When I got my first smoker, probably in the late 1990’s, I went over to see my backyard neighbor, Dudley Welch who had been smoking fish for quite a while. Dudley had a marinade recipe that he swore by, from his son-in-law, Dan Janssen. Dan is a trained Chef and now owner of a Barbecue restaurant in Kansas City, so I figured the recipe must be good. It is. I get lots of requests for my smoked salmon even from people who don’t like salmon.
- 3 or 4 lbs. Fresh Salmon
- 3 c Water
- ½ c Sugar
- ¼ c Salt
- 4 Bay Leaves
- 1 Tbsp Granulated Garlic
- 1 tsp Nutmeg
- Black Pepper
- Marinate the Salmon for an hour or so and soak your wood chips in water for about the same time.
- Rinse well and dry with a paper towel and cut into 4 to 6 inch pieces.
- Spray your rack with cooking spray or oil and arrange the salmon on each rack leaving space between the pieces for the smoke to get through.
- Sprinkle the salmon heavily with fresh coarse ground black pepper and let the salmon air dry for 20 minutes or so. A sticky coating will form on the salmon that helps absorb the smoke flavor.
- Get your smoker going and put the soaked chips on the hot coals or in the wood chip basket.
- When the chips start producing good smoke, put the fish into the smoker. I typically smoke the salmon for 2 hours at a temperature of 200 degrees.
All smokers work differently and you'll need to experiment for optimum results. The smoking time is less in the summer when it's hot out than in the winter.
I get my best results with hickory chips, but again you'll need to experiment.
I've smoked White Bass in this same manner and the results were excellent, although the smoking time was less as the filets were thinner.