Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
How we can & smoke salmon in Alaska

How we can & smoke salmon in Alaska

Good evening guys. The preparations for
our seven-month RV road trip are going well .But now I need to do something with
all this salmon that we caught this summer! And we really didn’t catch that
much salmon… We only got 47 pounds of it. Because we
decided to take it easy and we can only eat so much when we’re on the road. If we
were home we probably would have caught a lot more fish. But on the road we only
have so much room in the RV freezer so… We’re going to can these things up in
mason jars with the pressure cooker. And I’m also going to smoke some!…. Some people
like to can there salmon with the skin on. That is not the way I like to do it!
So I will be stripping the skin off of all of these filers… So everybody cans
salmon but this year I’m going to try canning some halibut! Here’s what we’re left with…. 2 balls of
salmon and a heaping bowl of halibut. One of the nice things about canning is that
the cooking process is so long and so intense that the little pin bones on the
salmon just disintegrates. So you don’t have to worry about picking those out.
Now I’m going to brine some salmon so we can smoke it as well! And the trick to
smoking and canning salmon is to only smoke it for about an hour- an hour and a
half max! Because if you go too much further the smoky flavor would be so
intense by the time you finish the cooking process. That’s just not going to
taste very good!….Right here I have a very simple dry brine. I actually got it from
that show: North to Alaska with Larry Csonka and that guy Smokey Joe would do
a little cooking segment. But this is nothing but half a cup of salt one cup
of sugar and one cup of brown sugar. We choose to use like sea salt and organic
and cane sugar products. But you can use whatever you like!….. So what I’m going
to do now; Is take the pieces of salmon and halibut that I’d like to smoke…. And
get them briny! So here’s what we’re left with…. Some of
each some in the dry brine and then some ready for regular old mason jars…. I’m
going to let it sit in the fridge overnight and then tomorrow morning I’ll
hit the ground running and… Fire up the smoker and pressure cooker! Good morning from Seward, Alaska. It’s
time to get this day started…. These are the mason jars I’m working with. They are
actually used! We’ve had them for years! I ran them through the dishwasher when we
first like got done with whatever was in them before. And I rinsed them out now
because they were sitting on our basement and I wanted to make sure there
were no extra spiders or proteins in there. If you’re going to be canning jams
and things that need a water bath…. Instead of a pressure cooker you need to
boil these jars to make sure they’re completely sanitary. I always like to use
less salt on things then it calls for. So I’m going to put a quarter teaspoon in
the bottom of all these jars. You can always add more salt that you can rarely
take it away in a dish… Now it’s time to pack these jars full of our Copper River
red salmon and Gulf of Alaska halibut! I like to kick things up a notch by
adding a little bit of pepper and garlic to my jars That should be enough. And I’m going to
leave some jars plain! Now it’s time to make sure that the
surface and edges of these mason jars is clean…. Some people leave like half an
inch of head room as what it’s called. It’s like you pack the jar only so high. My
rule of thumb is I like to go to right here where the threads end… While I’m
waiting for the lids to boil, I’ll introduce you to our pressure caner. We
have a pretty large model because it’s… I’ll call it an Alaskan size model because on
most years when we’re not hitting the road…. We do can up a lot and more you can
do in one batch the better! So here’s our pressure cooker and I filled it up with
about three quarts of water. The lids have been boiled for a while so the
seals are nice and soft and they’re kind of sanitized…Never reuse old lids!…. On the
lid for the pressure cooker there is a pressure gauge. There’s some safety
considerations to keep in mind when using pressure cookers… But this is not
the video to learn about them. But pretty much just look at the seals and make
sure everything’s functioning and everything locks down properly on the
cooker! Now we’re putting the bands on and all
you need to do is just kind of lightly finger tighten them on. You do not need
to crank them on to there! Now it’s simply a matter of turning the
stove on, setting this little plate in there so the blast jars are not directly
on the heat source. And loading the jars! I will say that a glass-top stove is the
worst possible thing to do this on because you can’t control your Heat
consistently. That being said it is possible. We’ve been doing it for years
but it’s kind of a pain in the ass because the glass cook top clicks on and
off.. Here’s the final jars..We are able to fit 14 of them in at one time. And that’s
14 easy meals that are shelf-stable! It’s time to put this lid on and it lines up
a very specific direction…. Okay! That goes like so and I spin and lock it into
place. Then there’s this weighted pressure jobber thing and it fits right
there and now the waiting begins. I am going to ideally get this up to 10
pounds of pressure and hold it there for 90 to 100 minutes! So I decided to get
this batch of jars going in the pressure cooker before I start smoking because
it’s going to be a long process. And I can be doing other things while this is
just sitting here doing nothing! So now I need to go outside and get the smoker
ready… I’m going to set up the smoker right out here off our front deck. This
