My dad's sister in Alaska is the queen of smoked salmon. They grew up on a Southeast Alaska beach, fishing and eating salmon, so they know what good salmon tastes like, and everybody in town goes to her for salmon smoking.
This is her recipe, which we use for smoking salmon in the smokehouse we built down here in Washington.
Step 1: You Need
- A smokehouse and firewood
- Good, fresh, oily fish- king (Chinook) and sockeye (red) salmon are good for smoking.
- Brown sugar
- Russet potato
- Oil or cooking spray
- Really sharp knives
Step 2: Preparing the Fire
Light a fire in the base of the smokehouse and get the temperature up to 100F.
Step 3: Preparing the Racks
Step 4: Preparing the Brine
Put some cold water in it, then add salt and stir until a russet potato with a nail in it floats to the top.
Note: Add your salt a little at a time, and make sure that it dissolves fully! Otherwise your brine could be too salty at the bottom.
Add about 1/3 cup of brown sugar. This will cause the fish to glaze during the smoking process.
Step 5: Preparing the Fish
Clean out the fish- gut it if yours is fresh; even if it's storebought, open up the belly and make sure to wash out the blood and guts under cold water.
Wipe down the outside and clean off the scales.