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Smoked Salmon For Christmas


Okay . . . so today I set out to smoke four (4) pounds of salmon for a friend. She is having her annual Christmas party next week and asked that I smoke some salmon for her.

My wife took care of all the hard stuff. She picked out the salmon, brined it and got it all ready to go in the smoker so all that was left for me to do was stick it in the smoker and wait for it to cook.

I got to tell you that this friend has been a fan of my smoked salmon since she first tried it last year. I don’t know why she likes it so much. My first attempt left the salmon, in my opinion, dry and overcooked. But for whatever reason, she ate it and raved about it.

The second attempt was for my grandson’s first birthday party.

Again, I was not the least bit impressed with the results, but then again, I am not a big fish eater and the only salmon I had ever really eaten came out of a can. So you can take my opinion for what it’s worth.

Anyway, this same lady friend was at the birthday party along with one of her kids, his wife and their two kids.

I had smoked a couple of pounds of salmon along with ribs and a port tenderloin. When the party was over, there was no salmon to be seen. Seems that this lady friend, her son and his wife along with my grand daughter made sure that all the salmon was gone.

So this time, we took a bit of a different approach. This time my darling wife brined the salmon for a couple of hours before it hit the smoker. The only problem is that she forgot to rinse the brine off before she dressed the fish out with her spices and lemon slices.

With the smoker going at around 225°F and alder wood chips going in my electric smoker, I put the salmon in and let it cook for a couple two or three hours. Once the fish hit an internal temp of around 145°F, it came out of the smoker and was left to sit and rest.

I sampled the salmon and to me it still wasn’t anything to write home about. Because the wife forgot to rinse the brine, it did have a rather salty taste to it. However, the real test was what our friend thought of it. So we took a small piece over for her to try. If she didn’t like it, we would at least have enough time to smoke a new batch before her party.

I still haven’t figured out what it is, but she said the salmon was tasty and she was pleased with the way it came out. I guess you have to be a fish person to understand what the big deal is about smoked fish.

So the night of the party, the comments about the salmon where pretty much all positive. There was one guest that questioned the salmon. Apparently she was one of our friends uppity customers and was use to having salt crusted, cold smoked salmon. She made some comment that upset the hostess about the salmon not being done the way she was use to having it done. Our friend blasted her and told her that I had smoked it especially for her and if she didn’t like it not to eat it . . . it would leave more for her.

Wow! I was surprised to hear about this.

So this is how my latest attempt at smoking salmon turned out. I don’t understand it, but for the most part, everyone who eats it raves about it. Even my 13-year-old grand daughter likes it and that says something in itself. She is going through a phase where she don’t like nothing. So if she likes it, it must be more than okay.

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