Scotch Smoked Salmon

"Several years ago DH and I acquired a gas smoker and found our smoked salmon to be very popular with people who like smoked fish. Originally, I found a recipe for Bourbon Smoked Salmon on the Internet, but the poster said he had adapted it from a recipe made with scotch. Being a scotch drinker, I changed it to scotch, added a little more sugar and made other changes to the original recipe over the years. We usually use Alder for the wood, however Apple also works well. We serve this on a platter with a garnish of a spicy olive and marinated vegetable mix from our local grocery store, along with some small slices of lemon and lime. Please note: the fish needs to marinate between 4-24 hours, which is not included in the prep or cook time."
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Ready In:
2hrs 10mins
1 fillet




  • To make marinade, warm 1 cup of water to more easily dissolve the sugar and salt. Add the dark brown sugar and canning salt to the warm water and stir until dissolved. Add the rest of the water and the scotch and stir.
  • Trim the fish as you like, then curl it, flesh side out, to slide it into a gallon zip-type bag. Place bag and fish in a medium bowl to help hold it while you work with it.
  • Pour marinade into the bag, then add the thyme, lemon and peppercorns into the middle of the curled fish. This will keep the lemon slices against the skin of the fish and the flesh will not become discolored.
  • Marinate fish at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  • When you're ready to get the smoker prepped, remove the fish from the marinade and allow it to dry on a rack for 30-60 minutes.
  • After the fish is dry and the smoker is ready, oil the rack from the smoker, generously oil the skin side of the fish and place it on the smoker rack.
  • Grate fresh pepper over the fish, covering it lightly.
  • Smoke 2-2 1/2 hours at approximately 215°F.
  • Serve slightly warm or chilled.

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One of my passions is to feed people, but I wouldn't work in a commercial kitchen on a bet. It's too hard - and I have great respect for those who do it. I fix dinner for about 60 people once a year and am always looking for new recipes for "the party", which is what led me to this site. My husband and I also make and can jams (especially strawberry - plentiful in Florida, peaches, tomatoes and green beans, not to mention the annual cookie frenzy each December when we make about 75 dozen cookies for gifts. We also smoke salmon often. We love living in Florida, but miss the fine seafood, corn, tomatoes, peaches and apples of the mid-Atlantic coast.?Below I've?defined how I rate recipes to make my ratings more useful. I think this is important as I rely a great deal on ratings and comments by other Chefs and I would like to know what their standards are. How I rate recipes: 5 stars: These are recipes I expect to make many times and require little in the way of changes to be really, really good. This rating doesn't take into account as to whether a recipe is 'gourmet' or just plain good food - if I expect to make it often, it gets 5 stars. 4 stars: These are recipes that are very good, but for one reason or another I don't expect to make it often. The reasons for not making it often can be varied, such as difficulty or cost, but NOT because we just thought it was OK instead of great. These recipes are just as good as my 5-stars and are ones I would consider making again. 3 stars: These are recipes that one of my family or extended family liked or loved, but there wasn't a consensus that it was really good. 3 stars means I probably won't make again unless there are easy changes I can do to make it more to our liking. 2 stars: These are recipes that just aren't to my taste for one reason or another. Could be flavor, poor appearance, difficulty - just about anything. I don't plan to make it again. 1 star: These are recipes I didn't even end up serving to others and will not make again. Usually my problem with these recipes is with the taste. You won't find many of these ratings from me as it is sometimes kinder to just not rate it. If I do rate it, it is to make suggestions on how to improve it.
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