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Salmon Jerky

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by bama_glock, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. bama_glock

    bama_glock Gooder than chicken

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    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  2. Mrs. VR

    Mrs. VR Sharon, you will be missed.

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    We bought some in Alaska last year and honestly did not care for it. It was waaaaaaay too salty. I think I'd try making my own if I ever want it again.
     

  3. bama_glock

    bama_glock Gooder than chicken

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    Thanks Mrs. VR! I can't handle the high salt.

    I think I'll just save my money and stick with my home made venison jerky and good ole Pemican reduced sodium beef jerky as well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  4. JimBianchi

    JimBianchi Da Da CLM

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    I had some in Hawaii and it was excellent.

    Been looking to by some locally with no luck.
     
  5. SmokeRoss

    SmokeRoss GTDS Member #49

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    A local business is now making Salmon Bacon. They got invited to bring their product to a huge food show in the lower 48 recently. Tustamena Smokehouse.
     
  6. stevelyn

    stevelyn NRA Life Member

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    I make my own as do most folks living out here in bush Alaska. I learned from the Koyukon-Athabascans that live along the middle Yukon when I lived up there. I or they don't refer to them as jerky. "Jerky" is a white man description for dried and smoked salmon strips.

    For those of us that do our own we make them primarily from king salmon and in a pinch chums. Folks out here on the AKPEN sometimes make them from reds because they are plentiful here but are a PITA to handle due to their smaller size compared to kings or chums.

    The basic technique is to cut the fillets off the fish.

    Lay out the fillet on a flat surface.

    Make your first cut about 5/8" wide along the length of the fillet stopping about an inch short of the tail. Then make your second cut the entire length of the fillet. That way you end up with two split strips the length of the fillet and connected together that makes it easier to hang over the drying rack and leaves less waste. You keep cutting the strips this way until the fillet is completely cut into hangable strips.

    Next, you make a salt brine using rock salt and water. Some folks use a 100% brine, but experience has taught me 50% is enough. White folk like to add brown sugar to the mix sometimes. Most Native folk do not. (Actually my kippered red salmon recipe has a lot of brown sugar and molasses in the brine.)

    Leave the strips in the brine for no more than a couple minutes. Anymore than that they get too salty. Dunk quickly in fresh water to get the salt off the surface, and then hang in the smokehouse with the skin touching the rack. Make sure they are spaced far enough apart where none touch the other. They need air circulation where they can quicky form pellicals. Ideally you want the surface dry to the touch within hours. With the surface dry you don't need to worry about spoilage or flies. They will sour where they touch. Depending on humidity and weather conditions they should be ready in a week or ten days.
    Conditions really suck out here on the AKPEN and I've had fish hanging for close to two weeks drying and had to help them along with heaters.
    With the surface of the flesh dry to the touch, you'll start seeing the oil sweat out, this is good and is normal.

    During the drying process, keep a constant smoke on them. I use commercial fruitwood chips - apple or cherry-, but up north where they actually have trees they use cottonwood. I could use alder since the crap grows like weeds out here, but it leaves a bitter taste unless you cut out the heartwood, bark and cambrium and let it dry a couple years.

    When they're done, take them down, cut to length and either vacuum seal or wrap and freeze. They don't need to be frozen if vacuum wrapped. If not vacuum wrapped, putting them in the freezer prevents them from drying too much to where they are like chewing on soft, splintery wood.

    The gf's family wipes them down with vinegar to get rid of excess oil, but I like the oil on them so I just cut and package. The ocean caught fish out here on the AKPEN are way more oily than those that have swam 400mi up the Yukon before getting caught.

    Most of the commercial strips are chums with a few silvers thrown in.
     
  7. NEOH212

    NEOH212 Diesel Girl

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