So, for my second Adventure with the new vertical propane unit, I decided to do some Yellowtail that me and the kids caught Memorial Day weekend at the house in Baja.
Step one: Take the kids ocean fishing for the first time. Catch petite Yellowtail. Hey, these be some hard-fighting fish. Anything bigger than that would reek of effort, and I'm on vacation.
Step 2: Panic. What the heck am I going to do with all these fish fillets? Yellowtail, Sea Bass, Lingcod, even a small Halibut. He was good on the grill.
Step 3: Get a smoker for Father's Day. Open wonderful can of worms,
Step 4: Smokingmeats forum. Discover Bearcarver's thread on Salmon. Now Yellowtail is really probably more like Tuna than Salmon, but I was willing to give it a shot.
Results were awesome:
Here the Queview:
The finished brine
A stack of Yellowtail fillets:
Cut into Strips for the brine and smoke:
In the brine in the safety container, ready for fridge:
Out for the pillicle form. Those pieces are actually dry. The pillicle comes fast in this climate I guess.
Packing it away in bags for the fridge and freezer.
Deviated from his careful instructions a little:
Brined for 6 1/2 hours
Pillicle formed at room temp with the AC blowing dry air (Los Angeles) for 2 hours.
Started the smoker as low as it would go with hickory chips with no water in the pan. Electric might be able to pull it off, but propane? Not mine. Temp spiked to 180 fast. Had to put water in the pan. On my fishing guide's advice, I did the first hour at 180, then the rest a little lower (parasites and bacteria concern- his advice, I'm a newbie- he smokes a boatload of Yellowtail). I had to unlatch the door and crack it to get the temp down to 165.
After 3 hours, the internal temp of the thickest piece was 145, so I pulled it all out at the same time. Probably should have pulled the ends of the fillets (thinner parts) a little earlier, but it's all good. A little harder in the thin parts, but still not dried out.
Lovin' me some yellowtail.