Teriyaki or Plain? (more food porn)


Smoked Salmon and Teriyaki Smoked Salmon

First soak the salmon in water with a bit of sea salt while you prep your smoker — if you can taste the salt strongly then you used too much salt to make your brine. The idea is to get it about as salty as sea water or just slightly more to your taste.

Get your smoker ready: rinse it out since you do not want too much essence of pork or beef oil flavoring your salmon. Starting with a wet smoker is also always a good idea since your food does not become dry and dessicated that way, but more on that later.

Start the fire in the fire compartment with normal BBQ coals and put your wood on, for Salmon I recommend apple or cedar. You should put on plenty of wood, you want a relatively hot fire to start. The idea is to kill all possible germs through the combination of salt, then heat, then smoke. So you should get the fire hot, run with the damper and stack wide open until the smoking compartment is 300 degrees fahrenheit or thereabouts.

You should section the salmon into about 2″ strips, then pat the Salmon dry and coat it with some with extra virgin olive oil, and some with Teriyaki sauce.  Make a perforated pan out of heavy duty foil for each type, make sure to puncture the foil in several spots with a fork so the smoke gets through to the bottom of the Salmon as well.

Place the salmon in the smoker at the end away from the firebox, you want it on “high heat” for ten minutes, which will seal the outside a bit, kill any possible germs, and make the seasoning stick. After ten minutes, open the smoker lid, damp down the fire, and let the smoker cool for about five minutes. Close the lid, set the firebox damper to a sliver, and close the stack damper to a sliver. Smoke about four hours.

Also note to keep humidity in your smoker compartment high – keep a kettle of water boiling above your coals, and occassionally take the garden hose set to “mist” and mist lightly to coat the bottom of the smoking compartment. Do not mist above the Salmon, remove a section of grill and mist below it. Feed wood as necessary, after the inital fire you shouldn’t have to feed too much more in if you have your firebox properly damped.

Occasionally brush the Teriyaki batch with fresh sauce or it will carmelize and go too black and hard. Pull it off and cool, eat with crackers, cream cheese, lox, bagels, or however you prefer.