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Author Topic: Smoking salmon help  (Read 668 times)

Online spoonman

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Smoking salmon help
« on: December 20, 2017, 03:38:30 PM »
Anyone have any advice for me? When I smoke salmon I always get the white protein buildup on the fish. I do a dry brine of 1 part salt 4parts brown sugar and some garlic. I brine it 6-10 hours based on size of fillets then air dry for about 6 hours. Pre heat smoker to 120 and smoke fish in that for 2 hours, then 1 hour at 130, then 1 hour at 145, then last hour or so at 175. I've read that the white build up is from heating the fish too fast but this build up takes place in the first few hours. Any pointers would be awesome

Offline 2MANY

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Re: Smoking salmon help
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2017, 04:05:45 PM »
Do you rinse off the brine?
Do you air dry your fish under a fan before putting it in the smoker so it's dry to the touch?

Online spoonman

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Re: Smoking salmon help
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2017, 04:20:44 PM »
Yes I rinse off the brine then it sits on drying racks till dry.

Offline hollymaster

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Re: Smoking salmon help
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2017, 04:36:38 PM »
Pretty sure the white is the fat build up. You can turn the fillets upside down so it runs out or pat dry as it’s smoking.

Offline gaddy

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Re: Smoking salmon help
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2017, 04:39:08 PM »
Is the last Hr at 175 too hot ?

Offline Alchase

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Re: Smoking salmon help
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2017, 04:48:19 PM »
Pretty sure the white is the fat build up. You can turn the fillets upside down so it runs out or pat dry as it’s smoking.

The white stuff is albumin (or buggers for short) a fatty harmless protein. Usually means you are starting with too high of temp.
You can pretty much eliminate it by turning your heat down at the start and slowly increase the temp. I use the following:

Smoke using the following temps:
100°-120°F for 1-2 hours, then increase to
140° for 2-4 hours, then increase to
175° for 1-2 hours to finish.

If you do not have good temp control:
Lay salmon skin side up, then wipe off any buggers before serving.
Only 2 defining forces sacrificed themselves for you:
The American Soldier and Jesus Christ. One died for your freedom, the other for your soul.

My rock,
He trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.
Psalm 144.1

Offline Alchase

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Re: Smoking salmon help
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2017, 04:49:03 PM »
Is the last Hr at 175 too hot ?

Not too hot for the last hour
Only 2 defining forces sacrificed themselves for you:
The American Soldier and Jesus Christ. One died for your freedom, the other for your soul.

My rock,
He trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.
Psalm 144.1

Offline Alchase

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Re: Smoking salmon help
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2017, 04:51:20 PM »
Remember you are not cooking the salmon it should already be cooked by the brine. You are just smoking it up.
Only 2 defining forces sacrificed themselves for you:
The American Soldier and Jesus Christ. One died for your freedom, the other for your soul.

My rock,
He trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.
Psalm 144.1

Offline Alchase

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Re: Smoking salmon help
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2017, 04:54:16 PM »
After looking at my smoke log, I have not smoked my salmon over 140 degree so we late 90s. And 1/2 of the time it is less then the 100 cold smoked.
Only 2 defining forces sacrificed themselves for you:
The American Soldier and Jesus Christ. One died for your freedom, the other for your soul.

My rock,
He trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.
Psalm 144.1

Offline onmygame

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Re: Smoking salmon help
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2017, 05:18:23 PM »
The idea of smoking meats - including salmon - is to dry them out in an attempt to preserve them for longer storage.

(Who knew this process would end up being so tasty??)

Both brine and smoker accomplish this process in steps.

If your salmon is producing the white goo, then yes, you likely have it at too high a temp through the first part of drying, AND, you aren't leaving it in long enough. That stuff will shrink to nearly nothing if dried thoroughly.

Please consider however, if dried to completion - your product will be 'too dry' for some while others will rant and rave at the dried texture being precisely the way it supposed to be.

Somewhere, maybe in the middle after much more trial and error you will find your sweet spot for smoking your fish.

The best of luck.

Offline Alchase

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Re: Smoking salmon help
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2017, 06:16:40 PM »
What helped me figure out what works for my taste or my family’s taste, is recording each smoke batch in a log, then also recording what we liked about it.
There are so many variables to consistent results, each time can have totally different tastes.
The cool part is there really is no wrong way to smoke.
Only 2 defining forces sacrificed themselves for you:
The American Soldier and Jesus Christ. One died for your freedom, the other for your soul.

My rock,
He trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.
Psalm 144.1

Offline The Weazle

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Re: Smoking salmon help
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2017, 08:50:41 PM »
I remove the skin from all of the fish I smoke prior to smoking and I never have the problem you are speaking of, and we have very similar smoking styles.
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