Sunday, February 5, 2012


A friend gave me about 100 pounds of salmon.  What to do, what to do.

I'm not a big fish eater, mainly because of fish bones.  But occasionally I like a salmon steak.

I have found the easiest way to cook salmon, is to broil it.  My favorite recipe is to salt and pepper the fillet, broil it just until done, and top it with a generous pat of compound butter.  It's easy, delicious and makes for a very nice presentation.  Serve with asparagus spears.

Compound Butter

1/4 pound butter softened (1 cube)
1/2 shredded jalapeno pepper
1 medium clove of garlic shredded

Blend pepper and garlic in softened butter and place on waxed paper and roll into a log or get fancy and use candy molds.
Refrigerate for a couple of hours, for flavors to develop.

But with so much fish, I decided I would smoke most of it.  Since I have never smoked anything (and I mean anything) in my life, I had to do research.  The results were delicious!

I borrowed a home made smoker barrel from a friend that worked well.  Since the first time was a success, I am going to make my own smoker.  Here's how:

You will need a 30 gallon galvanized garbage can with lid.
Drill a hole 2 inches from the bottom, wide enough for a cord to fit through.
An electric hot plate
An iron skillet

Place the hot plate in the bottom of the can and extend the cord through the opening.  Place the iron skillet on top of the hot plate.  Smoke wood chips (any hard wood) in water for 30 minutes to an 1 hour and place in skillet.   You may want to drill additional holes around the bottom of the can for air. Cover can. That's it. A smoker.

For the brine:

1 1/2 cup sea salt
2 cups brown sugar
1 gallon water

Mix all ingredients together and soak fish in brine for 3 to 5 hours.
When done, rinse fish.

Skewer fillets on wires to suspend from top, or cut into chunks and place on a grilling rack, and let air dry for about 2 hours in a cool drafty place.

Place in smoker, cover with lid,  and smoke for 3 to 5 hours. You will probably need to add more soaked wood chips to keep the smoke going  for that length of time. When done the internal temperature of fish should be about 140 degrees.

When done let fish rest and cool.  Place in seal-able bags and freeze until ready to use.

For a nice appetizer flake some salmon, mix with cream cheese and eat on a Ritz cracker.

 A reward for a job well done!