this was my second attempt at a cold smoked salmon. Attempt #1 was a learning curve for sure. I used a tail end of pink salmon (mistakes #1 and #2). I also pressed the salmon under a plate with 2 cans of tomatoes (mistake #3) in a 50/50 salt/sugar dry rub for 48 hours (Mistake #4). Finally I smoked the whole thing for 12 hours (5th and final mistake) on Adler pellets for 12 hours using an A-MAZE-N maze. The end result was something closer to salmon prosciutto in the centre of the fillet and salmon jerkey on the edges. Now, it wasn’t terrible per say. But it was way too smoky, way too salty a d had the wrong texture.
For attempt #2 i went 50/50 salt/sugar dry cure on a thick, head end piece of fillet from an atlantic salmon. Cured for 24 hours in a vac bag, turned half way through. Rinsed and purged for 30 minutes then dried on a wire rack to form a pellicle for 4 hours. 4hrs of smoke this time around in the KJ. SloRoller set up for indirect cold smoking. We’re having a snow storm up here in Canada right now, but the temp still bumped up almost 20C to 15C ambient inside the smoker. The end result was pretty spot on in texture. Next tine i may take the cure down another 6 hours to 18 hours, but i’m quite happy with the 4hrs of Smoke. The texture was spot on, maybe a little drier than expected but no complaints.
Please let know if any of you cold smoking veterans have any tips. Im currently equilibrium curing a 3lb piece of pork belly for bacon for next weekend. Planning to smoke in 3 Separate 12 hr sessions. That will be pork belly attempt number 1.
Still fairly new to smoking in general, let alone on the Kamado, but my favorite thing to smoke on the MES was salmon. Despite my best efforts, I never managed to screw it up. Figured with a sale on wild caught Sockeye at Fresh Market, it was a good time to test my luck on the Joe. I started out with the brine recipe here: https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/final-smoked-salmon-with-recipe-instructions-and-qview.91264/
Here's the shot after the brine:
My biggest concern was keeping the temperature low. After some suggestions from some of the guys on here, I found the biggest, lumpiest blocks in the bag and started the fire:
Salmon went on the grill immediately to warm up with it.
This was also my first cook with the MEATER Block, so I got to test that out as well. There was definitely some disparity between the two probes, but I'm going to give them a few more rounds before I write em off. I'm curious what anyone else's experience with these is.
Mandatory. Huge fan of bourbon, and coffee, and stouts. If you haven't had anything from Alltech Brewing, I highly recommend it!
Graph of the finished cook from the MEATER app. I may have fallen asleep towards the end, there. Notifications weren't super notifying.
I'd definitely call this cook a flying success. If I keep this up I may even sell the MES.
My goal was to get this done last Friday, but life intervened. However, today is a beautiful Northwest day at the beach, and I could do this with the ingredients I had on hand. The recipe is for Brazilian Salmon Stew (Moqueca), and I used wild caught Coho Salmon portions, in a braise of chopped garlic, green pepper, onions, fresh tomatoes, cilantro, and the surprise ingredient, coconut milk. The salmon portions were skinless, then marinated in a mixture of lime juice, cumin, sweet paprika, s & p. I've never skinned salmon before, and it's a good thing I didn't have company as there wasn't enough salmon left for more than 2...
The recipe called for layering the ingredients, but for just us I halved it, so ended up with only one layer, but no problem. Used my trusty thrift store stoneware pan, no extra smoke. Had to finish the meal with some garlic parmesan rolls from the freezer. Like I said, easy and Nummy, as my husband said, but so simple in the kamado. I used the dome as my casserole lid, so the salmon got a little color on it.
We all know the impact brine can have on poultry. There’s a lot more foods that can benefit from great brine. The idea to brine salmon came to me while watching an episode of America’s Test Kitchen. The ladies were pan searing salmon but I felt the brine would also have a huge impact on helping the fats to render quicker creating a moister and more tender salmon.
I also took some additional advice and pulled the farmed salmon at 125 F. The result was salmon perfection. A moist flaky and buttery salmon without using any butter. The rendered salmon fat did all the hard work
Brining creates one of the best salmon’s I’ve made in a while.
Brine in a large container:
- 3 1/2 cups of water
- 1/4 cup of Dark brown sugar or Maple Syrup
- 1/2 of full of lemon juice
- 1/4 of Kosher Salt
Let it sit in the fridge for for 4 hours, then cook at 300 F with Beech smoking wood until you reach an internal temp of 125 F for farmed salmon or 120 F for wild salmon
You can see the results in the image below with with the sweet salmon fat bubbling up to the surface. The result of brining.
Tonights Dinner- having another couple over- going healthy as I need to lose weight and he is on the heart transplant list. So, low sodium, substituted much of the butter with avacado oil, etc. Anyway, chicken breast, salmon, salad and my 'what is it' dish of sweet potatoes, carrots, mango, korean cinnamon and brown and turbanado sugar- all cooked on the Big Joe. Sorry, we were half-way through dinner when I remembered to take the final pics.