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Does anyone have experience with frozen wild salmon? I want to hot smoke some salmon and am wondering what would be better... frozen wild or fresh farm raised. I have a local source for both types. I'm pretty sure the frozen is skinned. Will it fall apart easily? I've got a good brine recipe, and some alder wood. Just missing the salmon. Any input would be appreciated.
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Frozen is fine, won't affect smoked salmon. However with no skin on it could be very hard to make it stay together.
I only eat wild Pacific Salmon but that's because I go to British Columbia fishing every year. Wild salmon is far superior to farmed Atlantic salmon and much healthier and unfortunatly much more expensive. The area I fish has alot of salmon farms for Atlantic salmon (very contriversial in BC) and although the water is very clean due to strong tides they are fed pellets and chemicals that aren't good for ya. Here's a recipe I found 6 or 7 years ago and I get lot's of compliments on it.

Step 1: Prepare fish
Filet salmon, skin on, remove ALL bones.
Step 2: Uniform strips
Cut filets in to uniform strips 1" and 3-6 inches long or as long as your racks can handle. Key is uniform thickness.
Step 3: Brining
Soak in brine for 12-18 hrs. I use an Igloo type cooler and throw in a bunch of ice cubes and use something to put on top to hold the meat in the brine.
1 gallon water
1 Qt teriyaki or soy sauce
1 cup pickling salt
2lbs brown sugar
2 Tbsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp cayenne pepper
Step 4: Glazing
Lay the fish on cookie/drying racks, make sure they don't touch and put them in the fridge or a cold garage for about 12hrs. This method or many others will form a hard pellicle on the fish. You can sprinkle on certain spices during this if you like (cayenne, pepper etc)
Step 5: Smoking
100-120 degrees for 1-2 hrs
140 degrees for 2-4 hrs
175 degrees for 1-2 hrs
I use the longer times for thicker pieces or a large batch. I've never had a bad batch even with longer times than I should have used.
For my first batch in the cookshack I used 5 small chips (about quarter size and ¼ inch thick) of apple wood and for me it was a little to strong of smoke flavor so next time I'll probably try it with just 1 or 2 chips.

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