If you have an easy way to smoke it, smoked salmon is about the easiest dinner I ever cook and it’s so good . . if you like smoked salmon. We use an electric smoker – a Cookshack Smokette. We bought this in either 2004 or 2005 and we have used it so, so much. Several years ago, we bought a bigger one – same brand . . I think it’s this one. We thought we would smoke sausage but we never did and have only used it maybe twice.
For the fish, this is truly all you have to do:
- It’s best to start with a big piece of fish that has the skin on one side. Aldi often has salmon that needs to be sold for half price. This was a half price piece.
- Come up with some kind of arrangement so it can sit uncovered but will not leak in your fridge. I have a cookie sheet with sides, lined with foil, then lined with a couple of layers of paper towels, then a cooling rack that sits up a bit from the paper towels.
- Once we always used coarse salt, and the recipe said Kosher salt but lately, I use just plain table salt.
- Salt it heavily. Place it back in the fridge, uncovered, and let it sit for about 20 minutes. (For me, that often turns into an hour!)
- Rinse it really good (leaving salt will make it too salty), pat it dry, salt it again, let it sit uncovered in the fridge for about 45 minutes.
- The salt is for drawing out the moisture – not necessarily for seasoning it.
- Rinse it, pat it dry, stick it back in the fridge, still uncovered, and leave it for an hour or so. I like my fish more on the dry side so the more liquid that comes out, the better for me. I sometimes see that the paper towels are wet and if so, I will change them for fresh ones. Sometimes, I only see a bit of moisture on the fish.
- Coat the top of the fish with brown sugar – just a good covering – doesn’t have to be thick but the surface needs to be covered.
- Again, uncovered, place it back in the fridge and leave it overnight.
- The next day, smoke it between 180 and 185 for about 3-1/2 hours. Vince used to do the smoking and he would do it about 2-1/2 hours. The fish was moist – almost mushy moist. Since I like mine more dry and flaky, I like it better after 3 to 3-1/2 hours.
- I don’t know if it matters as far as the time but we place our cold fish, just out of the fridge, in a cold smoker. I suppose if the smoker is pre-heated, you would need to make some time adjustments.
This was the fish when it came out of the fridge and was ready to go into the smoker.
This is what it looked like cooked.
For someone who isn’t into decorating, look at how nicely my salads coordinate with my butter dish! 🙂
I served the fish with Pioneer Woman’s Crash Hot Potatoes and Caesar Salad with homemade dressing. I love that Caesar salads are so easy to make and that dressing is quick and easy to make and so delicious.
This is one of my favorite meals! We serve cream cheese with the salmon if you’re wondering what the white stuff is on my plate.
The best news is . . today we get to have leftovers. I’ll make more salad. We have leftover dressing. A long time friend sent me this recipe yesterday for Crash Hot Sweet Potatoes. I’m not so sure how Vince is going to feel about the cumin but I think I’ll try those today. I have enough of the white potatoes left over that he won’t go hungry if he doesn’t like the cumin but the sweet potatoes sound really good to me. I’ll let you know how Vince feels about this recipe.