With all the silver salmon people are catching with us this summer at Becharof Lodge, on Alaska’s Egegik River, they are loving the recipes! Here are two smoked salmon recipes using dry brines that are incredibly simple, fast, yet so tasty! Whether smoking salmon that is fresh, or smoking salmon that’s been in the freezer, these two dry brine smoking recipes are ones that everyone will love!
Tenderquick Smoked Salmon
•Morton’s Tenderquick Curing Salt (available on-line or in select stores)
•Freshly ground black pepper
1. Place desired amount of Tenderquick on a large sized plate.
2. Roll each piece of fish in the Tenderquick, making sure to coat evenly on all sides.
3. Let fish sit in a large flat pan 30 minutes. Take care that no piece of fish sits in the cure longer than 45 minutes.
4. Rinse fish under cold water. Fish feels slippery at first, gently rub the cure off so it is no longer slippery.
5. Lay each piece of fish, skin side down, on a clean bath towel.
6. Grind black pepper to desired taste over the fish.
7. Smoke to desired texture. Cooking time varies from 3-10 hours, depending on the smoker, volume of fish being smoked and outdoor conditions. Check frequently so as not to overcook.
•2 cups brown sugar
•1/2 cup non-iodized salt
•Garlic salt, optional
•Onion salt, optional
•Black pepper, optional
1. Thoroughly mix salt and brown sugar.
2. Put smoker racks in sink, sprinkle a liberal layer of the dry mixture over each piece of fish. Press the dry brine firmly into each piece of meat, and apply more mixture. Add approximately 1/4 inch of dry mixture to each piece of fish, firmly packing it down. On thick pieces of fish, use a fork to work the dry brine into the meat.
3. Let covered fish sit 8-12 hours in the sink at room temperature. (The salt will draw moisture out of the fish, resulting in excessive dripping. Putting the smoker racks in the kitchen sink during the brining process allows liquids to run down the drain.)
4. Before placing fish in the smoker, remove the sugar “crust” that formed on the fish. If you desire a very sweet finished product, the sugar can be left in place.
5. Sprinkle the fish with pepper, garlic salt or onion salt if desired.
6. Place the meat in the smoker and smoke to desired firmness.