I'm always surprised how many fisherman don't smoke their own fish. It's simple, easy and very rewarding. When you do your own fish you know how its been handled, and you know you are always getting your own fish back.
Personally I love smoking my own fish, oysters, meat, in fact I even smoked an acorn squash once.
So here is a very basic smoked salon recipe.
- 1kg brown sugar
- 7/8 cup pickling salt
Now you can also add what ever extra flavor you like. I use garlic powder, dash of Worchester, soysauce, pepper, rum, teriyaki sauce, the list goes on.
Cut your fish into chunks, place in a non-metallic bowl and cover with the above brine mixture. Put in the fridge for at least eight hours, overnight is better.
Remove fish from brine and rinse under cold water. This step is important otherwise it will be too salty. Then dry it off with paper towel.
The fish must now be put in a cool, dry place for 2-3 hours to dry or 'set up'.
Pre-heat your smoker and put the fish in.
Smoking time is very variable depending on thickness of the fish. Anything from 4-12 hours.
I like to start at a vey low temperature and slowly increase it.
Also if using a Chief brand smoker make sure not to let the wood chips get too scorched. This will give a burn flavor to your fish.
If you have a Bradley smoker like me (I have the digital model) you don't need to worry about this, as the smoker will dump the old wood puck and load a new one for you. Both brands of smokers will do the job, the Chiefs just require a little more attention. Also if you begin to branch out into smoking meat, poultry or making sausages the Bradley units give you better temperature control which is less important if you are only dealing with fish.
There is lots more to smoking but that is the basics. So which ever smoker you have, get some fish in it. If you don't have a smoker come on in and I'll be more than happy to sell you one and help you getting going in the flavorful world of smoking!