Butts Giraud's and Alan Fox's Fireweed Honey Glazed Smoked Salmon Strips.
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Butts Giraud's & Alan Fox's Fireweed Honey
Glazed Smoked Salmon Strips.

Alan Fox Fishing
Ready to Begin
  1. 10-12 lbs of salmon filets cut up from a 18-25 lb spring Salmon frozen or fresh.
  2. Take out all the side bones and pin bones from the salmon
  3. Take the skin off the salmon while partially frozen using a sharp filet knife. With the flesh facing down, run your knife just below the skin and carefully remove skin.
  4. Prepared Filets
  5. Cut the salmon with the grain into four or five 6-inch pieces depending on the size of the salmon.
  6. Now you have individual filets aprox 6 inches long. Now cut the salmon filets against the grain 1 to 3½ inches thick. With a very sharp knife and trim off the grayish belly fat.
  7. salmon
  8. Your newly cut strips of salmon should now look like this: Ready for the brine.
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The Marinade (Brine)

Please make the marinade in a large container and place in fridge at least two hours before adding salmon strips to the marinade. The container must be plastic, glass or ceramic. Do not put strips in a metal or aluminum container. Mix the ingredients up well. The water must be almost boiling to dissolve all the mixture. Soak the salmon strips for 24 hours overnight. Take them out, and you'll see they're well coloured and firm. No need to rinse them, but pat the salmon strips dry with a paper towel and let them sit for four hours before smoking.

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The Special Marinade (24Hr.)

  1. 1 cup of course salt
  2. 2 cups thick Teriyaki sauce
  3. 1 cup of cooking molasses
  4. 1 cup of brown sugar
  5. 2 minced gloves of garlic
  6. 1 Tbsp. fresh cracked black pepper
  7. 1 Tsp. cayenne pepper
  8. 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  9. 7 cups of very hot water
  10. 1 cup of apple juice
  11. Grated fresh Ginger to taste

Smoking

Smoking

Any home smoker will do. A Little or Big Chief, or Bradley. Mine is a home made smoker made of wood. There are so many home made types out there, but basically they will all do the same job. The cooking time will vary with each smoker depending on the temp inside. Recommended smoking temperature 120°F-140°F. Remember to take strips out of brine, pat dry and let sit at room temperature from 4-6 hr.

  1. Start your smoker 15 minutes before smoking begins to warm it up. I use a mixture of Alder wood chips and Cherry wood chips. Half cherry /half alder in the smoking pan. The pan should be full.
  2. Spray racks with Pam before placing strips on rack.
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  4. Place patted dry marinated salmon strips on the smoking rack so the smoke can penetrate the strips.
  5. I usually do three to five racks at a time.
  6. I use 3 pans of new wood fuel only during the first 3 hours of smoking time, the last pan will be good through hour four. Any more fuel and the smoke flavour could be overkill. (It's your choice)
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  8. Time is very important as I smoke my salmon for a total of 6 hours. 4 hours with smoke, the last 2 hours taking out the wood chip pan but keeping the heating element on. This time may vary depending how dry or moist you like your smoked salmon.
  9. During the 4th hour no new wood fuel is needed, just what remains from hour 3. Take one rack at a time from the smoker and give the salmon strips a light honey glaze on both sides using a basting brush or a tooth brush. Do this on the rack, and then put rack back in the smoker.
  10. The honey glaze mixture is comprised of ¾ cup Fireweed honey to ¼ cup of hot water; mix well and baste. Handle the strips with care when turning over so they don't break apart. It is important to baste on both sides.
  11. When putting the racks back into the smoker, please put the racks back in the reverse order. This is done to allow a more evenly smoked, smoked salmon. The ones that were at the top are now at the bottom during the last 2 hours.
  12. After 6hr. take one tray at a time out of smoker and place strips on parchment paper on your counter, and using 1 cup of Fireweed Honey, baste only on one side and the ends. Do one rack at a time when the strips are warm. Do these until all the racks have been done and let sit until completely cooled, 1 to 1½ hours is plenty of time before the final packaging.
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  14. Wrap 4-5 pieces of the smoked salmon in cellophane before vacuum packing.
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  16. Vacuum pack in small quantities as well as in small packages so your smoked salmon lasts longer.

Here's my typical smoking schedule

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  1. Start time (with chips) Outside temperature should be above 50°: Fahrenheit for best results. Otherwise cook longer in smoker without chips until done.
  2. The start of the 2nd hr. change chips in smoker.
  3. The start of the 3rd hr. change chips in smoker.
  4. During the 4th hr. do not change chips.
  5. During the 4th hr. Honey glaze (¾ honey to ¼ water).
  6. Baste partially smoked salmon strips lightly on both sides.
  7. Put back in smoker until your six hours is up.
  8. During the 5th hr. Dry heat only (no chips).
  9. During the 6th hr. Dry heat only (no chips).
  10. After 6hr; Cool strips on parchment paper.
  11. Baste one more time with Fireweed Honey mixture at full strength. Place. small bowl with honey in microwave and heat for 30 seconds only. This will thin the final mixture and make it easier for basting.
  12. Let cool for 1-1/2 hours..
  13. After cooled smoked salmon strips, wrap 4-5 strips in cellophane.
  14. Vacuum pack in small bags cutting each bag to the 3rd mark. If not vacuum packing, place smoked salmon in a small zip lock freezer bag and suck out the remaining air with a straw.
  15. Freeze product up to 8 months only.

Final Notes

Your final Fireweed Honey Glazed Smoked Salmon should be smoky, moist and delicious. I personally feel that the small packages are more desirable, as I feel it's a waste to put uneaten strips back in the fridge. It's just not as fresh! The smoked salmon will also last longer for more enjoyment placed in smaller bags.

Please note that when you start this smoking process you will loose aprox. 30% of your original salmon due to weight loss during smoking. Don't be surprised as it's truly amazing?

Shake pan with wood chips half way during each time cycle so that the chips burn evenly.

In Conclusion

I have taken you through this process from A-Z because in all my research I couldn't find any recipe that gave me a detailed step by step guide for smoking salmon. I would like to thank my good friends Alan Fox, Daryl Pool, Maggie Dickau, Roy Schofield and Steve Fera for all their great insight, knowledge and expertise. Along with my own research, and hours of preparation I think I have come up with a winning recipe. My wife Peggy and her daughter Nancy judged my final product. We took a top Canadian brand smoked salmon and compared it to my finished product. To my delight I was given two thumbs up over the commercial smoked salmon brand. "This is the best smoked salmon I have ever tasted!"

Best with cream cheese on crackers.

It worked for me. I hope it works for you. Enjoy!

Butts Giraud
Sports fishing enthusiasts
Oct.2007