A few weeks ago, one of my Son's tower monkeys asked me if I'd smoke a couple small Trout for him.
I couldn't say no, because all of those crazy kids are always willing to help the Old Bear, whenever he needs it !!!
I told him to bring them over.
Once I saw them, I knew I needed something to go with them, because I couldn't see bothering with 5 little Brookies all by themselves.
So I got 3 pounds of Tilapia fillets from Giant. I sliced the rib cage section off of the fillets, and fried them up for Breakfast, because that part was much too thin for smoking.
Day #1 (Brine & Prep):
I thawed the 5 Brook Trout, cleaned them up a bit more, and put them in the following brine with the Tilapia Fillets.
Put 1/2 quart of apple juice in a pot on the stove, bringing to low boil & then down to simmer.
Add to this;
6 ounces of soy sauce
1/2 cup of non-iodized salt
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 tsp of Garlic powder
1/2 tsp of Onion powder
1/2 tsp of Cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp of Dried Bay Leaf Flakes (or 2 or 3 fresh bay leaves)
Stir until salt is dissolved. Then add 1 1/2 quarts of water & ice to cool quickly.
Leave the pieces submerged in this brine for 4 hours in fridge.
Note: I usually brine my larger pieces of Salmon for 6 hours, but that would be too long for these small Trout & fillets.
After removing from brine, rinse each piece well, pat dry, and lay on paper towels.
Then I put them on the smoking racks, and put in my meat fridge (uncovered) over night to begin the forming of the pellicle.
Day # 2 (Smoking):
8:00--------Pre-Heat Smoker to 120˚.
8:15--------Put in MES 40, with bigger pieces on #2 shelf, and smaller ones on top shelf.
8:30--------I filled my old prototype AMNS with Hickory & lit both ends (I want these good & smoky).
8:45--------After a nice pellicle is formed I put my AMNS on the bars of my MES 40.
10:30------Smoke was a bit too heavy, even for my taste, so I put the one end out.
11:00------Bump heat up to 140˚.
1:00--------Bump heat up to 160˚.
2:00--------Bump heat up to 180˚.
3:00--------Bump heat up to 190˚.
4:00--------Removed smoked fish when all pieces were over 140˚ internal. Some were up to 158˚.
Allow to cool awhile, and put in fridge until next day for eating & wrapping.
That's about it,
Sorry about the pics, but if you zoom in they are much better:
Brine cooling down:
All fish in brine, and going into fridge for 4 hours:
The rest of the fillets on another rack:
One end of my AMNS lit & ready:
My Smoking quarters:
Completed---Good snacking stuff !!!