Unencumbered Smoked Salmon

Unencumbered Smoked Salmon

Smoked Salmon is one of my favorite things to make in my smoker. It is simple and delicious and has no added fat or cholesterol.
For this recipe it is important to use salmon that still has the skin on

First things first, it is important to always clean your salmon under cold running water. After you are done, pat the fish dry with a paper towel.

Salt is the only accompaniment needed for this recipe. I like to use kosher salt but whatever you have on hand will work. I find that pink salt is really good on fish, I have not tried it with this recipe but I’m sure it is a good choice.

I have tried many different chips when smoking salmon. Alder has a distinct flavor that I think compliments the salmon nicely. Hickory is a good alternative if you want to make the smoke stand out more against
the salmon (hey, some people find the flavor of salmon a little strong by itself)

Generously add chips to the smoker, at least a tablespoon is appropriate (no make then two tablespoons). Soaking this chips is not recommended. This is a common practice with outdoor smokers and with grill boxes but should not be done with this smoker for this recipe

Put the drip pan and wire rack in the smoker. Add the salmon so that it is at an angle. If you can line up the bottom corner of the salmon with one of the bars on the wire rack you’ll have an easier time removing the salmon when it is done cooking

For electric, you should “preheat” the burner at medium for a minute or two before adding the smoker.
Attach the lid to the smoker and close it most of the way (not all the way). Turn the burner to medium. Once you start to see little smoke, close the lid completely and start your timer. Salmon usually takes about 35 minutes.

While the smoker is going, you should prepare a “landing area”. It is important that this is a stable spot that is away from the heat. I use two trivets but you could use unused burners on a gas stove or pot holders.

Once the timer goes off, move the smoker to the landing area and remove the lid (watch out for steam and smoke escaping)

The white foam is a good sign, this means the salmon is cooked. It is always important to verify that the salmon is cooked all the way through. It should be a lighter color all the way through. If it is much darker in the middle, put it back on the smoker and cook it for  more time. Keep in mind that the smoker has lost all of its heat when you opened it so it will take a few minutes to heat up before any more cooking can happen. I recommend starting with 10 more minutes (5 to reheat, 5 to cook)

Please note: the salmon in the picture below is done but it is full of water that makes it appear darker inside, if you poke a hole through the salmon this water will drain

Now it is time to remove the salmon. Locate the bottom corner of the salmon that you lined up with on of the bars of the wire rack. Note that the skin is now sticking to the rack

Slide your spatula under the corner that is stuck

Gently continue sliding the spatula until you have separated the skin from the salmon and lift to remove the salmon from the smoker

Plate and serve. I made roasted cauliflower with mine.

Congratulations, you have just made salmon in your smoker!