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Joined by our passion for meat, beer, cards and meat, we created a compitition bbq team to partake in just that.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Smoked Salmon Bites

Imagine the best smoked salmon you've ever had.......

......Now imagine smoked salmon that's even better, more succulent, and really easy to make......

......Now follow this recipe and your dreams will become a reality!


 The ingredient list is simple:


  • Salmon - about 3lbs
  • Dry Rub




 The Dry Rub or in this case, cure has two primary ingredients - Sugar and Salt - along with a few other spices to add a little depth to the flavor profile.  The quantities here were enough for about 4 lbs of fish and it's easy to scale up if you get a larger piece or more fish.  I wouldn't scale it down because you'll be really upset if you make less than 3lbs.
  • Brown Sugar - 4 cups
  • Kosher Sea Salt - 1.5 cups
  • Garlic Powder - 4 tblspn
  • Onion Powder - 2 tblspn
  • Cayenne Powder - 2 tblspn














I wish I had some fresh caught salmon from the Pacific North West but I had to get what they had available at Costco.

Cut the salmon into bite size pieces - about 1.5" Cubes.


Coat the pieces thoroughly in the salt and sugar cure and let them sit for 6-8 hours. 


After 6 - 8 hours in the cure, your salmon bites will be swimming in a pool of sugar and salt sludge.  The cure has sucked much of the water out of the fish.






















This step is REALLY important - wash all the cure off the fish.  You want to thoroughly rinse the cure off or the salmon will be way to salty to eat. 
















This step is optional but I wanted to add another layer of flavor.  After the bites were completely rinsed of the cure, I soaked the bites in Yoshido Teriyaki sauce for about 15 minutes.

 Lay the bites out on a cookie sheet or a wire rack so they are not touching and air dry so a pellicle - hard coating - will form on the fish.  This will help trap the remaining moisture in the bites during the  smoking process.







While the bites were air drying, I got my A-MAZE-N Tube Smoker loaded and lit.  This thing is amazing and it is a must have tool for all BBQ'rs!  Here's a link to their site:

http://www.amazenproducts.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=AMNTS

 I loaded up the tube with Apple Pellets and lit it up per the instructions.  I have the 18" Model and is supposed to last up to 9 hours for cold smoking.  I ran it for 6 hours and it heated up my Traeger 075 to about 120F at the grate and put out an amazing amount of cold smoke.




 I used a Frog Mat and evenly spaced the bites so the smoke could swirl all around.



Just for fun I added a block of Dill Havarti just for fun.  I vacuum sealed the cheese after it was smoked and left it in the fridge for a few weeks so the smoke flavor would soak in.  Yes - it was amazing!


Check out the amount of smoke coming out of the stack on the Traeger - and the Traeger is NOT on - all of this smoke is from the A-MAZE-N Tube Smoker.  This thing really pumps out a ton of smoke.

I cold smoked the salmon bites for 4 hours and the grate temp was a constant 120F - perfect for cold smoking.

If you don't have the A-MAZE-N Tube, you can still smoke these on any indirect heat source - just try and keep the temp as low as possible for as long as possible.






After the 4 hours I turned the Traeger smoker on and set the temp for Smoke.  On this pit Smoke setting is about 165F.  I continued to smoke the salmon bites until they hit the USDA recommended internal temp of 145F.

These salmon bites came out absolutely amazing.  You can serve these as an appetizer or add them to pasta.  Anyway you serve them, make sure you have plenty on hand because they are going to fly off the plate!

I was inspired to do this recipe from another blogger and member of the Smoking Meats Forum - thanks Steve Cylka!

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