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Cider Hot-Smoked Salmon

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Cherry

This recipe for Cider Hot-Smoked Salmon is perfectly timed for cooler weather and comforting food.

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  • 1 1/2 Pound (1 1/4-1 1/2 lb) center-cut salmon fillet, skin-on, preferably wild-caught

  • 1 Teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Brine

  • 12 Ounce bottle hard cider, or 1 1/2 cups apple juice or cider

  • 3 juniper berries, lightly crushed, or 2 Tbsp of gin

  • 1 Pieces Star Anise, Broken

  • 1 bay leaf, coarsely crumbled

Cure

  • 1/2 Cup Kosher salt

  • 1/4 Cup light or dark brown sugar

  • 2 Teaspoon Traeger Blackened Saskatchewan Rub, or your favorite barbecue rub

  • 1

    Rinse the salmon fillet under cold running water and check for pin bones by running a finger over the fleshy part of the fillet. If you feel a bone, remove it with kitchen tweezers or needle-nose pliers.

    • 1 1/2 Pound (1 1/4-1 1/2 lb) center-cut salmon fillet, skin-on, preferably wild-caught

  • 2

    Make the brine. In a sturdy resealable plastic bag, combine the cider, juniper berries, star anise, and bay leaf.

    • 12 Ounce bottle hard cider, or 1 1/2 cups apple juice or cider

    • 3 juniper berries, lightly crushed, or 2 Tbsp of gin

    • 1 Pieces Star Anise, Broken

    • 1 bay leaf, coarsely crumbled

  • 3

    Add the salmon fillet to the brine, seal the bag and place the bag in a bowl or pan in the refrigerator. Brine for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
  • 4

    Remove the salmon from the bag and discard the cider mixture. Pat the salmon dry with paper towels.
  • 5

    Make the cure. In a small mixing bowl, combine the kosher salt, brown sugar, and Traeger Blackened Saskatchewan Rub. Pour half into a shallow plate, or baking dish.

    • 1/2 Cup Kosher salt

    • 1/4 Cup light or dark brown sugar

    • 2 Teaspoon Traeger Blackened Saskatchewan Rub, or your favorite barbecue rub

  • 6

    Put the salmon fillet, skin-side down, on top of the cure. Generously sprinkle the top with the remaining cure, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1-1 1/2 hours. Any longer, and the fish will get too salty.
  • 7

    Remove the salmon from the cure and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the black pepper on top of the fillet.

    • 1 Teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

  • 8

    When ready to cook, set the Traeger temperature to 220˚F and preheat with the lid closed for 15 minutes. For optimal flavor, use Super Smoke, if available.

    220 ˚F

  • 9

    Insert the probe horizontally into the center of the filet. Place the salmon skin-side down directly on the grill grates. Close the lid and cook for 1 hour, or until the internal temperature reaches 150˚F or the fish flakes easily when pressed with a finger or fork.

    220 ˚F

    150 ˚F

  • 10

    Remove the salmon from the grill and let cool slightly. Turn the fillet over and remove the skin; it should come off in one piece. If not serving immediately, allow the salmon cool completely, then wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Enjoy!

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