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Fish... jerky? Burn ends? Not sure.

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    Fish... jerky? Burn ends? Not sure.

    I just made and consumed Meathead 's hot smoked salmon recipe. On one hand, I don't get it. Why the wet brine? Something about the recipe seems very... not this place I guess. On the other hand, the finished product is damn delicious. The salt was perfect. The fish was not too fishy. The brine brought this strangely perfect amount of pepper and garlic that's really, really faint but there.

    That was my first time smoking fish and I'm probably gonna make some mods (crispy salmon skin is just delicious, I think I am going to keep the skin on, chill it, and then quick sear the skin side next time... either that or just peel it off and fry it by itself—delicious and nutritious!) but overall, this is really enjoyable and a pleasant surprise.

    The edges of the fish were like the early stages of bbq bark. The flesh was a much darker color, very dry, but in no way unpleasant. In fact, it was the best part of the fish. I immediately began to wonder, "How do I turn an entire salmon filet into this?"

    Any suggestions?

    Bonus question, what is the purpose of the wet brine here? Why wet brine rather than just dry brine? Does the added moisture and subsequent evaporation have something to do with it? Or is it just a matter of diluting a bit of the fishiness?

    #2
    The more I think about it... it might take a lot of steps but smoke it to 130-135ish, sous-vide to pasteurize, chill, sear.

    Sous-vide would be just for food safety I guess. I might have to go nuts some hot summer weekend.

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      #3
      I have dry brined and wet brined depending on the recipe and wet brining always gives the better result for me. Of course Gravlax is always dry brined. We normally only cook fish to 135 any way.
      Last edited by mountainsmoker; June 4, 2020, 12:00 AM.

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        #4
        I frequently wet brine salmon. It usually takes a little more of the fishy taste out compared to dry brine. Wet brining usually means a longer stall depending on how hot you are running.

        I am uncertain about the skin if you wet brine, might never get crisp after that. Don't know, never tried. I don't like to descale skin, they go everywhere, so I don't eat it.

        Recently I took a whole filet that had freezer burn and marinaded it, then smoked until it was dry and hard. Salmon jerky. Tough to chew, but I did enjoy it. I think what you are describing is something slightly different. Probably not quite as much moisture taken out. I think you need thinner filets maybe, you did mention that you got it on the edges.

        Comment


          #5
          I've used this method many times. It's great. http://www.uncledavesenterprise.com/...%20Process.pdf

          I think the wet brine is about helping to form the pellicle. The link talks about the why of the pellicle. It makes a difference.
          Last edited by EdF; June 4, 2020, 09:45 AM.

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          • Dick Anderson
            Dick Anderson commented
            Editing a comment
            Good article, thanks EdF! I'll be trying this recipe.

          • binarypaladin
            binarypaladin commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for the extra info. I am suddenly interested in cooking fish. I've been eating this cold salmon throughout the day. It's great!

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