Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cheaper than eating out.

Prepared up a new batch of salmon for the smoker. Usually I like using the Steel Head Trout from Sam's as it is a bit firmer and has the skin on and that works better for curing and smoking. But they had none, so we settled for farm raised Chilean salmon instead.
The usual cure, 50/50 salt and brown sugar, an handful of garlic powder, pepper and a good bit of dill. Wrap it all up in sarran wrap, and weighted down for about 12 hours. Next morning rinse and set to dry for a couple hours on a rack with a fan in a cool place.
Made some modifications to my smoker cabinet as we wanted to try using just some cherry shavings without using a hot plate to get them to smoke.
Jonathan and Noah came up with this little neat perforated kitchenware container from Ikea that could do the trick. Stuffed it full of cherry wood planer shavings and lit it with the torch enough to keep it smoldering without flaming up. A bit of a trick to do on a windy day.
The results after about two hours looked and tasted great, though due to the wind we had a hard time regulating the burn and the temperature and it got a bit hot on us so it cooked a little bit as evidenced by the white protein oozing out of the top center piece.
Even though it was cooked a bit, It washed down well with a couple of beers.
 Ended the day with some lamb chops on the grill.
All in all a bit of money, but still way cheaper than eating out and had left overs for the rest of the week.


  1. I really DO NEED to build a cold smoker (for me it would be for bacon). I'll move it to top of the list.

    1. Hi Cro, thanks for visiting. The smoker is just an old kitchen cabinet saved from a remodel job. I drilled some holes and added the dowels for the racks to sit on. Really quite easy. Still experimenting with the smoke source. Up to now I had been using a hot plate ducted from the outside to heat the chips in a pan and make smoke. But this time as we had the finer cherry planer shavings we wanted to try without the hotplate. Alas it was not the best day to experiment given the windy conditions so we shall have to try again when the conditions promise to be calmer. The trick is to keep the temps in the box under 75 degrees F.

    2. I think I might build something from scratch. Maybe a brick base for the fire, then a wooden box for the smoking chamber. I need to work on a simple effective design.

    3. I found that there is a bit of a learning curve and it has been a bit of trial en error so something portable and easy to modify worked for now. Once past the experiments I may build something a bit more permanent. The difficult part so far has been keeping enough smoke going without over heating the fish and cooking it off. You want smoke but no heat. Bacon and other red meats may be a bit less finicky. Given my results up to now I am thinking that a remote smoke source to one side is not so good for cold smoking. And a small bottom chamber allows to much heat in to the smoke box. I think a large smoke chamber about the size of a 55 gallon drum underneath so a small (2 liter?) perforated smoulder tin can dissipate its heat and a smoke rack box above the barrel, might be the solution to keep the ratio of smoke/heat to airspace just about right.