Page 1 of 1

Dry Brined Smoked Salmon

PostPosted: September 26th, 2014, 12:27 pm
by Yoder_Herb
This is a super easy recipe for semi-cured smoked salmon. The result is a lox like salmon product.

The dry brine is simple, 4 parts dark brown sugar to 1 part kosher salt (must be non-iodized salt) and whatever seasoning you would like to try (to your taste), i.e., granulated garlic, granulated onion, spice mix, etc., but the seasoning(s) MUST not contain any salt. Put all of the ingredients together and mix well. You will need to decide how much dry brine to mix based on how much salmon you are preparing.

You will need to use a non-reactive container for the brining process. This means most metal containers of any type, except stainless steel, should not be used. You can use glass or plastic with no issues. I personally use Ziploc bags because they are easy to use and dispose of after the brining process is complete.

Make sure that you remove all bones from the salmon, then rinse and completely dry the salmon (I use paper towels).

Very liberally coat the salmon on all sides with the dry brine mixture, and put into your brining container. After all the salmon is in the container, tightly cover and put into the fridge for up to 6 hours. The timing of the brining process will depend on how thick the salmon is. You can see the brining process happening, as the dry brine turns to liquid, as it pulls moisture out of the salmon. The reason I use Ziploc bags, is that I can easily turn the bags over a few times during the brining process.

The longer you brine the salmon, the firmer the end result product will be. My suggestion would be to never go over 6 hours with the salmon in the brine. I don't have a "perfect" number for the amount of time to brine, as it all depends on the thickness and the consistency of the salmon. You will have to try the process and practice to get your preferred end product.

Once you determine the brining process is complete, remove the salmon from the brine and gently rinse all remaining brine residue from the salmon under cool running water, and completely dry (I use paper towels).

Lay the salmon on racks (I use cookie cooling racks) and allow to air dry. Doing this air drying process allows the salmon to form a surface pellicle. This will explain the pellicle: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pellicle_(cooking). The length of time that it takes to form the pellicle depends on how thick the salmon is. This could take up to 4 to 6 hours depending on the environment, etc.. Once the pellicle starts to form, preheat your cooker to 200 to 225 degrees, so that it is hot and ready for the smoking process.

After the pellicle has formed, lightly season the salmon (if desired), remembering that whatever is used as the seasoning must NOT contain salt, and put it on the smoker to cook. Cook the salmon until it has an internal temperature of 145 degrees in the thickest part of the salmon.

To preserve the salmon, when doing a larger batch, vacuum seal and freeze.

smoked salmon.jpg
The last bath of salmon I did - just off the smoker and cooking.

Re: Dry Brined Smoked Salmon

PostPosted: September 26th, 2014, 12:41 pm
by TcircleT
Great tutorial. I have grilled and smoked salmon over an open air pit, avoiding the use of my cookers. Any concern over having a fishy residue or smell during subsequent cooks?

Re: Dry Brined Smoked Salmon

PostPosted: September 26th, 2014, 12:45 pm
by Yoder_Herb
I have not had any residual fish smell problems doing it this way. The salmon is semi-cured and air dried. If you look at the picture, I also use disposable trays.

Re: Dry Brined Smoked Salmon

PostPosted: September 26th, 2014, 12:52 pm
by TennesseeJed
Great post Herb! Thanks! I'm not much of a salmon fan personally, but my wife's entire family is gaga for it so I like to do it for them. Looking forward to giving this approach a try!

Re: Dry Brined Smoked Salmon

PostPosted: September 26th, 2014, 2:46 pm
by jeetS
thanks for the info!

Re: Dry Brined Smoked Salmon

PostPosted: September 26th, 2014, 3:18 pm
by Yoder_Kirby
I will have to try this, Herb. This is almost exactly what I do except I don't wait to form the pellicle. I'll have to see the difference next time I do this.

Re: Dry Brined Smoked Salmon

PostPosted: September 29th, 2014, 9:00 pm
by Diverreb1
Looks good.... Do you thin slice it as you would with Lox?

You must really love this stuff from the amount of fish you smoked.... :-)

Richie

Re: Dry Brined Smoked Salmon

PostPosted: September 29th, 2014, 9:09 pm
by Yoder_Herb
Diverreb1 wrote:Looks good.... Do you thin slice it as you would with Lox?

You must really love this stuff from the amount of fish you smoked.... :-)

Richie


We have thin sliced it, thick sliced it, grabbed pieces of it with fingers, shredded it with a fork, etc. Whenever it gets put out, you get what you can before its gone, and it never lasts long.

If you saw the "How much do you cook" thread, you will see that I hardly every just cook a little. The cookers are always full up. Some gets eaten right away, some is given to others, some is vacuum packed and frozen. Interesting thing is that when I go to take something out of the freezer, there never seems to be much there. Don't know where it always disappears to, but hey, just another reason to cook again.

Re: Dry Brined Smoked Salmon

PostPosted: September 30th, 2014, 8:39 am
by Diverreb1
Thanks... Can't wait to try it....

That's one of the reasons I picked the 480... If I went bigger I would have ended up cooking for the whole neighborhood.... This way I only do it for half. :-)

Re: Dry Brined Smoked Salmon

PostPosted: September 30th, 2014, 10:09 am
by TennesseeJed
Funny how these things work out...I bought the 640 because I was (and still am... cooking for the whole neighborhood... Now, I'm capacity constrained on my 640...

Re: Dry Brined Smoked Salmon

PostPosted: September 14th, 2015, 9:48 am
by jeetS
Herb,

Have you tried smoking at a lower temp for a couple hours before raising the temp to finish it off?

Re: Dry Brined Smoked Salmon

PostPosted: September 14th, 2015, 10:26 am
by Yoder_Herb
There is no need to do this in a Yoder. This "concept" came from other cookers that have a "smoke" setting. Yoder cookers were designed to provide the perfect thin blue smoke at all temperatures. Basically this "smoke" setting causes an unclean smoldering fire, which puts out a more dense opaque smoke, which contains unburned wood solids and creosote that is deposited on the food. Perfect thin blue smoke contains no unburned wood solids or creosote, and is just the gas produced from a properly aspirated, clean burning fire.

Re: Dry Brined Smoked Salmon

PostPosted: September 14th, 2015, 4:06 pm
by jeetS
I was thinking that this would give the salmon more time in the smoke before coming up to temp....

Re: Dry Brined Smoked Salmon

PostPosted: September 14th, 2015, 7:41 pm
by Yoder_Herb
I guess for me, there is a fine line between patience and satisfaction, so 200 degrees is a great compromise.

Re: Dry Brined Smoked Salmon

PostPosted: September 15th, 2015, 9:33 am
by jeetS
I did a couple salmon two different times last week. Used a very similar brine. First batch I brined for about 12 hrs and the second batch about 20hrs.
It seems that it didnt get more salty with the longer brine. wasnt too dried out either. Makes it easy to brine overnight or one evening and smoke the next evening.

For the smoking process I smoked it at 160-170 for about 3 hours with the thicker fish in the 120s by the end and thinner ones in the 130s.
Then i bumped the ys640 up to 225 and pulled it off when they hit 145.

delicious!

Re: Dry Brined Smoked Salmon

PostPosted: December 15th, 2016, 2:43 am
by Moe
Damn, this sounds delicious. Thanks for the instructions.