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Author Topic: Salmon / Steelhead dry brine  (Read 1889 times)
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fishintheblood
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Last Login:June 02, 2011, 06:35:05 AM
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« Topic Start: March 23, 2008, 04:14:08 PM »

Found an excellent "dry" brine.
2 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup canning salt
add to that any extra spices you may desire. I add pepper, (not sure how much I just start grinding until I feel I have enough) and garlic powder.
mix well.
From here I do things a little unorthodox. I  fillet my fish and remove the skin. dump dry brine into a large ziplock bag and then place fillets into bag. zip closed and shake to cover fish completely. place the bag into a bowl (just to protect the fridge from any mishaps. If you do not remove all bones they will most likely puncture the bag at some point.) after about an hour I will rotate the fish in the bag. At this time the dry brine has started removing water from the fish and creating a thick mixture in the bag. after a couple of hours the mixture has "thinned" to a nice liquid brine and I continue to rotate the fish (no need to rotate every hour, but whenever I think about it) I will also open the bag and try to get out as much air as possible to get better coverage of all fish.
Leave in brine at least 6 hours...I prefer 12 or more.
remove from brine and rinse in cool water. After removing the fish from the brine, place the fish on elevated racks for drying prior to smoking. It is easiest to use the same racks that you will use in your smoker. The time for drying is usually one hour at which time a thin glaze called the pellicle is formed on the fish. The pellicle aids in the development of the color and flavor as the fish is smoking. It also helps keep in the juices and retain the firm texture of the fish as it is smoked. I will grind a nice coating of fresh pepper on fillets at this time.
You are now ready to smoke your fish.
I have found cherry wood to compliment this brine very well.

Hope you enjoy: My friends and family do
FITB

Almost forgot. I use a mini chief electric smoker, to aid in cooking time, I add a brick of charcoal (or lately I have been using char wood, a little more natural) to the pan after the desired "smoking time." gets the smoker a little hotter than it can generate by itself and shortens the total time needed to finish cooking
 

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