Trout.... on the "Old Totem Smoker"... Finished first batch.....5/26/13

Discussion in 'Fish' started by daveomak, May 25, 2013.

  1. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Several folks have been resurrecting Big Chiefs, Little Chiefs, and the odd person around here must have a Totem Smoker like I do.....   

    This old smoker has done many hundreds of pounds of trout and salmon over the last 25 years....   Getting a method down "pat" on one smoker, makes it difficult to even want to switch smokers.....   Once you get a great smoked fish, changing is out of the question....   

    My buddy has brought me some trout he had in the freezer....  This batch is about half of them...  tomorrow I will do the other half.....   

    Trout filleted using an electric knife... that makes it easy.....  

    freezer burn trimmed and belly bones trimmed off....   I don't leave them on when doing small trout....

    Takes up too much room in the smoker when I have this many fish to do....  seems a waste but, I have 2 days of 

    prepping and smoking fish... It would run into 4 days if I didn't trim them....

    Since I have learned a few things on this forum, and botulism is fairly prevalent in smoked salmon, I have changed 

    my recipe to include cure #1...  I may be a dummy, but I'm getting smarter....   

    My recipe has been, for as long as I can remember, 1 Cup pickling salt, 1 Cup white sugar, 2 Tbs. Garlic Plus seasoning (Costco Canada)...  

    Mix ahead of time so the spice/herb flavors mingle with the salt and sugar and become infused.....

    That mix weighed 660 grams...   Since I prefer 2% salt and 2% sugar on the fish,  0.04% X 454 grams/pound = 18 grams of rub per pound of fish...

    Since I have 660 grams of mix, and 18 grams/pound will be used, this batch of mix will be good for 36 pounds of fish.... 

    The FDA recommends 100 - 200 Ppm nitrite in Hot Smoked Fish:http://seafood.ucdavis.edu/haccp/compendium/chapt07.htm

    I did the calculation based on 150 Ppm nitrite...

    So the current mix will rub 36 #'s of fish..

    at 150 Ppm...  36 # fish = 16,344 grams X 0.000150 Ppm = 2.4516 grams nitrite....  / 0.0625 % nitrite in cure #1 = 39.22 grams of cure #1 needed in the mix for a 150 Ppm mix per pound of fish...

    Now, I did not figure in the salt in the cure #1, or allow for the weight of the cure #1 added....   Since the Ppm nitrite acceptable for fish is 100-200, this mix is "close enough" for me...

    Anyway, I weighed the container and the fish.... I had 2860 grams of fish and the container weighed 360 grams....

    The fish was 2500 grams / 454 = 5.5 #'s fish X 18 grams / # = 99 grams of rub needed for this batch of fish..... 

    Add the first layer of fish and weigh, place the container of rub on the scale and zero the container....

    add rub and the scale will read - #'s of rub added.... add rub to each layer based on weight until the 100 grams has been added.... 

    ....CLICK on pics to ENLARGE....


    First layer with rub sprinkled on it according to weight......

    Successive layers laid down and rub added... 


    Last layer rub sprinkled on meat side and it was turned over skin side up....


    A layer of plastic wrap covered the fish and arts and crafts needle point laid on the plastic wrap for equal pressure...

    this will force some of the water out of the fish and the salt will help....   there is very little weight on the fish.... just something

    to hold it down and firm it up during the curing / brining process.....


    If you look close at the bottom of the container, you can see a little liquid that has been drawn from the fish after

    15 minutes in the rub......


    Using this method, the consistency between batches is really good.... adjustments can be made for personal taste....

    The tub is in the refer until tomorrow... The fish can't get over salty or over sweet due to 2% salt and 2% sugar added by weight of fish....

    I find this method works for everything from bacon to jerky... Very consistent results can be obtained....   I have tried the wet brine method 

    and just prefer this dry method.... same for bacon... Personal preference is what it's all about....   

    If you would like to try this method and need help deciphering it, and cranking out the numbers, I will help you.... 

    This is my first go-round with putting it down on paper..... I hope I can simplify the wording so it makes sense....  

    Back tomorrow with the "Old Totem Smoker" belching "Thin Blue Smoke"....

    I did pull it out of the barn yesterday and fired it up today to run the bugs out of it......  

    She's looking real good.......

    Dave
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2013
  2. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Can't wait to see!!! 

    Kat
     
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Finished the fish....  Came out pretty good....  ....CLICK ON ANY PICTURE TO ENLARGE......

    Below is the moisture the rub pulled out of it....


    Rinsed in cold water to remove the excess rub.....


    Into the smoker to finish the drying and pellicle formation...


    I have modified the door to allow for extra ventilation..

    Corner straps to hold the door...


    Bottom tabs to support the door...


    The tabs....


    The door cut out and mod, on the bottom of the door..


    The slices of alder...  they last about 1 hour or so.....


    The blanket... helps keep the temp uniform inside the smoker...

         

    Therm reads about 7 degrees low...  

    Shooting for 140....  


    Fish done...  when the sun came out, the temp got too high

    in the smoker...   the fat oozing out is not the perfect way

    to smoke fish.....   You want it all inside the meat....  

    Regardless, it still tastes darn good.....  very, very good.....


    The fat that dripped out...... not too bad...


    Vac packed for my buddy....    2 more batches to go....

    Thanks Lisa for selling these great bags.... 

    just received the 200 order.... these are the pint bags... 

    perfect size for small servings.... 


    With the mods made to the old smoker, it is amazing how easy it is to use

    and the quality of the finished product....   using it today brought back some cool

    memories of all the fish smokes it's seen... Except for the temp getting too high, when the sun came out,

    and lack of a thermostat to save my butt....  (I should have been paying more attention to detail)

    Today was a very good day....  no complaints...

    Dave

    I found the Little Chief owners manual for those interested...... 

    http://www.smokehouseproducts.com/downloads/LCRB.pdf
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2013
  4. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The color on your trout came out gorgeous!  Wish I lived closer to you....smoked trout is fantastic. [​IMG]

    Hope you have a great day finishing up the last 2 batches!

    Clarissa
     
  5. wjordan52

    wjordan52 Meat Mopper

    NC
    Great looking batch of fish Dave. Love the classic old smoker! 
     
  6. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Fl
    Looks fabulous!!!

      Craig
     
  7. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    eh, not bad if you like old electric smokers!   [​IMG]

    Dave,

    Glad to see you finally got ole Totem out and did your first smoke of the season successfully. 

    Couple Q's:

    5th pic - Did you install those holes at the bottom?   I assume they are venting the underside of Mr. Totem?

    7th pic - Cutout at bottom of door - Is this to help air flow up into the chamber?

    Very nice pictorial.  Very nice smoked trout.  Very unfortunate you live so far away from me who would be visiting you on a daily basis when you're smoking.

    Craig
     
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thank you Clarissa.....  
    Thanks W....  The smoker still makes great fish....   
    Thanks Craig.... 
     
  9. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Ohhh, good Lord... that looks good Dave   [​IMG]   I need some Good Fish sooo bad. I don't trust the ones in Lake Erie (yuk -they have worms) , at least the Perch does.

    I'll still settle for good old Catfish , I know where I catch them and there are no parasites...

    As always . . .
     
  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Stan, afternoon....  The worms in the fish are "usually" in the gut....  If you gut them as soon as they are caught, you usually get rid of them....   Cook the fish good and the worms add protein... folks been eating them for years....  LOL....
     
  11. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That is so cool Dave!  Looks really yummy!  Love the older Totem!

    Kat
     

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