The very first actual smoke with my new SM066. I used Mr T. Recipe. Using Sockeye Salmon I brined it for 18 hours. When I set the smoker to 200° it kept showing a temperature of 209°. So I set it for 190°, smoked for 60 mins then lowered the temp to 145° for 30 min.

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I'm about to do about six lbs of King Salmon tomorrow. I use Mr. T's brine recipe overnight, about an hour under a fan to form the pellicle, then in the smoker at 200 for about 1 1/2 hours with apple to an IT of 150 - 155 in the thickest piece. My total for the summer (stretching a little bit) will now be about 30 lbs, King, Copper River, and sockeye. Fabulous. Mr. T, THANK YOU! For those of you who don't know, King Salmon (now mostly disappeared from the US waters off Oregon and Washington, but still abundant in AK, is a large species that looks like farmed Atlantic salmon in appearance but has that wild salmon flavor and more internal fat than Sockeye or even Copper River. I usually sells for over $20 a lb but on sale can be had for around $14 - 16, where I can find it, at the end of the season (i.e., right now).
Jay,

I got back a couple weeks ago from a month long fishing trip in Alaska. We caught Kings and Silvers often at the sametime when we had double hookups.

I miss Alaska already.

Jon
Jon, Only been to AK once, but only inland (Fairbanks). Didn't enjoy it much, but used to fish every summer in the 80's off Pt. Angeles, WA in the Juan De Fuca Straits. Kings and Silvers were plentiful there then, but you had to fish trolling) shallow for Silvers, deep for Kings. Great times, but no more in that area.
FLS and Jay.
FLS your salmon looks great.

Glad you both are enjoying the salmon recipe.

Mr. T

I did a quick search and couldn't find his original post, but here is what I've been using for years, and I believe it is his original brine recipe:

2 cups lt. brown sugar

1/2 cup Kosher salt

1 Tbs garlic powder

1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp paprika

4 bay leaves

4 cups cold water

Stir all the ingredients well until sugar and spices are dissolved. Cool the brine in the fridge a couple hours before adding fish. This makes about 4 1/2 cups of brine, enough for 2 large sides of salmon, about 3 lbs. (or 6 pieces the way I cut them). If using 4 sides (I usually do), I increase the amounts 50%.

I use a large (2 1/2 gal) zip bag and place the fish in the bottom, then add the well-mixed brine, and carefully squeeze out as much air as possible before closing. I refrigerate overnight, at least 12 - 14 hours. Place the bag in a pan for leaks - don't ask me how I know this. Remove fish, rinse off brine and pat dry with paper towels.

I then place the fish on racks to dry and form a pellicle (a thin shiny layer of protein that seals the fish and helps keep it moist). A small fan helps. This usually takes around 60 - 90 minutes, depending on temperature and humidity, until the fish feels sticky and almost dry to the touch. You are now ready to smoke.

My experimentation over the years with my Amerique has resulted in me smoking at 200 F for about 80 - 90 minutes, until the internal temp is 145 in the thickest piece of fish. Usually the temp varies from 145 - 155 in the finished pieces. Then I cool to room temp and package in a vac sealer.

Your smoker will undoubtedly vary.

Hope this helps. I don't know if Mr. T is still around here, but I hope he'll chime in if he is.

 

 

 

 

Hi Jay1924, Thank you very much for your kind information and for answering my question.  I also found the original post (page 1 of this thread) and recipe and you are right on!  Appreciate your help very much!

Oh how I miss my days in Alaska.  I was stationed at Ft. Richardson from 86-89.  We had salmon and halibut all the time.  I couldn't afford it now.

I am certain it was plentiful.  At least it left you with some good memories. Look for a sale and give it a shot. 

 

Earlier this summer, I was able to get Copper River sockeye fresh at Costco for several weeks at about $14 per lb. I thought that was a really good price, and over that time, I smoked about 30 lbs and put it away for the winter. Such a treat to have high quality smoked salmon when the snow flies.

Again, thanks to Mr.T, whose salmon brine I use every time, and it always satisfies. Not too salty, not too sweet, and the salmon flavor is foremost. I've got it down to an almost mindless process; mix brine, cool brine, cut salmon, place in bags with brine, next morning, rinse salmon and pat dry, place on stacked racks under a fan to form the pelicle, smoke, cool on racks, vacuum pack and freeze. I do about six lbs per batch, no muss no fuss.

In the late 1980's, I fished the Juan De Fuca Strait off Port Angeles WA, every summer in August, trolling for salmon. Coho and King were plentiful back then, not so much now. I recall coming in at the end of the day with many lbs of fresh coho, and a king or two. Good times I will never forget. Also trapped Dungeness crabs in Dungeness Bay - a special memory.

jay1924 posted:

Earlier this summer, I was able to get Copper River sockeye fresh at Costco for several weeks at about $14 per lb. I thought that was a really good price, and over that time, I smoked about 30 lbs and put it away for the winter. Such a treat to have high quality smoked salmon when the snow flies.

Again, thanks to Mr.T, whose salmon brine I use every time, and it always satisfies. Not too salty, not too sweet, and the salmon flavor is foremost. I've got it down to an almost mindless process; mix brine, cool brine, cut salmon, place in bags with brine, next morning, rinse salmon and pat dry, place on stacked racks under a fan to form the pelicle, smoke, cool on racks, vacuum pack and freeze. I do about six lbs per batch, no muss no fuss.

In the late 1980's, I fished the Juan De Fuca Strait off Port Angeles WA, every summer in August, trolling for salmon. Coho and King were plentiful back then, not so much now. I recall coming in at the end of the day with many lbs of fresh coho, and a king or two. Good times I will never forget. Also trapped Dungeness crabs in Dungeness Bay - a special memory.

Glad you are enjoying your salmon. After my morning coffee, I have some to smoke myself.

Salmon has always been one of my favorite items to smoke. All types of salmon have been in my smokers at one time or another. From the Kings and hard to find Sable Fish or Black Cod to the small Blue Backs always in search of that one recipe and technique that people would crave for. After over 25 years of smoking salmon, the following has become my go-to method. 

My favorite salmon to smoke is the Sockeye. Its deep red color and texture seem to do well canned or kept in fridge. Although the Kings and Sable have a wonderful flavor the Sockeye is well accepted and more economical. shareit vidmate apk

Last edited by barry allen
soleman posted:

Mr T is the King of smoked salmon and just about anything else!

Well, thank you soleman, that was very nice. Good smokin to you.

I hit a sale on salmon at Costco, and picked up 15 filets.  I used Mr. T's brine, and 8 filets for a party that a friend does.  I found some Yoshi none stick mats that fit my O66 grates.  The salmon turned out great as usual.  Thank you Mr. T for sharing your brine and method.  I have been using it since you first posted it.  I also did 3 briskets for the party.  My old smoker has been running overtime since before Thanksgiving, and I am not done yet.

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Mike - that looks great! I have to admit I still labor to oil my grates liberally before the salmon goes on, sometimes it works well, sometimes... Maybe I'll come around to mats, but so far I'm stubborn. I haven't been able to find fresh salmon at my Costco since October, but I'm looking forward to June! I too sing the praises of Mr. T.

Jay: These Yoshi mats were about $10.00 for 2 mats at Bed Bath and Beyond. They worked, but sort of messed up the flow of smoke. I need to turn treys, and switch them up and down next time. I did have the smoker full, and this might have made a difference. They still turned out great. I usually cut the filets into 2 or 3 pieces, but thought the whole filet would make a better presentation. The people at the party finished 6 salmon filets, and 2 briskets. The turn out was smaller than past years, but they came to eat.

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