is a good spot for it! You never really want to put it on a wood deck because it
could potentially catch fire. But right here is a good spot. It’s also underneath
our roof area covered area of our front porch We’re starting to build up some pressure
inside the cooker and once we have a good amount of pressure…. This little
thing right here, is going to go pop up and stay up until it cools down!…. Now I’m
going to start loading these racks up with fish. But I’m going to make my
cleanup a lot easier by giving them a little wipe down with some olive oil.
We don’t like using palm or any of those chemical things. We try to keep stuff as
natural as possible because then you end up defeating the whole purpose of all
this effort to catch wild game if you’re putting crap and other things….. Into this
food prep… That little piece just popped up. Now I need to pay close attention to
the pressure gauge because…. Yeah! This thing could turn into a bomb if you kind
of forget about it…. Here’s what the salmon looks like that’s been sitting in
the brine all night long…. Now I’m going to cut it up into pieces for the racks So keep in mind this is not the way
you’re going to want to do it for normal smoking applications…. Under normal
smoking conditions, you’re going to want to let all these fillets dry and get
tacky but…. Since I’m going to be putting them in the pressure cooker, all I really
need to do is get that hint of a smoky flavor onto them and then shove them in
the mason jars!… Today I’m going to be using alder chips. You can’t go wrong by
using these… They ahhh..You get them in the grocery stores up here and probably most
Walmart’s…. But yeah! It’s just a good wood for
smoking…… Plug it in, put this on first…Now….. Set that right in there! And they’ll
start smoking shortly…. Our pressure guage is nearing the ten pound mark….Now I just
need to make sure that we do not go above. So I’m dropping the temperature
down on our glass top stove so…. It’s probably going to settle at four, if I
remember correctly! And taking a quick peek outside here I see smoke coming
from the smoker. What a novel concept! So it’s doing its thing… And it’s kind of
starting to rain…. So now I got some more down time…. No shortage of things to do
around here because we’re preparing for a seven-month road trip! The Big Chief
has quit chiefing. That’s the only mean one thing…. We need more wood chips….Time’s
up! And we’ve done a total of 100 minutes… Around ten pounds of pressure. So now the
waiting game begins. As we let this pressure gauge drop all the way down to
zero… And then, for this little bugger to drop back down. When that actually
happens….It’ll be safe to open the pressure cooker. That also means that the
smoker should be done…. Not done but I’m ready to be taken out…. Alright I
need to use both hands!…. Okay that’s better. There we go!….That looks just about
perfect! The house is starting to smell really good…. This is the pile of salmon
that I pulled out of the smoker… Even that looks like it could be edible, it is
still completely raw! And here’s the experimental chunks of
halibut that are going to be going in next!….. And the pressures dropped to seven
pounds….. Great! I really messed up now. I just dropped the halibut fillets…. Yeah
that sucked! I’m going to need to keep those ones separate. I washed them off in
the sink and I got like 99% of the spruce needles and… Gravel and sand off…
So that could be the crunchy batch and that will be the non crunchy batch… Alright do your thing! Here we go! The smoked salmon is all put
into the jars and now I’m going to doctor them up and a little bit further!
I didn’t fill the bigger jars all the way full because I wanted to spread it
out…. One can only eat so much smoked salmon!
Correction! One should only eat so much smoked salmon in one sitting.
Garlic there, jalapeno there, some of these red peppers there… Take a jalapeno
and a red pepper there. Now, I have a secret ingredient….When we were in Turkey
about I don’t know…. January ish of 2015… We went to the spice market and got all
kinds of great stuff!…. These are red pepper flakes that you buy there! Very
similar to the ones that you would see at a pizza parlor here. But these are a
million times better. Never done this before but I’m pretty sure it’s going to
taste great! I’m going to sprinkle some in probably most all of these jars…
We’ll I’m still waiting for the pressure cooker to release its pressure…. It’s down
to about one to two pounds… Zero pressure! Still up….. It just went down as I was
walking away from that last shot…. The second batch is all set to be
pressure-cooked! I haven’t been very good at recording for the past few hours
because I ran another batch through the caner. And now I have a third batch
going because there were three, three jars that would not fit into the caner
last time. So I’m doing that whole process for just three jars. Kind of
annoying but I also got ambitious and decided to take on…. Making jam out of our
blueberries and raspberries that we got this summer so…. Yeah! Good stuff…That
doesn’t go in the caner though that’s just a simple water bath so yeah! Things
are looking good over here. Tthese are all but three of our jars of salmon that
we’re going to take on the road with us! You can really see the difference in the
smoky color of the smoked salmon… Compared to regular old camp salmon…. Well
guys I’m finished and I am exhausted! It’s a long day…. Got a ton of a good eats
here and yeah! You know it’s worth it… Yeah, take the time to catch it, prepare
it and you know…. Having some nice healthy food is a really valuable!…. So this video
is now over. Thanks for watching! Be sure to LIKE, comment, SUBSCRIBE, share with
your friends and most importantly…. Enjoy the ride!

