Prep 30 mins
Cook 20 mins
Taken from the Food Channel's Best of Show, The Critic's Choice. Great flavors!
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1⁄4 cup salt
- 4 cups apple cider (or juice)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 6 sprigs thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1 large salmon fillet, skin and small pin bones removed (about 1 pound each)
- 1 bunch wood chips (soaked)
- To make brine:
- In a saucepan, combine the brown sugar, salt and apple cider; bring to a boil. Add remaining brine ingredients, remove from the heat and cool. The brine can be made 2 to 3 days in advance and kept in the refrigerator.
- Place the salmon fillets in the liquid brine for at least 6 hours up to overnight(making sure it's submerged), refrigerated. Remove the salmon from the brine and place uncovered, on a wire rack set in a shallow baking pan(or a cookie sheet). Refrigerate the fillets for at least 6 hours, or overnight, to dry them out. (A dry fillet will take on smoke quicker than a moist fillet)
- To smoke salmon:.
- In an outdoor grill, make a small fire using mesquite charcoal or briquettes. When the fire has burned down to a hot bed of coals, after about 1 hour, place the soaked wood on the coals. Position the grate 8" to 12" above the smoking wood and place the salmon fillets on the grate.
- Cover the grill and shut any open-air vents. After 5 minutes, check the heat of the grill; large fillets will be cooked and smoked through in about 30 minutes if the heat is low, about 300* to 350*F., while a hotter fire will cook the fillets in 15 to 20 minutes. Serve the salmon hot off the grill and enjoy!