Smoked whitefish with Q-view

Discussion in 'Fish' started by thepackerbacker, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. Okay, first time with whitefish. Caught 60-70 on an overnight trip, stayed in a sleeper shack. Ate a lot fresh and brought some home to smoke. Another guy also took a bunch to have his grandpa smoke for us, those will be smoked whole. So for now I decided to smoke with fillets.

    I searched the net including this website and didn't find much. I did find an informative post on lake-link and loosely followed that. His post states the brine will do 50-60 Whitebass, or 20 Whitefish, or 8 Salmon/Trout.

    I had 10 whitefish which apparently turned out to be 9. No clue where the 1 bugger went. But for my purposes 9 is the same as 10 so I used the following brine but cut everything in HALF since I have 10/20 fish to smoke.

    1st I mixed 1 quart water to 1/2 cup salt and soaked all fish for 30 min. This is supposed to eliminate any leftover slime and help leech out any blood. If you have ever handled a whitefish you know how slimy they are. The fillets were all rinsed very well taking care not to mush the meat. Once frozen and unthawed, whitefish are very soft so be careful.

    So again, this is full brine recipe, I cut everything in half since I only have 10 fish.

    2.5 gallons water
    3 cups canning/pickling salt
    2 cups sugar
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    2 tbsp fresh coarse ground black pepper
    2 tbsp cure
    2 tbsp crushed bay leaves
    2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes

    So my half batch looked like this.

    I didn't scale these fish as they were froze scales on, and I didn't want to clean the mess. Some scales fell off as I rinsed and I took care not to knock more off. It looks okay, remaining scales are not falling into the finished product. I left the rib cages on the fillets since they are thin in that area figuring it would help even out the cooking process? Fish in the brine, I filled a gallon ziplock bag to weight down the fillets as they wanted to float. In the fridge they went at 11PM, left soaking in the brine for 6 hours. At 5AM I rinsed both sides of each fillet very well and placed on racks to dry in the fridge where they could form a pellicle layer. Whitefish, as mentioned, are mushy once froze and unthawed. They also have a lot of moisture and fat. From what I know about smoked fish, we want the fat but do not want the moisture. So after each piece was rinsed my wife dabbed each fillet carefully to help soak up as much water as possible without mushing the fish. Due to the high moisture content I decided to leave the fish in the fridge all day and overnight, a total of 27 hours drying in the fridge, uncovered, a nice pellicle layer formed and the fish are more firm and dry.


    So at 9 am this morning I put the whitefish into my smoker which is at 100 degrees. I am using a home made electric smoker with an AMNPS and chose pecan pellets for this smoke. [​IMG][​IMG]

    Not sure how long this is going to go, and not sure what I'm going to do with temps. Following the post I mentioned earlier 4-8 hours at 100 degrees then up to 150 for a couple hours.

    If anyone has a suggestion for time and temps I'm all ears???The fish are smoking as you read 3/15/2015.

    I'm hoping to mimic the texture and taste of what the local markets put out, we shall see.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
    crazymoon likes this.
  2. Looks good from here. Really like your smoker. Nice. CF
  3. Thanks!
  4. Looking Good
  5. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    TBP,1 hour no smoke at 120 , then bump up to 160 over several hours, IT of 145 will do you. Nice looking smoker and fish ![​IMG]
  6. Ok. So I went 6 hours at 100. Then 1 hour at 120. Then 1 hour at 140. Im now 25 min in at 150. IT is now at 115. The meat feels super moist yet. Hoping it's not moist when done. [​IMG]
  7. Some Seriously Good Looking Fish

  8. Okay, fish is done. Pulled when IT reached 145 in the middle of the thickest piece. I pulled 4 smaller thin fillets at 7:00 which was 75 minutes before the rest.

    Final smoke schedule:
    6 hrs @ 100 IT was at 100
    1 hrs @ 120
    1 hrs @ 140
    1 hrs @ 150
    45min @ 160
    45min @ 180 (pulled small thin fillets 15 min in. IT on other large fillets were 130.
    45 min @ 200

    After 45min at 200 the IT was 145 and I pulled everything else.

    Ate one fillet warm couldn't resist. Honestly the salt level is perfect and the meat was moist but not wet. It is not dry which is good. Just a little moisture in the fish. Needless to say, I am pleasantly surprised and quite please with this first attempt. Now to pull the pin bones and cool in the fridge for a couple days b4 vacuum sealing.

    myownidaho likes this.
  9. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    TPB, Nice job, they look excellent !
  10. Man that golden Bronze color is great
  11. First time smoking with pecan too. I was wondering if I was going to get any color or what the deal was. It was so light, but in the end there is a perfect smoke taste IMO. It's not as heavy as I'm used to with oak.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
  12. smokinadam

    smokinadam Smoking Fanatic

    Nice looking white fish! They look like the markets in door counties do usually! I'd say successful but I didn't get to try any? I'll Def use this on some sucker and white bass this spring.
  13.  you are welcome to some as long as you share something in the future!
  14. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That whole thing looks great from the fishing trip to smoked fish. Very nice!!
  15. Thanks WC. Pretty easy through the ice the guided sleeper shack in green at was $100 per person for 2 days one night. It was a blast. Doing it again next year!
  16. smokinadam

    smokinadam Smoking Fanatic

    Glad your guide was worthy. My little bro went and his guide got 125 per head and never moved his group. They ended with 8 fish out of 15 people.
  17. that interesting because we got out there, the shacks were setup and and we never moved. fish all day. he had several shacks out and says he leaves them there all year. I will forward you the info if you are interested. Nice guy and we caught fish which was most important. im looking forward to spring fishing. want to do a huge batch of whitebass and suckers. also found a recipe for fish jerky and panfish looked to be the perfect candidate so thinking i might try smoking some crappie fillets.
  18. smokinadam

    smokinadam Smoking Fanatic

    We did crappie whole one time and it had good flavor but was to dry. Might of been how long it was on but fish jerky I see a lot of people doing salmon nuggets and might do that sometime.
  19. barefooter

    barefooter Newbie

    Something for me to try just got 4 whitefish today
  20. .
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017

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