1 cup kosher salt 1-1/4 cups gf brown sugar 3 bay leaves 2 quarts water 6 pounds of salmon filets with skin Brown paper bag
Combine all ingredients, except salmon, to make a brine. Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved.
Place washed and dried filets in a container and pour in brine. Salmon should be completely covered with liquid. Cover container with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.
Pour off brine, rinse filets in cold water and set on a rack.
Cut open a large brown paper bag so that it lays flat. Take each filet and set on bag, skin-side down. The filets will leave a wet mark on paper bag the exact shape of each filet. Place filets back on rack and let dry for about an hour.
Cut out each filet shape from paper bag.
Prepare your smoker: Add hot coals to a smoker or barbeque and check temperature with a thermometer. When internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F, place filets on paper, skin-side down and then into the smoker. Adjust coals to maintain a consistent 170 degree F temperature. This may take 7-10 hours depending on size of filets. Several times throughout process add soaked and drained wood chips to coals.
Remove salmon and allow to cool slightly. Peel off paper (skin will come with paper). Serve either warm or cold.
If you like your smoked salmon sweet, omit sugar in the brine and baste salmon with pure maple syrup when you put it in the smoker. Baste throughout the smoking process.
Visit our Cooking Class this month for detailed instructions on smoking salmon.