48 comments on “How we can & smoke salmon in Alaska

  1. Mmmmmm smoked salmon and homemade jam… guys will certainly be enjoying the fruits of your labors on the trip. Very cool to see the process. Hope your travels are going well so far! Big hug to you and Rebecca!

  2. Nothing beats salmon fresh hot from the smoker. I use a Treager pellet smoker with Alder and a little Apple mixed in. The place we ocean fish for Kings in SE Alaska throws away the King Salmon Bellies when cleaning fish! I can"t believe it! So I pay the fish mongers to fill a 50 lb box with vacuum packed King salmon bellies and collars so I can make Squaw Candy all winter. 50-50 Soy sauce and Real maple syrup brine for a week, 2 hours to form pelicule and smoke in Alder. No better eating.My kids call them Maple Bars. Excellent video.

  3. I tried smoking salmon once, but I could not keep it lit. Sorry I could not resist. It"s a joke that goes way back in the family, has to be told at least once a year. I enjoy your videos.

  4. I sure appreciate that you all are like minded with my thinking……all natural, avoiding chemicals and avoiding gmo products. I love canning but don't do a lot anymore since my kids are grown and moved out. Only so much one person can eat. I still do jams and mostly for gifts. Thanks so much for sharing this video.

  5. We don't really can in the uk I find it fascinating, different pressures at different elevations above sea level. I bet those glass jars add a lot of weight to the motor home, is there no other material you could use, vacuumed sealed bags, plastic?

    I bet some of that caribou would be good smoked.

    Next time you have a glut of salmon you should try making gravlax no good really for preserving just quite tasty.

  6. We can 75% of our venison and all veggies from the garden. Its def a lot of work but absolutely worth it. Also farm raised pork, chicken and beef. Great job.

  7. Looks like I need to buy a pressure cooker when we make the move! I have never canned anything buy jams and had no idea the process was different. It will be worth it, though, because that looks delicious!!

