I was sent product from Wildwood Grilling for sampling
I have been finding some great deals on wild salmon lately. I picked up this Alaskan Wild-caught Sockeye yesterday and began preparing it for today’s smoker when I got home with it. My smoked salmon recipe is very simple, but plan ahead because you need to start it the day prior to smoke day. In this recipe, I smoked my salmon on Alder Grilling Planks from Wildwood Grilling.
Prepping salmon for the brine is simple. I check my fish to make sure it is deboned and remove any bones I find. You don’t have to de-bone but I prefer to. I make my dry brine. You just need 3 ingredients, plastic wrap, 2 long baking dishes and some weight.
- 1/2 Cup kosher salt
- 1 Cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
In a small bowl, combine salt, sugar and black pepper. Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on a flat surface that is longer than the fillet. Spread 1/2 of the mixture on top of the plastic and lay the fillet skin side down on top of the cure. Top with the other half of the cure spreading it evenly over the top of the fillet. Fold up the edges of the plastic and wrap tightly.
Place the wrapped salmon fillet in the bottom of a flat, rectangle baking dish. Place another identical dish on top of the fillet. Place a couple of cans or something heavy inside the top pan to weigh it down making sure the weight is distributed evenly pressing the fish. Let it brine for 4-6 hours in the fridge.
After 4-6 hours in brine, rinse all brine off very well (the better you rinse the lest salty your finished recipe will be) and refrigerate overnight. For this you just need a sheet pan, wire rack and space in the fridge on a bottom shelf. After rinsing brine, pat very dry with paper towels, lay on rack and place that rack over a sheet pan. Place the pan in the fridge on a bottom shelf uncovered overnight so it develops a tacky film called a pellicle to form on the surface of the salmon that helps smoke adhere to the fish.
Once I was ready to smoke, I soaked the alder grilling planks in water for 15 minutes, weighing them down with mugs to get a full soak. As the planks soaked I preheated the smoker to 180 degrees and let the salmon sit out to get closer to room temp.
The smoke happened in about 4 hours at 180 degrees on an 80 degree day. Typical is 3-4 hours. Voila! These alder grilling planks made such a great addition to this smoke. It was my first time using planks of any kind and I will not smoke fish any other way now. I am real excited to smoke other foods on planks and have fun with it.
Wildwood Grilling offers grilling planks, chips, wraps, rubs and more. The alder plank left a subtle earthy and sweet taste. You can also choose from cedar, cherry, hickory, red oak, maple and the alder grilling planks. I also have cherry and want to smoke a shoulder or roast with it!
They have similar infused flavors for chips and wraps. The wraps are similar in that you soak, wrap and smoke or bake anything from meats, fish or veggies. The products are 100% pure and clean with no pesticides, herbicides or foreign matter and made with a food-safe process. They produce their own wood fiber and use 100% of it for no waste. They have many sustainable practices in place within the brand.
You can enjoy this salmon warm or cooled. You can keep it about 4-5 days in the fridge in an airtight container – a great recipe to make on a Sunday and cut, divide into meal prep dishes for the week.
Visit Wildwood Grilling if you decide that you want to use their grilling woods in your recipes! Also available via their Amazon store.