Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Smoked Salmon

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We live in a coastal port city with an active fishing and tourist industry, so a variety of fresh seafood is available year round. We've been smoking our own salmon for decades. 

I watch for sales, especially at the grocery fish counter where they'll often mark salmon down half price, so we can purchase it for around $5.00 a pound or less. Sometimes fishermen sell it right off the docks at a great price, too. My husband then gets out his rock salt, Alder wood chips, and Little Chief Smoker to smoke up a batch.
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Smoked salmon is a delight with cheese and snack crackers, for use in making appetizers or eaten by itself.  A 6 oz. can at our local fish market sells for $10 and smoked salmon at the fish market is around $12 to $15 a pound, so smoking it at home is a bargain at $5.00 a pound.

Smoked Salmon photo 15D56EA3-3167-4FF6-83FB-ACB7EA580BD5_zpsaujmtw9v.jpgSmoked Salmon photo 3815A1EB-8CA9-45FD-9531-99D2D2DA86C0_zps5yikiy0t.jpgMy husband's method is simple. He cuts a large fillet into 4 to 5 inch pieces, lays a wire rack over folded newspapers on a baking sheet on the counter, and lines up the fillets.  He then thickly spreads kosher or rock salt over each fillet to draw out the moisture.  The newspaper catches any dripping moisture. He lets it rest that way about 5-8 hours.
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Next he rinses the salt off each piece under cold water and pats them dry.  He then transfers the salmon pieces to wire racks in his electric smoker, plugs it in, and fills the bottom pan with seasoned wood chips. The chips smoke and burn, and are replaced 3 to 4 times.  This takes about 8-10 hours.

It's then done and ready to wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate or store in the freezer.