Mix 1 gallon water with 3/4 cup salt. Brine salmon chunks for 1 hour. Rinse, pat dry and let dry in room temp until “tacky”. A fan helps with the process. Smoke in Big Chief till done using 1-2 pans of alder wood chips. “Done” depending on outside temp etc. Let cool and vacuum seal/freeze. Sure you could use sugar in your brine but sugar is for pussies
I built a smoke house out of cedar when I lived up north. Smoked hundreds of salmon in that thing. It burned down when I tried to smoke a hog I shot in Texas. The flames were over the tops of the trees by the time the fire trucks showed up. Lots of lessons learned, limit rum when smoking hogs, trim fat before smoking wild hogs, support local volunteer fire department.
I attended a bear breakdown event last week in Oak Harbor where we also worked some deer hides, the smokehouse where we hung up the hides was (3)12’ 2x4 covered with painters drop cloth in a teepee formation. 10’ away via stove pipe was a regular house woodburning stove in which we burned punky alder wood for the smoke. Very simple but great design with tons of room.
On another note, I fished Wynochee steelhead this past winter in January with a guide, and he was saying one of his regulars smokes whatever he gives him and gives half of it back smoked.
On another note: I would be really interested to hear somebodies first hand account of being a custom smoker business owner.
I built my last two “big” smokers out of plywood, stainless fasteners, and I made it big enough that oven racks fit into it. I made 20 racks Centered every 3”.
Then I used two hot plates with cast iron skillets on them for chip burning. Temp was controlled with an A-421 digital temp control, which cycled power to the hotplate/burner.