|How to smoke
salmon - the basic steps
There are countless
recipes and ways to smoke salmon, but the most common methods all
include a few basic steps. Read the steps below and then go ahead
and try one of the recipes listed at the bottom.
first step is primarily the process of salting the fish to remove
moisture, firm the flesh, and impart a salty flavor to the fish...
but the brine may also include additional flavors and colorings.
Brines can either be liquid or dry, and all of them include salt
in some form... in some recipes this is granular salt, in other
recipes it might be soy sauce or something similar. Brine recipes
may also include sugar in some form... white sugar, brown sugar,
honey, fruit juice, etc. Still other recipes call for addtional
flavorings, like garlic, pepper, rosemary, dill, etc.
the fish comes out of the brine, it must be air-dried. This removes
even more moisture from the fish, and this is the step in which
the "pellicle" forms on the surface of the fish. The pellicle is
the slightly tacky glaze that forms on the surface of the flesh.
It absorbs some of the smoke and it is where a lot of the flavor
comes from. Air-drying is done at a relatively low temperature room
temperature, or outdoor temperature, depending upon where you're
doing the drying.
next step involves the smoldering of wood to create smoke, and the
imparting of the smokey flavor into the fish. The smoking is done
in a smoker or a larger smokehouse. Many smaller commercial-made
smokers are available, they range from small electric-powered all-in-one
units to bigger charcoal and wood-fired units with separate fireboxes.
this last step, even more moisture is removed from the fish, and
this is the step in which you make sure you get the fish up to at
least 145°F, to kill off any bacterias and other critters in
the fish. The heat-drying process is normally done in the smoker,
but some people smoke their fish in a smoker to get the smokey flavor,
then move the fish to an oven to do the heat-drying.
So now that you know the basics, try it yourself using one of the