Wednesday, February 13, 2013

If you must smoke, smoke salmon!!!

Or so says one of Alex's shirts. I know the blog has been a bit quiet over here. We've been well though! It's been just a wee bit sunnier so we've been outside more...and between preparing for a certain trip that is suddenly upon us and studying for my boards that I have to retake in one month, it's been busy!
But, it suddenly struck me to share a bit on a tride true Ranch happening that occurs several times a year. Smoking salmon! This is all Alex. I'm learning, as I've been brining our Ranch turkeys when we take one of them a few times a year. This is the first time we used the same brine for the turkey and the salmon.
So, without further adieu....

You start with a salt and almost boiling water solution. We do approximately 1 cup of salt to 1 gallon of water. Don't quite let it boil or the salt can burn, (so says Alex the guru!) You then add twice as much sugar as salt. We use brown sugar and white sugar as our base. This is the base of the brine. This is the 2:1 ratio that is critical. All the other additions tend to change a bit but are fun to play with!
Brown sugar going in the pot after the salt and water have gone to solution
Pepper is always good!
Honey is excellent!

Here Alex is cooling the solution with ice cubes, so it will not cook the fish before it is in the smoker

Now, plenty of people swear by adding alcohol of some sort. Red wine, or whiskey is common. To tell you the truth, we kind of think it is a waste as the taste is lost in the brine, but tonight, Alex was feeling the JD so in it went!!!

 Next, that beautiful salmon is sliced up in strips....

The salmon is left in the brine in a bowl for 12 hours. It is then set on the smoker racks. The smoking process takes about 18-24 hours depending on the thickness of the cuts.
And on the other end you end up with delish smoked salmon! Yummmo!!! This is quite a staple in our home as it is an awesome snack, the kids love it, and I love to mix it in to pasta, on top of toast or a bagel with cream cheese, or in a quesadilla . :-)


Jonna said...

That looks delicious!

Sheelagh said...

YUM! I love the way the raw salmon looks...mmmmm! I am not partial to smoked salmon, but your recipe sounds so good, I can't imagine NOT enjoying it. I wonder if it is much different than other smoked salmon I have tried or if it's the smoked flavor I am not such a fan of. Interesting thought. Now I will have to try some smoked salmon again and think it over.