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Topic: Salmon on a Water Smoker . . . . From: Nance,
Subject: Re: Water Smoking Salmon
I lost the recipe booklet that came with my H2o smoker and am looking for a recipe for smoking salmon. Can you help?
I shudder to think of you smoking salmon on a water smoker.
However. I presume that you have read the glossary and know the difference between smoking and grilling and, therefore, want to really smoke. And since your address is ucdavis, I will assume that you want to duplicate the hot smoked salmon available thereabout rather than the cold smoked salmon which takes some real dedication.
Duplicating the taste and texture at home is a little time consuming, but well worth the effort. Fillet out 8-10 lbs of salmon into 1/2-3/4" thick fillets. Prepare a brine solution of 2 cups pickling or kosher salt to 1 gal of water @ 60°F. Soak fillets for 30 minutes, remove and rinse thoroughly.
In a second brine with 2 cups salt and 1 cup brown sugar to 1 gal. water at a maximum of 60 deg. F., immerse fillets for 1 hour. Remove, rinse and hang in a cool, dry place until a shiny film forms. (Using an electric fan speeds the process.) Seasonings in the brine - garlic, onion, lemon/lime, pickling spices are optional.
Heat the grill to 170-180°F and add green wood (alder, apple, pear, white oak) to the coals. Place fillets on the grill and maintain temperature for about 8 hours. Europeans use mostly oak.
If, however, you really only want to grill salmon, no problema.
Prepare the grill for barbecuing, temperature 215°F, using alder and/or oak wood. Baste filets or steaks with butter or olive oil, lemon juice and water in equal portions. Sprinkle lightly with salt, fresh ground black pepper and, optionally, garlic and onion powder. Place on the grill and cover. Baste and turn at 15 minute intervals. When flesh firms and flakes take it up. Do not over cook.
For broiling, bring the grill temp up to 400°F. Sprinkle with paprika and baste with above mixture. Turn at 5 minute intervals. Do not overly brown.