Salt Water Fillets

Discussion in 'Fish' started by jimp75, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. I have some small fillets of sea trout, sand trout, flounder and even whiting.  I want to smoke them with a new MES 30 which I believe has a low temp of 185.  The fillets are from small fish and are thin, like 1/4 to 3/8 inches thick.  Fortunately I have several and plan to use them as an appetizer with crackers, cream cheese, capers, red onions etc.What would you recommend to a newbie?
  2. sb59

    sb59 Smoking Fanatic

    For best results I recommend you fry or broil all those small thin lean white fish fillets & pick up a nice thick fatty salmon, or steelhead fillet or whole whiting,whitefish or eel for the smoker.
  3. as said, I know some people smoke lean fleshed fish... but I always recommend something oily.... eel, mackerel, salmon, whitefish, trout more than things like walleye, whiting, etc.

    that kind of stuff is good fried, sautéed, etc.

    that being said, I know people that smoke walleye... I think its just ok at best, as it dries out easily.
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I smoke fish like thee all the time. A few things I recommend. Use more sugar than salt when curing. I use a 4:1 brown sugar to salt ratio. only brine for 4-6 hours. Rinse well and allow to air dry to form the pellicle. If you want other spices add those to the fillets after rinsing.

    Since these fish are mild use a mild wood. Apple, peach, alder are all good. Make sure the smoke is thin and blue. Also use a short smoke time. 2-4 hours tops of smoke.

    We like to make fish jerky with these types of fish too. Tasty stuff.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016
  5. Dirtsailor - What temperature do you use?
  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I like to keep the smoker between 170° and 180°. Take the fish to an internal temp of 145°. If making it into jerky I go by texture not internal temp. For fattier fish like salmon and tuna I like to use the same method I use for sausage and jerky. I will start the smoker at 130°. Then every hour bump the temp up 10° until the smoker reaches 170°-180° 
  7. brayhaven

    brayhaven Fire Starter

    I agree that mild white fish are best broiled or fried.  I've tried smoking them with several different methods and they just were never as good as the oily fish like mackerel, mullet, salmon, etc.  Even tried a tiny bit of smoke and different brines, but they just never turned out as good.  YMMV.


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