Smoked Fish

Josh Nelson of Almanac Fish in Lowertown St. Paul stopped by the TCL kitchen to share some tips on how to smoke fish.

Josh’s Tips:

  • Get yourself some salmon, at Almanac Fish we prefer the fattier Atlantic salmon raised in Norway. Prepare the salmon by cutting portions into sizes you prefer (there’s no right or wrong size). Leave the skin on.
  • Next make a brine; one cup sugar, one cup salt to a gallon of water. Place in large pot and bring to a boil, this will help the salt and sugar fully dilute into the water.
  • Let the brine cool to at least room temp. Add your salmon pieces to the cooled brine. Cover, and place in a refrigerator for 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours drain the brine and place cured salmon on a cooling rack that has been placed over a cookie sheet to dry. Leave uncovered in the refrigerator for another 18-24 hours. The idea is to achieve a result of “sticky” salmon. That “stickiness” helps the smoked stick to the fish.
  • For the actually smoking a charcoal grill with a temp of 160-180 degrees is preferred, but not essential. Add apple and/or cherry wood chips that have first been soaked in water for 30 minutes and then drained to your coals. Place your salmon on the grill and cover. Smoke until the fish measures an internal temperature of 140-180 degrees, depending on how moist or dry you like it. I will say even at 180 degrees this salmon is hard to dry out.
  • Enjoy warm, or let sit in the fridge until cool.
  • It is that easy… Cheers!
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