Roettger Smoked Salmon
Roettger Smoked Salmon
Author: Bill Roettger, Clive, Iowa
- 5 TO 6 Pounds Fresh Wild Sockeye Salmon (3 Whole Fillets) Skin on.
- Wild Salmon is typically darker red and farmed is lighter pink.
- The following Marinade/Brine Mixture is enough for up to 8 Pounds Wild Salmon.
- 100 Ounces bottle Spring Water
- 1 Cup high pulp orange juice (not from concentrate)
- 1-½ Cup dark brown sugar
- ½ Cup coarse Kosher salt, non iodized
- ½ Cup honey
- ½ Cup molassis
- ½ Cup Kikkoman soy sauce
- ½ Cup Lea & Perrins Worchestershire sauce
- ½ Cup Olive Oil
- ¼ Cup Rum
- ¼ Cup Dry Sherry
- Zest of 2 Lemoms
- Juice of 2 Lemons
- 1 Cup fresh dill weed, minced
- 1 Large bulb garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced
- 1 Tablespoon dried Tarragon, crushed
- 1-½ Tablespoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- Mix above ingredients together (except salmon) in a large plastic container to make marinade/brine mixture.
- Cool marinade/brine mixture in refrigerator for one to two hours before adding salmon fillets.
- Rinse fresh salmon fillets under cold water.
- Cut each salmon fillet crosswise to form 4 to 6 inch long slabs that will fit comfortably in marinade/brine mixture.
- Add salmon fillets (skin side down) to marinade/brine mixture.
- Skin side down is required because salmon becomes soft after overnight marinade and skin side down aids in lifting salmon fillets out of marinade/brine mixture (fillets will not fall apart if they are skin side down.)Marinade salmon fillets overnight in the refrigerator.
- Arrange cooling racks on cupboard with drip trays underneath.
- Gently remove salmon fillets from marinade and place on cooling racks skin side down.
- Reserve marinade/brine mixture for smoker water pan.
- Air dry salmon fillets on cooling racks for 2 to 4 hours
- (a low speed fan blowing on fillets helps air drying process>)
- Remove grates from smoker and clean grates.
- Spray grates with vegetable spray (PAM), or rub grates with cooking oil.
- Place salmon on smoker grates, skin side down.
- Soak 2 to 4 pounds of Alder Wood Chips in water for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
- Additional soaking hours may leach out the flavor of the wood.
- Fire up the smoker with small amounts of Kingsford Charcoal (3 pounds or so.)
- When charcoal is ready, add a couple of handfuls of water soaked
- and drained Alder Wood Chips on top of hot bed of charcoal.
- Note: Additional Alder Wood Chips added to the hot charcoal bed are to be water soaked and drained.
- Additional charcoal to be added is dry and straight out of the bag.
- Place salmon filled smoker grates into smoker and smoke salmon skin side down at 150°F to 200°F for 3 to 5 hours, depending on fillet thickness.
- You can smoke longer if dryer smoked salmon is desired. It is best to do first hour or two of smoking at lower temperature (150°F to 180°F) to further dry the salmon before it starts cooking.
- Do not have Alder Chips smoking constantly throughout smoking process as the salmon may get a bit too smokey of a flavor. Add a couple handfuls of Alder Chips at start, let chips burn off and allow 5 to 10 minutes or so after each burnoff of Alder Chips before addition of new Alder Chips.
- You will also need to keep adding a few charcoal briquettes
- throughout the smoking process to maintain 150°F to 200°F in the smoker. Remember, the charcoal is the main source of heat,
- the Alder Wood is for flabor and not the primary source of heat.
- Remove salmon when done
- (internal temperature of salmon should reach 130°F to 145°F when tested with instant type meat thermometer.)
- It is ok to let salmon cool in refrigerator for a day or two.
- My personal opinion is that the salmon tastes better after resting a day or two in the refrigerator.
- Salmon can be kept ok in the refrigerator for at least 4 to 5 days. Enjoy.