Smoked salmon is one of my favorite foods. A luxury, truly. But, it’s much more reasonable when you can smoke it yourself. Salmon prices are at $8.99 a pound at Costco right now, which is a couple bucks more than I’m used to. Still worth it.
I’m using the same recipe I always use, with a bit over 5 lbs of salmon. This salmon was packed a couple days ago, unusually. Normally the Costco salmon on display is all packed the same day. It must sell out quickly, it is always beautiful. This fish still had a sell by day 4 days in the future, though. And it still looked beautiful. There was little liquid in the tray, the fillets were spotless… And they were $1 less per pound than the same day-packed stuff. Unpackaging the salmon, I sniffed for any unexpected scents, and looked for any defects with the fish. I found none.
2000: Fish went into brine.
0840: Fish began drying.
1120: Fish is on the smoker at 120℉.
1530: Took fish off the smoker. It was actually at between 150℉ and 165℉, so definitely hotter than I intended… I should check at less than an hour next time.
The fish tastes great, right now, despite the temperature going too high. Time will tell if it lasts in the freezer and fridge as well as cooler fish. Visually, it looks more cooked, with some of the edges being quite dark, compared to usual. Still, tastes great, and is as most as I’m used to. My guess is, this extra temperature didn’t harm the fish at all.
Thomas - Jan 3, 2020
Totally agree – smoking salmon yourself is a much more cost-efficient way of doing it, plus you can season to the flavors you most enjoy. Been doing it for years and haven’t looked back.