  8. Hey Ben! Good morning from rainy Juneau. This video was great – way to go! Shared it with the homeschooled kiddo, too. 🙂 To clarify – this salmon was previously frozen? So you thawed it completely before preparing it for canning and smoking?

  9. Are you canning any Caribou?
    I love to can the Venison here for a quick meal, and the juice in the jars makes an awesome gravy

  10. We agree with the fellow below Charles, you both are just delightful.  Thank you for all your hard work as we are loving going along with you.  We would really really be jealous if we didn't have a rig and a trip planned North again this year.  Armchair travel is the only option for so many and vloggers like yourselves enrich our lives.

  11. I watch allot of your videos and this was a great adoption to your RV stuff…we fish the inside passage off Vancouver island… I like your tips on smoking:) thanks for making these videos!

  12. You never said how the Halibut worked out ! I loved the video was happy to see someone else think about doing halibut but never saw your results?

  13. We have the exact same pressure cooker/canner. Even have a glass top range too. The little heavy weight is called a "jiggler". That little thing that pops up on pressure is actually a lock/safety device. You can't open it when that thing is up. Been growing our own veg and raising our own meat for the past 10 years. Got plenty of vids on it too. Last year we bought a 40' MH and wintered in Pahrump NV. Came back this spring. Loved it so much, we are selling the farm and going fulltime on the road. South in the winter and north in the summer. Going to be doing a lot of fishing in ID and MT so yeh, going to be smoking a ton of salmon. We will continue making vids but they will be more of us on the road. Might even have to do an Alaskan trip. Stay sharp and maybe we'll see you Folks on the road.

  14. love the video. thank you for your time and great info… The thing that cracks me up (I'm from New Hampshire USA) You said "ONLY 47 LBS of Salmon" … HAHA That's a lot A Salmon… you forgot to add a few slices of onions = super yummy.. Great video, thumbs up, plus I subscribed. thank you for the info, and your time.

  15. btw if you want to eat healthy, you're best off not using sea salt. just think about it. how polluted are all the oceans and seas on the planet nowadays? all that contamination ends up in the sea salt when harvested… better to use rocksalt that has been in the ground long before we started ffing things up.

  16. What a thoughtful husband you are to do all that work for your wife. I know she appreciates it. Love your travels in the RV. Say hello to Shelby. Keep up the good work👍👏

  17. I’m not hating, but how can a fish fillet be raw after being smoked for an hour and a half? I wait until my oak wood and apple chips have the smoker at 220 give or take. They’ve already been cured, and they’re sure as hell cooked after 90 minutes.

  18. Not strolling for an answer, but you said a thousand times better than red peppers flakes, come on you got to let us know the name is!!!!!

  19. A work of art as well. Wish I owned every size just to have them all.>>> I already have the 921 and when summer time canning/jarring comes around the job will been done twice as fast and looking at your finished project you reap all the glory all through out the year much healthier as well.

  20. Thanks for that intro! I caught just about 48 pounds of salmon up the Stikine, and am going to try smoking and canning it- solo!- this weekend. This was a really helpful video!

  21. You ought to set some kind of heatproof spacer between the two levels of jars, to avoid jar breakage. Down here on the outside, (Skagit County in Washington State ) I do a lot of fish processing, since I'm retired, and do a lot of fishing. Smoking/canning works for most fish. I smoke/can all the seagoing salmon I catch, (except Coho, which gets eaten fresh as roasts, or steaks ) Kokanee,Trout, and Lake Whitefish. Experimenting with Peamouth Chub, ( minnow family ) which is bycatch in the lake where I fish for Kokanee. What doesn't go in jars, gets smoked and vacumn sealed, which frozen, will last for two years, and is easier than pressure canning. The downside to that is dependence upon grid power.
    I do so much canned product that I have two canners, a modern version, ( which must be used on an electric range, because of it's thin walls and bottom ) and an ancient canner, which my Grandmother used atop her wood range back in the 1920-30s, and which I can use atop my wood stove, or a propane fired camp stove.

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