Labor Of LovePosted: September 4, 2015
And then, the serious work starts. Finally plowed through about four days worth of processing, but the kids pitched in and made the work both faster and more fun. It wasn’t long ago that kids “helping” made things slower, but I think the investment of time then is really paying off now. We started with butchering four kings and a silver into fillets, and then smoking-sized chunks. That’s part of the pile, above.
Skyla made two big bins of brine, and we filled ’em up. A little salt, a little brown sugar, and the magic happens.
18 hours of soak time, and the chunks went onto racks with a box fan blowing over them to dry. All this wet weather really raised the humidity, and it was tough drying, but after about four or five hours, the fish was good to go.
11 hours in the smoker, over a mix of alder and apple wood–all the while, our mouths watering–and our first batch of smoked salmon was ready. Even though it finished up at around 2:00am, I had to eat two big pieces on the spot. Oh, man! Refrigerated the rest overnight, then the kids and I went to town with the vac sealer, and stacked it in the freezer. Then we started up with the brine again for round two. A LOT of work, but definitely worth it.