brine or not to brine??

Discussion in 'Fish' started by expat smoker, May 15, 2013.

  1. expat smoker

    expat smoker Smoke Blower

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    It seems that the 'lowly' mackerel is smoked by many cultures and is cheap and redily available here in Thailand....frozen.  It's never been my favorite fish, but maybe smoked, it will taste less fishy?? If not, I'll give it to my local friends that like fishy smelling and tasting things

    I just spent this afternoon youtubing and gogling and it seems that there are so many ways to smoke a mackerel. Whole, fileted/ brined and not brined/ fast and hot or slow and low.

    The frozen mackerel here is what they call 'saba' and it is 10 to 12 inches long.

    What's your opinions and recipes please!!
  2. johnnyryan22

    johnnyryan22 Newbie

    In Ireland we smoke it un-brined. Dry the fillet, salt and pepper and into the hot smoker. I hate mackerel and only use it as bait for fishing and potting but it is so nice smoked this way. Try it!!
    Last edited: May 15, 2013
  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I never smoked any Mackerel either, but I remember my Grandmother making "Salt Mackerel" every Sunday. She'd buy it "Salted" (in a jar). Then cook it in water, in a frying pan. When it was done, you could scrape the skin off with your fork, because it became like a thick oil, but the flesh underneath was Great !!!  I loved it !!

  4. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I am fairly sure I posted this way back .I smoke blue mackeral here about 12' to 14' long.I brine them in basic fish brine,keep them whole.Tie them in pairs hang them over the bars in MES. Hot smoke.Mine were sort of Scottish inspired [​IMG].

    I thought they were pretty good but strong & oily.Good for you! Adaptable to a few different dishes.

    We  also have bigger mackerel here,[​IMG]that are better quality fish,Spanish,Grey ,Spotted
  5. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  6. expat smoker

    expat smoker Smoke Blower

    Any issues with using frozen mackerel, as that's all we can get here??
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Jack, morning..... It has been my experience with really oily and strong tasting fish, the strong flavor and most of the oil is layered under the skin..  If the fish are still whole, skinning and removing the dark colored oil layer, under the skin, will lighten the flavor considerably.... leave the meat on the bones, brine and smoke....   See what that does for you...   I have barbecued fish using that technique, wrapping in foil, seasoning including sliced onions, garlic, citrus and butter etc. and the once "strong, fishy tasting" fish was deemed delightful and a great improvement to those that preferred a lighter, less fishy tasting fish......  Something to think about....  


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