Mike Leffingwell's Smoking Recipe

fish such as trout, char, or salmon
2 pounds dark brown sugar
1 1/4 cup salt
3 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon white pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons liquid smoke flavor
maple syrup
alder chips

Make a huge amount of dry brine, enough for 8 large salmon, by combining:
dark brown sugar
garlic powder
onion powder
black pepper
white pepper
cayenne pepper
liquid smoke flavor

Brine the fish overnight in the refrigerator.
Put a layer of dry brine on the bottom of a large flat plastic, glass, or steel (never aluminum) pan or casserole dish. Add a layer of fish filets and coat them heavily with the dry mixture. Add another layer of fish and repeat until all of the fish are covered. While the fish are brining, they will sweat and moisten the brine, so put enough brine over the last layer so the fish will be submerged under the resulting wet brine.

Air dry the fish.
Rinse off the fish thoroughly, reseason, put the fish on smoker racks and allow air to blow over them for 3 hours. When done, paint the fish with maple syrup.

Smoke the fish.
Smoke the fish for 8 hours or until desired amount of dryness is reached. Use three pans of alder chips in the first few hours of the smoking process.

Freeze uneaten smoked fish.
This smoking recipe, like most, does not absolutely preserve fish. Uneaten fish should be frozen thoroughly to preserve it.

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Last Updated on 08/21/05
By Richard Pellessier