My father-in-law is headed out fishing soon, and asked me to smoke up a few fillets of Northern he had in his freezer to see if we want to smoke up what he catches, which, for the destination he's headed, is usually Northern, Perch, and Walleye. He's all but inhaled every ounce of Salmon I've sent his way, so he's excited to try something else.
I forgot to take pre-smoke photos, but here's a decent pic of the after:
Prior to curing, these were fully defrosted in the fridge, rinsed thoroughly with water, patted dry.
I did the usual 4c brown sugar to 1c non-iodized table salt to 1 Tbsp black pepper cure for about 10 hours. REALLY drew a lot of liquid out.
Rinsed off in warm water and left for an hour to develop a nice, sticky pellicle. Meanwhile, preheated the smoker to 200F.
Smoked at 200F for 3 hours, applying 80 minutes of smoke, starting 20 minutes in. Alder wood was the "poison of choice" - we like the mild flavor it gives the fish. The fillets were only about 1/2" thick, maybe a little thicker, at the meatiest parts, and had the skin removed. The very edges, where the flesh was really thin, are a bit jerky-like, but also really tasty and not overly tough. I'd prefer to leave the skins on, but these were already done.
Usually, I'm not a huge fish fan, but I'll confess... there's a chunk missing from one of these now. The brown sugar left a little bit of a lingering sweetness that blends wonderfully with the Alder smoke.
He's going to be a happy guy (assuming his daughter doesn't eat it all first!).