I followed the recipe as written and it came out bland. The final step was very poorly written. I should have gone with my own knowledge of working with cedar planks, because using the written instructions only confused me. Before that, though, there was not enough salt. A normal cure is 2 parts sugar to 1 part salt. Using 1 cup brown sugar to 1 tablespoon salt left the salmon too dry and insufficiently seasoned. If I make this again, I will go with what I know and modify the recipe appropriately. Otherwise, I'll go back to Steve Raichlen's other smoke salmon recipe I like.
Smoked Salmon, Barbecue University-Style
This whisky-scented smoked salmon combines the virtues of hot smoking and cedar planking. The dry brine in a sugar-salt mixture seasons the fish wonderfully. Cedar planks are available at grill stores and cookware shops. For gas grilling, place drained, soaked wood chips in a disposable aluminum pan directly on the burner of your grill.
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Total: 6 Hours
- Calories: 312
- Fat: 9.6g
- Saturated fat: 2g
- Monounsaturated fat: 3.2g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 3.3g
- Protein: 36g
- Carbohydrate: 14g
- Fiber: 0.0g
- Cholesterol: 90mg
- Iron: 1mg
- Sodium: 444mg
- Calcium: 32mg
- 1/2 cup Scotch whisky
- 1 (1 1/2-pound) 3/4-inch-thick, center-cut skinless salmon fillet (preferably wild)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons coarsely cracked black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 1 (15 x 6 1/2 x 3/8inch) cedar grilling plank
- 1 1/2 cups hickory wood chips
- Coarsely cracked black peppercorns (optional)
- Lemon slices (optional)
- 1. Combine whisky and salmon in a large zip-top plastic bag. Refrigerate 1 hour, turning occasionally. Drain; pat salmon dry.
- 2. Combine brown sugar, pepper, salt, and rind in a large bowl. Place one-third of sugar mixture in bottom of an 11 x 7inch baking dish. Add fish; top evenly with remaining sugar mixture. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 4 hours. Rinse fish well; pat dry.
- 3. Soak grilling plank in water 1 hour; drain. Soak wood chips in water 30 minutes; drain.
- 4. Remove grill rack; set aside. Prepare grill for indirect grilling, heating both sides to medium and leaving center with no heat. Maintain temperature at medium (325°). Toss wood chips on coals. Place grill rack on grill. Place salmon, skinned-side down, on plank in center of hot rack, away from the heat. Cover; cook 30 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with cracked peppercorns and lemon slices, if desired.
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