Linda’s Smoked Salmon recipe
Author: Linda Stradley ofWhat's Cooking America
Everytime I make this smoked salmon and serve it, I get raves! For best results you will need a proper smoke/cooker that has a water tray for moisture.
- 2½ tablespoons plain salt to 1 cup water 2 large salmon fillets
- Zest and juice of 2 to 3 limes
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves*
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon coarse Kosher or coarse sea salt**
- 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (depending on size of fillets)
- 1 lime for finish
- Coarse salt *I use whatever fresh herbs that I have at the moment.
- I've also used lavender and it was great! ** The coarse salt is fabulous on the salmon.
- Rinse the salmon steaks in cold water.
- Prepare a salt-water brine of 2½ tablespoons plain salt to 1 cup of water.
- Using approximately 1 quart of the water, heat to just lukewarm; add salt and stir until dissolved.
- Add warm salt water to cold water (I use my sink as a bowl for this step).
- Place salmon, skin side down, in brine at room temperature for 20 minutes
- (make sure the fish is entirely covered by the brine).
- Gently remove salmon from brine and rinse both sides with cold water to remove all traces of salt;
- gently pat dry with paper towels. Let salmon air dry for at least 2 hours.
- Prepare your smoker according to manufacturer's directions.
- I have an electric smoker and I like to use either alder or cherry wood.
- Set temperature to high and then turn down when it is really smoking.
- Place salmon fillets (skin side down) on sheets of aluminum foil and
- cut the foil around the fillets approximately ¼-inch bigger
- (this keeps the fillets from sticking to the racks in the smoker).
- I also spray the racks with vegetable oil (makes for easier cleaning).
- Grate the zest from the limes then squeeze the juice.
- In a small bowl, combine lime zest, lime juice, thyme (or other herbs), pepper, salt and olive oil; stir to mix.
- Rub the seasoning mix on the salmon fillets; coating them well.
- Place salmon fillets on the oiled smoker rack.
- Smoke for approximately 1 hour
- or until fillets are slightly opaque in thickest part (cut to test).
- Remember the salmon continues to cook after it is removed
- - you don't want an overcooked and dried out salmon).
- Remove fillets from smoker.
- Cut extra lime in half and squeeze over cooked salmon fillets.
- Sprinkle lightly with more coarse salt.
- Either serve or refrigerate until ready to serve.
- TIPS: As to the temperature of the smoker, I keep it fairly low.
- Do not raise the lid of the smoker any more than you absolutely need to
- (it reduces the temperature inside every time you do)