- The process for getting true smoked salmon texture versus the texture of grilled salmon is airing the salmon in the refrigerator overnight after it has been dry brined to form a “pellicle” which helps it absorb smoke.
- Place salmon filets skin down in a glass dish.
- Combine the salt, sugar and garlic powder and rub all over the filets, including the sides of the dish to ensure all parts of the salmon are covered.
- Let the fish dry brine in the refrigerator for 45 minutes- it will give have given up a lot of liquid by this time.
- Rinse the fish really well to remove the salt sugar mixture.
- Dry the fish really well with paper towels and let air dry (no cover) in a well ventilated refrigerator for 24 hours or until the fish has developed a shiny skin- the “pellicle.”
- Smoke the fish at 200 degrees, but bring the heat up gradually, start as low as the smoker will let you go. The goal is to eliminate the release of a protein called albumin- a white milky substance– the release of this will mess up the texture of the smoked salmon and also dry it out.
- After the first hour and each hour until you’ve reached an internal temp of 140 degrees, baste the salmon with the maple syrup mixture- this will also help eliminate and remove the release of albumin.
- Smoke the salmon until the internal temp reaches 140, this will take 3 hours or more depending on consistency of smoker and size of fish filets.