Smoked in Texas

Smoked in Texas: TJ’s Smoked Salmon

by Daniel Vaughn · February 24, 2014

When you think of smoked salmon, it might be thin slices of rosy meat that come to mind. That’s the smoked salmon common on deli menus or vacuum-packed on a grocery store shelf which is generally a cured and cold-smoked product. Jon Alexis at TJ’s Seafood Market in Dallas does it a little differently, and it’s fantastic.

TJ's Salmon

Instead of cold-smoking, which is generally done at temperatures around a hundred degrees, Alexis hot-smokes skin-on salmon filets with hickory and alder at 225 degrees. The result is smoky, peppery, and flaky, nothing like the subtle flavors of the thinly sliced salmon you’ll find heaped on a bagel. However, it’s more than just smoke. “We brine our salmon overnight in a dry mix of kosher salt, light brown sugar, white pepper, cloves, granulated garlic and bay leaf,” Alexis explained. It only takes twenty-five minutes in the smoker after the overnight brine, but it’ll disappear from your plate a lot quicker than that.

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