rip into that as well !! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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