Refrigerate over night.
After that is done soaking it is time to lay the meat out and let it dry out. The reason for this is so that "pellicle" is formed on the fish and it gives the smoke something to adhere to. (Mom thinking...he has been doing some major research on smoking, now he is throwing "big" words at us). During this step it is a good idea to have the fish sitting somewhere cool (65 degrees or less) and with air movement. I sat it outside and had a fan blowing on it for about 2 hours. (Mom thinking...something about this picture totally cracks me up! What if the neighbor's dog or cat catches whiff of this out on the deck drying?????)
Hickory, wood of choice.
While the fish is drying its a good time to start soaking your wood chips in a bowl of water. (Me thinking...dang I taught him well, he is multi-tasking!!!)
Since i am using a gas grill which isn't a wonderful candidate for smoking, i made several packets ready to replace any that stopped producing smoke. After your fish has been "dried" and your wood chips are nice and waterlogged its time to prep the grill. Take your wood chips and wrap them in heavy duty tin foil so that it is pretty much air tight. To get good smoke you should put the packet (or packets) of wood chips under the grill grate so its exposed to direct flames. Turn the grill up until you start to see smoke.
once the grill is smoking its time to get the temp under control. smoking is suppose to be done between 225 - 250 degrees. I had the fish on the side of the grill that had the burner turned off and the other side was on low which for me kept it just below 250 degrees the entire time i was smoking the meat.
Depending on the thickness of the fish you should leave it in the "smoker" anywhere from 1 - 4 hours. i left mine on the grill for pretty much the entire patrioits vs. baltimore football game (Mom is now laughing out loud...isn't this a classic "description of time" coming from the male gender?!!!) i think it was just under 3 hours.
I now have something to snack on for the next week.
Fresh smoked salmon will be good in the fridge for 10 days and 6 months in the freezer.
And that ends our fun day of cooking with Matthew. Please let us know if you would like this to become a weekly deal, as I'm sure Matthew wouldn't mind.....
Also please free to offer any favorite brine recipes or smoking tips that you may have!
Have a good evening,
(Matthew if you should happen upon this post...thanks a bunch! - Love, Mom)