Saturday, August 24, 2013

Smoked Salmon Another Reason to Stop Smoking

The Great American Smoke Out

How to stop smoking is the question plaguing the minds of smokers the world over. We all know what the major side effects of cigarette smoking are. What's always interesting is what gets over looked in the world of smoking related illness and long term side effects. We tend to focus on facts about lung cancer, emphysema, throat cancer, and heart disease. These are the most common side effects of cigarette smoking. But there are plenty of other complications that smoking can bring forward.

I'm going to take a look at one of those underrated side affects of smoking. It's something that tends to get overlooked. However, I'd like to do it in a rather unique and interesting way. Hopefully, if you smoke, your imagination will carry you from interested to inspired. If the coming visual works for you and you don't smoke, please send this on to someone who does.

If you're ready to stop, I have written a book about how I stopped and how you can too. I also managed to stop smoking without quitting?

Intrigued? Confused? Cold Turkey too. I haven't had a cigarette since mid 02 and have not used the gum, patch or that vapor water e-cigarette crap either... no, I'm not a fan. There's only one way to really stop smoking. Cold Turkey, one day at a time. But you got to have you're head straight or you'll be headed to failure in the worst way.

My book and this article is here to help you get your head straight. I like to do it in a way that's creative and motivating. This article may also have a "sucker punch" like affect. Main thing though is to find ways to see smoking differently and have a little fun going through a very serious topic.

How to Smoke Salmon

Just humor me here for a second, OK?

1. Start with some fresh Salmon fillets.

2. Cut them up into strips and keep the strips about an inch thick.

3. Mix up some brine. (Brine: Water saturated with or containing large amounts of a salt, especially sodium chloride.)

4. Chill brine mixture down to 38 deeze greeze.

5. Submerge Salmon in brine.

6. Put the brine and salmon in the fridge to marinate the fish for anywhere from 30 minutes up to 3 hours. The longer you let is sit, the saltier it will taste.

7. Take the salmon out of the fridge and out of the brine mixture.

8. Gently, rinse off the brine.

9. Now, put salmon on rack to dry out. Keep temp at 35 - 40 deeze greeze. Keep it this way for 6-8 hours.

10. Take out salmon for 1 hour and let it set at room temp. This will form a pellicle. (Pellicle: a thin skin or film [Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Zoology] the hard protective outer layer of certain protozoans, such as those of the genus Paramecium) The Pellicle will hold in moisture while smoking.

11. Put salmon in the smoker. "Use wood chips in the smoker that match your own taste, there are many flavors available." (Thank you eHow)

12. Smoke for 6 to 8 hours. When the temp is at 160 degrees, smoke it for at least 30 minutes at this temperature to kill all bacteria and parasites. From there you can smoke it as long as it takes to get the desired flavor.

Total time to prepare smoked salmon is about 24 hours. The average time it takes to smoke a cigarette is 4 minutes. 18 packs of cigarettes is roughly the volume you'd need to effectively match the time under smoke in your mouth. So for the most part, you've smoked your mouth and gums like salmon in under a month. If you're a pack a day smoker that's 18 days. 2 packs a day? Heck, you're the smokehouse here, you do the math!

Your Mouth

Smoking is one of the leading causes of Periodontal Disease. That brine I was talking about? Take a look at a standard brine recipe. Water, Salt, brown sugar, water, soy sauce, herbs. Now, from Yahoo answers, look at this, "Brining promotes a change in the structure of the proteins in the muscle"


Salivia: "Saliva is a component of oral fluid. In mammals, saliva is produced in and secreted from the three pairs of major salivary glands, and hundreds of minor salivary glands. Human saliva is composed of 98% water, while the other 2% consists of other compounds such as electrolytes, mucus, antibacterial compounds, and various enzymes. As part of the initial process of food digestion, the enzymes in the saliva break down some of the starch and fat in the food at the molecular level. Saliva also breaks down food caught in the teeth, protecting them from bacteria that cause decay. Furthermore, saliva lubricates and protects the teeth, the tongue, and the tender tissues inside the mouth."(Thank you Wikipedia)

Notice anything similar? Your spit acts like a kind of brine for the food you put into your mouth.

Smoking tobacco, dries the mouth and relieves the mouth of the ability to properly begin digestion.

Gum tissue: Your gums are part of the soft tissue lining in the mouth. Your gums cover and surround your teeth. They also provide a seal around them. A good amount of your gums are tightly bound to the underlying bone which helps resist the friction of food. Healthy gums are usually pinkish. What else can you think of that's pinkish? Salmon, perhaps? When might the color change? Increased redness? Tendency to bleed? Inflammation? Plaque? Smoke?

Gingivitis: Untreated, gingivitis leads to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease leads to bone loss, receding gums, loose teeth and eventually tooth loss.

Fixing this sucks.

Read this about smoking meats and then think about what's happening inside your mouth and too your gums when you smoke:

"Smoking is a preservative because smoke contains chemical compounds that retard the growth of harmful bacteria. More than three hundred components of smoke have been identified. Carbonyl compounds in smoke contribute to the distinctive flavor and aroma of smoked meat, while the carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide help produce the bright red pigment. Phenolic compounds in smoke play a role in protecting fat from oxidizing and turning rancid, which is no doubt a major reason why fatty foods, such as herring or pork, were (and are) so often smoked. The composition of the smoke changes as the temperature of the fire rises, with the best quality smoke produced at a temperature of 650° to 750°F. Control of humidity in the smokehouse is also important since high humidity favors deposition of smoke on the surface of the food and absorption of the flavor. High humidity also assists in the rendering of fat ."

Think of your gums as salmon...

This Doesn't Have To Be You

Listen folks, people worry about lung and heart disease but let's face it, your grill's at risk! So if you're heart's going to give out because your one good lung can't absorb enough oxygen and you're going to drop dead, don't you want to go out with a nice set of choppers?

But I digress.

Bottom line here, you got one heart, one set of lungs and one grill. Thanks to modern science, you can actually get new ones of all of these things. So don't worry about it. Smoke up! Right?

I digress again. Hopefully, you're insurance is up to date and they are a forgiving company. People that get hearts and lungs get them because the one's they came with don't work so well. Yours, the smoker heart and lung, is defective because you choose to make it so.

The good news? They repair themselves for a lot less than transplanting a new one?
The Last Word

Up above here is my website.  Who's smoking? You? Your spouse? Your buddy? Sibling? Co-Worker?

Help them help themselves or simply step up and help yourself. It's time to stop. And if not for you than for the one's that love you. And if not for them, then do it for me!

To all those smoker's who are terribly cool out there... you do not not have to give up any piece of you or your identity to become a (as I put it in my book) a smoker who doesn't smoke. I have found a way to not smoke and remain terribly cool and you can too.

Look, if you, like me, realize that smoking is not how you have to identify yourself, stopping suddenly becomes more manageable.

And notice I say stop. Don't quit. It's too difficult to quit and quitting is something we try. We all know there is no try. "Trying" something is weak. Come into it from a position of strength and just stop.

For more words of wisdom and food for thought, get the book, check out the blog, leave a comment, let me know how I can help you stop.

Also, if I've ruined smoked salmon for you, please accept my humble apology.