For this Smokin' Summer selection we chose to use Wild Alaskan Copper River Sockeye Salmon because is robust and rich in flavor with a firm texture that makes it versatile for our slow cooking method. Famous for its natural deep red flesh, sockeye is the most abundant species in the Copper River Delta. A summer BBQ favorite.
The Copper River is the birthplace of three wild Alaskan salmon species. These salmon live as adults in the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific ocean eating small crustaceans and zooplankton. Every year (May - September) king, sockeye and coho return to the Copper River to make the arduous 300-mile migration up the turbulent waters in order to spawn. Because the Copper River is so long and steep (gains an average elevation of 12 feet per mile) these fish must pack on sufficient fat reserves to fuel their epic journey--resulting in salmon that is rich in heart- healthy omega-3 fatty acids and flavorful oils. The fish's distinct regional DNA and lifecycle yield the world's finest salmon. We absolutely love this species in Smokin' Summer Series.
We then smoke this Wild Alaskan Copper River Sockeye Salmon with Alder wood chips. Alder is one of the more mild woods you can use with low smoke and a sweet flavor. As such, it’s good to infuse milder flavors. It’s also a good choice to smoke your salmon for several hours, as the lighter smoke won’t become bitter.
For many experienced smokers, alder is the first choice when you’re smoking salmon.