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Discussion Starter #1
We use 3 parts rock salt to 1 part Morton salt cure and dry brine
the salmon filets for 2 hours; time can be less for less salty flavor.

We then strip the filets and hang them in the smoker with the fan going
for 2 hours, then smoke for 4 hours. Then we run the smoker with just
the hot plate and fan for 3-4 days depending on the weather; if it is wet
and cool, go longer.

I built this smoker in a few hours one day last week. These are Silver
salmon filets my cousin gave us in trade for tanning and having my
daughter make some slippers and mittens out of a seal he also gave us.

I'll add pix of the finished product later.

 

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WOW!! neat set up and thanks for the receeep. I rarely get salmon fillets and even then probably just two:D:eek: but I do get a fair number of large trout and I think you have urged me to make a trip to the lumber yard. Smoked rainbow trout is pretty good and makes a change from fried, baked, grilled, boiled ......:D Do I take it that leaving the fan on first helps dry the surface of the fish before smoking? What wood do you prefer for your smoke?
I have just cut down an old plum tree and wondered if that wood could be good for smoking.
 

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Drying the fish before smoking forms a "pellicle" or thin membrane of cure on the outside before the smoke and heat do their thing. I have always preferred alder for smoking fish. So much so that I will often not smoke fish unless I have it. Plum wood is excellent for smoking beef and pork. Make sure the wood is dry and well seasoned before you use it. Even though green wood smolders and gives off lots of smoke, the flavor is deficient and sometimes actually bad. Most folks sort out any heavy bark from their smoke wood too.

One other thing: There is a lot of difference between salts. I have used kosher salt exclusively for many years in my smoking brine, as well as for a lot of my general cooking. Try a gallon of cold water with 1-1/2 cups of kosher salt for a brine. (I use the same on turkey with fantastic results after 12 hours.) This same brine made with table salt will be way too salty, owing to the higher density of table salt. If you must be cheap, use at least a third less or even half with table salt.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, the pre-drying forms a dry skin and keeps the flesh together when the heat hits it. We are using alder chips, but my favorite is willow like my dad used to make at my home town. I will look around for some willow next year, though I am sure there is plenty.

There is a 3" hole in the back of the box, and I also stapled some aluminum flashing to the bottom in case anything goes wrong with the hot plate. We used the wood burning pan from our Big Chief smoker for this unit.

Our recipe might be too salty for some, but we like it.
 
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