How to smoke salmon is a single question with many answers. Here at Fish Alaska, we’ve found that simple is usually best, especially when you’re trying to smoke large quantities of fish. Publisher Marcus Weiner has been catching and eating salmon for many years, and he knows how to smoke salmon.
In this video on how to smoke salmon, Marcus walks you through the process from thawing your packages of frozen fish, cutting pieces, making the dry brine, brining the fish, and smoking the fish to completion.
When people think about how to smoke salmon, they often wonder if they should use a dry brine or a wet brine. In this video, Marcus uses a simple dry brine that has been proven to produce succulent smoked salmon that nearly everyone loves. This brine includes brown sugar, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flake, and black pepper.
Dry brines, once applied to the fish, draw moisture from the flesh and this moisture begins to dissolve the dry ingredients, essentially creating a wet brine. Marcus likes to mix the fish and brine every six hours or so to ensure all the ingredients dissolve, and so the brine penetrates each piece of fish uniformly. After 12 to 24 hours, the fish is removed from the brine.
The next steps are to allow a pellicle to form on the salmon, and then to smoke it to your desired color, texture and temperature. The time it takes to smoke your fish will depend on how big the pieces are, the ambient temperature and humidity.
You don’t need expensive, fancy equipment to produce first-rate smoked salmon. In the video, Marcus used a Smokehouse Products Big Chief Smoker. Smokehouse has been producing the Big Chief and Little Chief smokers for many, many years. They haven’t changed much, and the reason is that when it comes to how to smoke salmon, there is no sense in fixing what isn’t broken. The Big Chief and Little Chief are simple to use and very effective for smoking salmon. Check out the Smokehouse exhibitor booth for more information.