possible trout fail in progress...

Discussion in 'Fish' started by areallynicegirl, Jun 15, 2015.

  1. My wonderful hubby and my dad went camping this weekend and brought home 26 trout of various sizes.  I took the smallest ten (all about 7-8 inch) and put them in a brine.  My internet is messed up and the guy has to come re-align the satelite so I wasnt able to come to the forum to make sure I was doing this right and now I am sweating it pretty bad.  I will feel terrible if I just messed up these treasures they brought home....

    So I made a gallon of Pops Brine but I forgot the white sugar, so here is what I added:

    1 Gallon filtered water

    1/2 c kosher salt

    1/2 c brown sugar

    1 Tbsp cure #1

    I put the fishies in the brine at around 3:30 yesterday afternoon.  My plan was to take them out around 3 today and put the fan on them to dry out.

    Did I just ruin these?  I read Pop's whole thread about his wet cure so my understanding is that this amount of cure is not super strong so i am not super worried about that, I am more worried about the lack of sugar.

    I read the book that came with the Little Chief, their recipe doesnt include cure #1 but I felt like from a safety standpoint I wanted to use it since from what the book says, these will be in the smoker for like 8 hours.

    Thank you guys in advance for your help!!  If I am slow to reply its because my stupid satelite internet is being super dumb....

  2. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Relax Patti! You certainly didn't ruin them. They may be a little on the salty side, so you may want to soak them in fresh cold water for about an hour, changing the water every 20 minutes. This is all dependent on what you wish the final outcome to be. Are you going for preserved, sort of fish jerky? Or are you going for something that's tender and has a soft consistency and tastes like it was smoked? If it's the former, I'm not going to be much help as I've never messed around with that.
    My thinking is ( and this is JUST my opinion) that since I'm not going to be tossing it in a backpack and taking off trapping beavers in Alaska, I don't really need to preserve the fish. Furthermore the process of "smoke preserving" is a necessary evil in order to keep the fish safe to eat when long storage is necessary without refrigeration. So, since I do have refrigeration and modern methods at my disposal, I've always leaned toward cooking fish delicately with smoke flavor, rather than full on "SMOKING" them. The exception for me is smoked lox, which is technically preserved and smoked, but isn't really cooked. Anyway, I digress. Let us know what you're wanting in terms of a final product and I'm sure you'll get the answers you need.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
  3. Well thats good news!  I am not going for like a hard, smoked jerky but like the yummy stuff that is still flaky and smokey.  I guess we will not be backpacking with bears in Alaska anytime soon either ([​IMG]) so I dont need super preserved.  just something that would be good snacking with crackers and such!

    Thank you!! I do feel better now, I will definitely soak them when I pull them from the brine.
  4. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Ok. In that case, I'd just smoke until the flesh is opaque and starts to flake. The little chief tops out about 160°-170° if I remember correctly, so that shouldn't take much over 4 hours. Trout fillets are really thin so I'd check at 3 hours and adjust accordingly. They're hard to get an internal temp reading, but shoot for 145° if you can. By the way, if you do want a sweet element to the flavor, you can brush the filets with maple syrup or even just sprinkle with sugar. White, brown or turbinado will all work as your smoker shouldn't get hot enough to scorch.
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nice Girl,

    Bum got you pretty well covered already, but I did some small trout awhile back, and below is a Step by Step on them.

    You might find a tip or two you like, however I smoked them a little harder than I guess you want:

    Smoked Brook Trout & Tilapia

  6. sb59

    sb59 Smoking Fanatic

    Hi Nice Girl,

    Little Chief never included cure in their recipes because their brines were so heavily salted ( 1/2 cup table salt & 1/2 cup sugar per qt. water ) and they figure their smoker to be running min. of 165 dgs. I found that depending on outside winds & temps that no to always be true. I used to insert a stem type instant read thermometer into a 1/8 in. hole I drilled in front of unit to monitor temp. If you're doing small whole trout you can slide the probe of an oven therm into the largest fish between the spine and skin. For moist flaky fish pull 140 to 145 it. I've used pop's brine on small trout ( 10 to 13 in. live ) and 4 to 8 hrs.  in brine usually plenty. I usually do 8 for ease as I put them in before bed & pull them in the morn. Or else I brine during the day and let dry in fridge over nite for pelicle. One old time trick if you don't take internal temp. is to gently pull dorsal fin. If it easily separates from fish they are done. I would highly recommend getting an oven therm. with probe because every time you have to check your product with the little chief you lose all your heat & they are really slow to recover, adding much time to your smoke. They do make great smoked fish though!
  7. My dad had chop down 8 60ft fir trees to do it but now our satellite internet works again!! Woo hoo! A week w/o internet is a long time :)

    So the trout were a total success!! My hubby and dad loved them!!!

    BTW, pop's brine is AMAZING!!!! I am a true believer and now hubby is too!

    Here are the pics....

    [ATTACHMENT=2143]IMG_20150616_215207.jpg (699k. jpg file)[/ATTACHMENT]
    Drying out after the brine. What was amazing was how pristine and beautiful they were even after being in for almost 3 full days!! My husband was shocked.

    [ATTACHMENT=2144]IMG_20150616_215234.jpg (639k. jpg file)[/ATTACHMENT]
    This guy's eyes were still clear and bright like the day he was caught! You would never know he was in the fridge for days brining!

    [ATTACHMENT=2145]IMG_20150617_203246.jpg (581k. jpg file)[/ATTACHMENT]
    After 4 pans of apple chips and a couple hours no smoke. They look a lot darker in the pic than in real life. My tablet takes terrible pics.

    These are ridiculously delicious and my dad and hubby were so happy! My mom is ready to make me smoke the rest of their fish now :)

    Thanks so much you guys for your help.

    Bear your thread is amazing about the smoked fish. I am definitely ready to try more stuff!
    bearcarver likes this.
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nice Job, Patti !![​IMG]

    Real Pretty little Trout----The perfect eating size!![​IMG]------------------[​IMG]

    Were they all Rainbows, like the ones in the Pics??

  9. false
    Yep all rainbows! The rest they caught were bigger, my dad caught 2 that were in the 17-18 inch range. The high lakes of central Oregon have some very nice fish! Thank you so much for the points :) !!

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