Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cedar Plank Smoked Salmon

Brining is a popular way to infuse moisture and flavor into a piece of salmon before smoking. It provides a subtle, pervasive flavoring of the salmon and can make a dry piece of salmon juicy and flavorful. It's a simple process that requires little experience and prep time, yet can transform your smoked salmon from boring and dry to plump, flavorful and moist.

A basic brining recipe is salt and water, but that's just for beginners. Some brines are mixtures of salt and sugar, while others use maple syrup, corn syrup or even fruit juices. You can brine salmon in wine or apple cider and salt or add such flavorings as pepper, herbs, spices, citrus peels, fresh berries, cinnamon sticks, cloves or garlic. What type of brine you use will determine what flavors the smoked salmon will assume.

You will always want to brine your cut of salmon in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours, but 24 hours is ideal. Choose your wood chips for smoking such that they compliment the flavors used in the brine such as juniper berries for cedar plank Salmon, or cherry wood for sun dried cherries in the brine mixture.

Cedar Plank Smoked Salmon


2 Quarts Pineapple-Orange Juice
2 Quarts Water
1 Cup Kosher Salt
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
2 cups light Brown Sugar
1 Cup Molasses
2 Cloves Chopped Garlic
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Teaspoon Black Peppercorns
1 Teaspoon Fresh Ginger, Chopped


Preheat Grill to 350°F
1). Soak Cedar Planks in Warm Salted Water for at least 2 hours
2). Combine all ingredients listed above and soak salmon in brine for 12 to 24 hours.
3). Place Salmon on Cedar Planks, and place plank on preheated grill for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked as desired.

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