I have brined by salmon for 8-10 hours. I know I still need to rinse and let it dry in a cool dry place for 1-3 hours, but I am 5-6 hours away from wanting to put it in the smoker. What should I do to create a delay from the brine removal time to the smoker?
Also if I am planning on adding a rub to it after brining, should I wait until after the fish has dried for 1-3 hours before Appling? Is a rub after overnight brine over kill?
I'm often at the mercy of weather and schedule. I did a couple of Trout last week that worked well in spite of going 5 days! I let the pieces brine for 2 days and then sit on racks for in a frost-free fridge for 2-1/2 days because of bad weather. In between brining and drying I let my pieces sit in a bowl of water in the sink for at least an hour with the tap trickling to rid excess salt. Things being perfect I like to smoke at 150* for at least 4 hours. In this case I took it up to 165 at the end which has the effect of drying and crisping. The outside is crisp with a pink, somewhat mushy interior on the larger chunks because it sat so long. Normally it's firmer but still different from salt water cold smoked. No complaints.
So in the end, I wouldn't be afraid to brine it longer and dry longer to suit your schedule. I never use a rub I but won't rule it out.
A Newfie buddy of mine, salted his last 2 Coho (about 2 lbs each) and is now drying them in the wind and sun on his wife's clothesline. Now there is a curious experiment I'm following closely.
First cold or hot smoke?
Depending on your brine 8-10 is plenty. You can shorten it a bit and save some time. I don't like overly salty hot or cold smoked salmon. To dry it quick, place the filets on a rack over a sheet pan and place it in front of a fan. It will get real tacky in less than an hour