Smoked Salmon Redux

Shortly after posting about the salmon I intended to smoke, I was whisked away to Cheyenne, Wyoming on business. I barely had enough time and foresight to toss the fish into the freezer. I was a little worried about refreezing it, but the other option was to chuck it in the trash so I figured I'd be at least no worse off. And luckily it was only slightly freezer burned. I just thawed it for 2 days in the fridge with a big weight (stone bread pan) to squish some more juice out.

Today I jury-rigged up a smoker out of a cardboard box and the pieces of the terra cotta smoker that I'm still trying to build. My wife was a bit worried about having a hot object in a cardboard conveyance, so I made sure to have the fire extinquisher around just in case. Not a bad idea anyway, I suppose. Thankfully, no fire.

Following AB's recipe I cooked it until it hit 150 degrees F. Well, to tell the truth it was getting late and I was getting impatience, so I cut it off at 143. Please don't call the food police. The fish had been sitting in there for over 5 hours, so I'm quite sure any nasties had been eradicated.

The texture was a lot like canned tuna, but the flavor was so much better. So much smokier, although curiously it seemed to oscillate between strong and mild. The outside layer had developed this especially tasty thick, somewhat cruchy skin. The BBQ ribs I had in Cheyenne last week had a similar layer and it was equally delicious then. I believe those ribs were also dry smoked so I'm quite looking forward to using that technique on a lot more munchables. I had a bit of my salmon on a sandwitch with some mayo and it was to die for.

Not sure when I might next try the salmon. I have a feeling that wild salmon is a rare catch around here. I'm thinking that I may try smoking some trout if the streams are especially nice to me this year. I'll try out a number of different rubs and woods (I used apple, btw).


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