Smoking Rainbows

Discussion in 'Fish' started by ryan y, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. ryan y

    ryan y Fire Starter

    Hello everyone,

    I've been reading through this section of the forums and just have a few questions. I'll be smoking rainbows (none above 13") on my Little Chief when it arrives. Since they're so small ill be smoking whole.

    Is a dry brine practical for whole fish of this size? I'd like to start dry if possible. But if I need to do a wet brine at least I'll be able to incorporate some woodchuck or angry orchard.

    Temps around here have been 20-40. I plan on going to Lowe's soon and getting some heat resistant insulation. Thht being said, should I use a cure since smoke times will be on the longer side? And any estimates as to times? I know it all varies but would like to know what to expect.

    My mind is spinning with all the possibilities! Thanks in advance!
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I use a 4;1 brown sugar to salt brine. I cut the heads off. Pack inside and out with brine. You only need to brine for 4-8 hours. Rinse, season with whatever seasonings I want them air dry to form the pellicle. I use toothpicks to spread open the fish. Then smoke.

    You can add cure, but I don't. If you can find Refletix foil faced bubble insulation it is good for insulating a chief smoker. If not get some foil faced rigid insulation and build a box to around the chief.

    Don't throw away your box that the smoker comes in. You can use it for cold smoking.
    ryan y likes this.
  3. ryan y

    ryan y Fire Starter

    Thanks dirtsailor. Think ill go with the 4:1 and maybe add some lemon pepper, ground black pepper and a few other spices. I never scale my small rainbows, safe to assume no need to for smoking either?

    Stopped by Lowe's today and found some reflectix, seemed a bit pricy but looked at some other sources and seems pretty spot on. May also build a small shelter around it since I don't really have any outside storage. It's a topload so should be easy, just leave space to remove top and put chips in pan.

    Thanks again!
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Don't season until after you brine and rinse. You'll be flushing the spice down the drain.

    No need to scale, but I do. The dry rub turns to liquid and scales move around. Which if you don't, the rinse will take care of.

    Once smoked the skin and bones remove easily.
  5. How did this go Ryan? I smoked my second batch of brown trout recently and they turned out spectacular.  Lets compare notes buddy?
  6. ryan y

    ryan y Fire Starter

    I actually haven't gotten around to smoking them yet. Hours at work have been crazy and after my first batch of jerky everyone wanted me to make more.

    Glad your browns turned out, I'll make sure to post pics and do a write-up when I get the time to smoke some rainbows.

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