What To Do With Salmon When You Get Home

See Also:Good Reason for Regulations, The Sea Lion and 4 King Salmon, & Pinks on the Fly
Most salmon fishing destinations, like Sitka, Alaska have facilities ready and waiting to care for your catch. They fillet for you, package and flash-freeze so that nothing you caught is wasted. So what do you do when you get home?

One of the first things I do after returning from a salmon excursion with lots of fresh fish is smoked salmon bellies. The oil, incidentally, not only tastes great when smoked, but it's good for the heart! Story and photos by Dwayne Parsons

One of the first things I do after returning from a salmon excursion with lots of fresh fish is smoked salmon bellies. The oil, incidentally, not only tastes great when smoked, but it’s good for the heart! Story and photos by Dwayne Parsons

When You Get Home, Salmon is for Eating

The very first thing, because I can hardly wait, is to pull and thaw of couple of salmon steaks while I put the rest in my freezer(s). Yeah, sometimes you have enough to fill more than one freezer.

Then it’s time to pull out the old smoker, fill the pan with chips and line the rack with salmon bellies.

That’s the belly fat flesh and includes, generally the belly fins, bones inclusive.

If you have a good smoker, you already have a good brine. I soak my salmon bellies for 36 hours, give or take, before they go on the rack.

How It’s Done

Watching the temperature and timing are everything. When it’s ready, you’ll know it! Soft, filled with flavor, flaking easily to touch. I can’t help but eat a handful at that point. The best, however, comes from putting the rest in the refrigerator to cool down and firm up.

Here's the best of my Sitka experience with Guide and now friend, Gary Bernhardt. That's a moderate sized King Salmon. Some are twice this size. And most of the rest of the party caught bigger, but I doubt anyone was happier than me...partly because I know just what to do with them when I get back home. Story and photos by Dwayne Parsons

Here’s the best of my Sitka experience with Guide and now friend, Gary Bernhardt. That’s a moderate sized King Salmon. Some are twice this size. And most of the rest of the party caught bigger, but I doubt anyone was happier than me…partly because I know just what to do with them when I get back home. Story and photos by Dwayne Parsons


Then, like me, you’ll have some priceless smoked salmon for you, your spouse, family and friends. And that of course takes you back to the great memories you’ve just added to your memory bank.