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First time smoking fish - whitefish w/ Q View

Discussion in 'Fish' started by msaunders, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. Well guys, it's time to fire up the smoker.  After a great trip up to the Ontario side of Lake of the Woods, I came back with a lot of nice fish, including some whitefish.  I decided to give the whitefish a shot in the smoker.  The lady that does the cooking at Flag Island Resort gave me a recipe for a brine, so I tried that.  I'm hoping it's not going to be too salty, but we'll see when it's done.  If it turns out, I'll post the recipe.

    So, here goes.  Hopefully I can get some photos uploaded.  I'm using flickr, not photobucket, and not sure if they're going to allow the direct link to the image.  We'll see...

    Caught this dandy whitefish up on Shoal Lake.


    Whitefish fillets in brine.


    Rinsed and ready to dry.


    Got some pellicle.


    Ready to add fire!


    Got some TBS.


    Temp is holding steady at 190F.  I'll be back in a few hours with pictures and hopefully a good report!

  2. Here's the finished product.  It turned out delicious!  Brine recipe to follow.

    Finished in the smoker:


    First batch done.


    I also did some Tullibee (aka Cisco) fillets.  Those turned out pretty good, too.  Just gotta be sure to scrape off the red fat meat on the skin side of the fillet.

    Tullies ready to smoke:


    Ding!  Fries are done!


    The whitefish were brined for about 20 hours, I believe.  The tullibee fillets were brined for about 16 hours.  The second batch of whitefish I did the next day were brined about 12 hours or so, probably could have been done a few hours longer.

    The brine I used was:

    1 gallon water

    1 cup brown sugar

    1 cup pickling salt

    1/8 cup coarse ground black pepper

    1/4 cup granulated garlic

    7 bay leaves

    2 tbsp. onion powder

    The tullibee probably don't need as much salt since they're a much thinner fillet.  I think a 1/2 cup salt would have been fine on those.  The fillets were smoked about 4.5 - 5 hours at 190.  I used hickory and apple chips.  I had to reload the chips about once every 75-90 minutes.  Still figuring out how to use my smoker.  I could probably get the smoke time down if I use more chips and have to open the smoker fewer times (mine doesn't have a separate chip drawer).

    The fish turned out amazing, especially considering I've never smoked fish before, and never used this smoker before.  I'm impressed with my Masterbuilt extra wide propane smoker and how well it kept the temperature stable.

  3. Fresh smoked fish...awesome and thanks for sharing the recipe
  4. thoseguys26

    thoseguys26 Master of the Pit

    Those are some big Whities! Especially thru the ice!! Nice work! They're super boney, but you probably know that by now but some of the tastiest. I know some spots here in CO you can fly fish for them. 

    Looks tasty! 
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
  5. bluebombersfan

    bluebombersfan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Great job and nice fish!!!  I still havent tried fish but I am hoping to soon!!
  6. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wow really pretty! The color is great....JJ
  7. saugeyejoe

    saugeyejoe Fire Starter

    Looking good!!
  8. @thoseguys26 - Where about in CO?  I have some uncles living in Denver and get down there from time to time to visit them.  Would love to catch some in the summer time on some light tackle!

    @Chef JimmyJ - Yeah, I was amazed at the color when they came out.  Really nice deep golden brown color.

    Thanks, everybody! 
  9. thoseguys26

    thoseguys26 Master of the Pit

    They're more common than most people think. Rivers and lakes. Colorado river, cache la poudre, yampa, frying pan. They spawn in the fall, have small soft mouths, but are tasty! I'm driving all the way up to fly fish the Yampa tomorrow, can't wait!
  10. sam3

    sam3 Smoking Fanatic

    Beautiful color!

    I smoke alot of striped bass, thanks for sharing the recipe. I'm going to give this one a try!
  11. sunman76

    sunman76 Master of the Pit

    That fish looks great [​IMG]
  12. thoseguys26

    thoseguys26 Master of the Pit

    How do those come out? My brother was going to try smoking some he caught through the ice last week.
  13. harleysmoker

    harleysmoker Smoking Fanatic

    Man that looks great! Fish is one thing I have been thinking of doing.