Most folks around here use Alder wood in their smoke houses, I suppose because it grows like weeds here. I’m okay with it, but I usually go with apple or cherry, which don’t grow around here
I like to run whole sides of salmon through the smoker. I do a dry cure, usually 3 to 5 days, so it’s best to be cautious with the salt. I press the fish while it’s curing, kind of like folks do when making lox. I usually cold smoke the fish for at 6 hours, more if I have the time to baby sit it.
I’ve never gotten into doing fish strips / salmon jerky. It seems like too much work. Cutting the fish into strips, threading it on to string, and then hanging it to smoke.
But fish strips are definitely good eats. The best of the best though is smoked strips put up in mason jars – that is unbelievably delicious.
There’s a Native woman we know who uses the bellies from King salmon for her strips. Her cure is excellent, she hits it with just the right amount of smoke, and puts it up in pint jars. I always feel darned lucky when she drops a couple jars off for us at the house.
We usually eat trout once a year. Usually right around now. We’ll walk down to the neighborhood creek and pull one in for supper. That does it for me for the year. The same goes for Dolly Varden / Char, once in the spring is enough.
Salmon, now that’s a whole different story. We eat salmon 2-3 meals a week, mostly Reds. Here when you say fish it’s assumed you are talking about Reds, any other kind of fish you specify what it is.
It used to be we could harvest up to 470 salmon with a subsistence permit – we never came close to that : -) Last year the permit had no limit, but we called it good at around 90 (6-8 kings, the rest Reds). 90 seems like a lot, but by the time we share with those who can’t get out and do for themselves, we have enough to last us for the year.
The great thing about Reds is how well they hold up in the freezer (assuming they are well packaged).
Salmon that is bled and iced within minutes of being caught and filleted and frozen within hours is hard to beat. When we finally leave here I doubt I’ll ever eat salmon again. I’ve saw the stuff that gets sold in stores in the 48s and I’m not certain what it is, but it’s not Fish.
From last June.