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Smoking Fish

Discussion in 'Hook, Line and Sinker' started by Zigs, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. Zigs

    Zigs Ginger Admin Staff Member

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    There are 2 different methods of smoking ;

    Hot Smoking and Cold Smoking.

    But before we go though either, the first thing to do, once you've prepared your fillets, is to soak them in brine.

    A typical brine consists of :

    4 litres of water,
    500 ml salt,
    250 ml brown sugar,
    75 ml Lemon Juice.

    You can soak them for just 30 minutes but I generally leave them in the fridge, in the brine overnight.

    Once brined, spread them on grills to dry, they will have a thin translucent film on them known as a pellicule.

    To do a Hot Smoke, they need to be above the fire, hot smoking cooks the fish while its being smoked.

    Cold smoking doesn't cook the fish, only giving the smokey flavour.

    [​IMG]

    You don't have to spend a fortune on a smoker, mine is just an old stainless steel pedal bin, ideal for hot smoking.

    I build a wood/charcoal fire in the bottom first, when that has stopped flaming then I add hand fulls of DAMPENED oak chippings.

    You don't want the chippings to burst into flames as that will very quickly burn the fish. So grab a bottle of wine & keep your eye on it. You'll need to add more chippings from time to time.

    As soon as the oak smoke starts to fill the container, put the fish on the grill.

    I cover it with an upturned Wok, so the smoke is concentrated around the fish.

    Its done when the fillets are a nice dark colour and the fish is sizzling.

    Its over done when the fillets have shrunk to 2" long (Yes, i've accidentally done that:DOH:)

    With Cold Smoking, you'd need to build a separate chamber as a smoke box with a pipe coming from your fire box.

    Fillets are usually hung in the smoke box where they get the smokey taste but don't get cooked.

    I'd recommend hot smoking for fish as the cold smoking won't kill off any worm eggs that may be present.

    There are many different woods you can use for smoking, I use oak because I can get it free by the dumpy bag full.

    If the fire is still going when i've finished the fish then I often smoke slices of cheese while it dies down, keep your eye on those though, cheese melts.
     
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    • Zigs

      Zigs Ginger Admin Staff Member

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      Heres a typical selection of wood chip varieties available,

      Wood Chunks for food smoking and BBQ

      Don't go using any old woodchip before checking out if its safe, you could poison the food.
       
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      • Scrungee

        Scrungee Well known for it

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        This is an excellent book I use: 'Home Smoking & Curing' by Keith Erlandson 120pp ISBN 0091778255

        [​IMG]

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        • Zigs

          Zigs Ginger Admin Staff Member

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          That looks usefull scrunge, smoked bilberries is that ?
           
        • Marley Farley

          Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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          That is an excellent set of instructions Zig & an ingenious little home made smoker.. The only thing I have ever done was a bacon joint hung up the kitchen chimney in a net bag & that was sooo yummy..!! Never done it since though.. My cousin in the US hunts & fishes regularly & they mainly only eat what he provides, which is fish & game to die for..!!
          I have been there when he has been smokinh meat & fish & it just has you drooling.. Being in the states though he has a huge thing.. Out there they mainly use electric smokers, but we all wound him up so much about that & he went out & bought one of these to shut us all up.....!:tomato:
          [​IMG]
          Only in America huh..!! :tomato:
          :ideaIPB: We ought to get Chopper into production Zig..! :WINK1:
           
        • Zigs

          Zigs Ginger Admin Staff Member

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          I was thinking the same thing Marley:D

          Are those 2 chambers connected so it could be used for cold smoking ?

          Its a pretty neat setup :thumbsup:

          I forgot to mention spices. Lob whatever spices you like in the brine too,

          I usually use a bit of chilli, black pepper, whole and ground, turmeric etc.
           
        • Marley Farley

          Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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          :WINK1: Have you tried any groung Allspice in it Zig.? I will ask him about the smoker..
           
        • Zigs

          Zigs Ginger Admin Staff Member

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          Not got any Allspice, is that a mixture or a specific ?
           
        • Marley Farley

          Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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        • Marley Farley

          Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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          Nope it is a specific Z.. I use it in lots of cooking.. It is savoury.. You can buy the whole berries or ready ground.. I like to gring the berries for a strong flavout.. It is used in lots of jamaican cooking.. They refer to it as the Jamaican pepper..
           
        • Zigs

          Zigs Ginger Admin Staff Member

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          I'll get hold of some of that and try it:thumbsup:

          Its a good job your Vicar ate all those paprikas I sent you, they were really disapointing, not the spicy ones at all.

          The smoker specs don't look like the 2 chambers are connected, but it would only take a bit of basic work to connect them to make a cold smoker.

          You'd build your fire in the lower chamber & put the food to be smoked in the upper chamber & open the upper damper so the smoke gets drawn thru.

          Would be ideal for cheese as the smoke only would get thru & most of the heat would be in the lower chamber (unless it was windy:DOH:)
           
        • bi9johnny

          bi9johnny Gardener

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          the berries realy add flavour to a goat meat pepper pot mmmmmmmmm!
           
        • bi9johnny

          bi9johnny Gardener

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          have used one of those smokers zig they are connected charcoal wood whatever in the lower box and all shut up so smoke travels through to chimney the big box has a rack so you can cook direct heat like big joints and suckling pig
           
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          • Zigs

            Zigs Ginger Admin Staff Member

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            I thought it might. Looks great, bit pricey for me though.

            Just eaten a kipper, first one i've caught (herring, that is:D)

            Will brine it longer next time, the bones didn't soften down much, hell of a fiddly.
             
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            • bi9johnny

              bi9johnny Gardener

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              i have a brinkmann smoker and bbq seperate but the smoker is ideal to cook in too.. i do all my own bacon now less salt no goo and sweet of the mollasses sugar i use in the brine
              mmmmm delicious
               
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