I'm new to the forum and have been cooking on a Lang 48 for almost 2 years. I am interested in trying to Hot Smoke Salmon fillets or the whole side, but not sure where to begin... Should I use cedar planks? Do I Brine? What temp? any favorite seasoning for Salmon on a smoker? Smoke fillets or the whole side?
Just throwing my 2 cents in on what I have done in the past. I bought my Lang becauce my $ 19 Brinkman charcoal smoker finaly rusted out after 20 years. 90% of my cooking on it was fresh caught salmon and trout. Please note I have not used my Lang for fish yet. With that said I catch my fish from a river that flows into lake Michigan and with all the warnings on every body of water about pcp's and mercury warnings I saddle fillet all my fish. I remove the skin, rib cage, and "Y" bones so my salmon halves look like a long "H" shape (talking 18 to 20 lb fish before cleaning) I use to cut them into 4 pieces per side for cooking on the small racks of the Brinkman, I most likely will leave them in one piece for the Lang. With that said I found the best flavor (for my taste) is to lightly salt the fillets and then soak them in Italian dressing for a day or 2 then smoke them with cherry or apple wood for about 3 hours or till they flake, just make sure you spray Pam on the grates to prevent sticking. I also used the water pan on the Brinkman, not sure if I'll use one on the Lang.
IMAO I tried straight brine, wine and a few other marinades and wasn't to thrilled with the taste. I found the Italian dressing is the best taste by far for me. No cedar board needed.
If you buy so called farm raised fish the meat will have a tendency to be mushy, stick with wild caught fish or catch your own, the meat will be much firmer.
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