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Old 11-08-2001, 11:10 AM
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Eric Eric is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Son of EZ Smoker

Since the EZ Smoker discussion thread has degenerated into an arcane discussion of flies for bottom feeders, I thought I'd get things back on track with a few thiings I've learned about smoking salmon and steelhead.

First of all, if you really want to pursue this in the right way, buy the book _Smoking Salmon and Trout_ by Jack Whelan (Aerie Publishing, RR 1, Site 156, C27, Bowser, B.C., V0R 1G0 ISBN 0-919807-00-3). This 230 page volume contains the distilled wisom of a fish-smoking fanatic, who went to great trouble and expense collecting recipes, methods and processes for producing the highest quality smoked fish. Before I found this book, I thought I knew something about the techniques, having processed hundreds of pounds of salmon over the course of many years, but after reading the Whelan book I found I'd didn't know jack salmon about any of this stuff. I got my copy from a local sports shop; the book's probably available from on-line bookstores.

Whelan gives extensive directions for the Scotch, or cold-smoke process, which is just about impossible to bring off with a Little Chief smoker, since its internal temperature gets too high (cold smoking requires you run below 85 degrees for the duration of the smoking). Since I really wanted to produce cold-smoked salmon,
I tried various schemes and eventually evolved a contraption smoke-box that sits like a big hat on top of the Little Chief smoker. By playing around with the lid of the box, and monitoring internal temperature with a car outside-temperature thermometer, I'm able to keep the smoking temperture in the proper range and have been really successful at producing whole fillets of a very nice texture and appearance (I give these things as Christmas presents -- so the cosmetic appeal is a big deal for me).

If anyone wants the exact dimensions of the contraption, just email me off line and I'd be glad to send a more complete description.

My main point is, though, if you really want to get into this, buy the book.

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