This is my husband's own recipe that he's perfected over the years for smoking our fresh-caught salmon or steel-head from the Siletz River in the PNW in Oregon. It's never done us wrong. The combination of pineapple and honey tempers the strong smoked wood taste, so you get a perfect bite of... how do you call it? Perfect! Who can't resist this smoked fish with a cracker and cream cheese? I hear the fishing is good this year, looking forward to making another batch of this in the fall! —anotherfoodieblogger
Up to 3 or 4 pounds fresh salmon or steelhead fish
In a non-metallic container large enough to cover the fish with the brine,add the fish together with the next six ingredients up to the honey. Cover, and let brine in the refrigerator overnight or 8-10 hours.
The next morning soak your wood chips in water up until you need to smoke the fish. We have used both alder or mesquite chips, but favor the alder.
Remove the salmon from the brine and lightly pat dry with paper towels. Place the salmon on a clean grill with a pan underneath, and let it air dry for one to two hours, in the refrigerator, until a nice glaze forms over the surface of the fish.
Meanwhile, get the smoker or BBQ grill heated to a temp of about 150-180 degrees. If you are using a BBQ grill, make sure the salmon will be placed with indirect heat. A smoker will have the grill far enough away already. Add a small amount of wood chips to the smoker at first, otherwise the salmon will infuse too much of the smoky taste.
Mix the 1/4 cup honey and the other 1/4 cup of pineapple juice together. Baste the salmon on both sides with mixture to coat. Transfer the fish to the preheated smoker, and smoke the salmon for two to three hours, depending on the thickness. After the first hour, try to maintain a temperature of about 180-200 degrees. Add soaked wood chips as needed throughout and turn over at least once to baste with more of the honey mixture. If some of the thinner edges of the salmon start to dry out and begin to look crispy, it’s probably time to take the fish off.
Let the salmon cool a bit, then eat as much as you want, plain or with your favored crackers and cream cheese. This vacuum packs and freezes well for future appetizers!