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FIsh Smoking

Discussion in 'BBQ Women' started by nellyo, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. nellyo

    nellyo Newbie

    Question: if the smoked product (fish in this instance) doesn't look as it had enough smoke on its surface, can I put it back into a smoker after it cooled down? I smoked some fish overnight and in the morning, it looked as it could have stayed in the smoker with added chips a bit longer, but I had to go to work... So, does anyone know what would happen if I will continue to smoke it after 18 hours of interruption?...

    thank you!  
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Did you use cure #1 on the fish ??   What temp was the fish taken to  ??

    Taste the fish....  it may have plenty of smoke after 18 hours...   I think it would...
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  3. wade

    wade Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    As Dave says, taste it first. The right amount of smoke flavour is not determined by the colour. If you can see the smoke colour on the fish it is likely that it has been over smoked.

    Let us know more details as to what you have done so far in the process.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  4. nellyo

    nellyo Newbie

    Thank you very much gentlemen for your replies.
    Here is a bit more details. The fish is Mackerel, it's a fatty fish, I and many of my friends like it smoked. This time around was my third time smoking it. I put fish in the electric smoker with the temp set at 145F overnight for 6 hours. So I wasn't adding any chips after an initial handful of applewood chips. The smoker turned off automatically after 6 hours. When I retrieve the fish it looked less smoky, as it didn't have this golden hue, which it had two previous times. So I was wondering if it is because I had opened the vent a bit more then previous times and the smoke had escaped quicker or for some other reasons the result was different. I also, was wondering if there is any remedies afterwards that could be used to improve the appearance.
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Smoke at a lower temp...   The fat may be interfering with the smoke application to the meat.. 

    You should be adding nitrite to the fish also...   Low oxygen environments and a moist product is prime for growing botulism...

    Then form a pellicle on the fish and cold smoke as long as you like...  then up the temp for a final cook...
  6. wade

    wade Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Mackerel is a good fish to smoke and I know what you mean about the golden hue

    It is possible that the lack of colour was due to the smoke passing more quickly through the smoker with the vents open. Were you using the same smoking wood as before? 

    Before you try to smoke them further I would again suggest that you try one and see if it already has picked up sufficient smoke flavour.

    Next time you smoke them you may want to smoke them in stages as this will help form up the protein slowly in the fish. A good method I have found works well for mackerel is

    Gut the mackerel and remove the blood channel that runs along the backbone. Wash the fish well under cold running water. You can now lightly score the skin across each side if you want to let more smoke into the meat. I don't usually score mine.
    Immerse in a 70%-80% brine (250 g non iodised salt per litre of water) for 1.5 hours if un-scored or 1 hour if scored. Again rinse under cold running water to remove the surface brine. This helps to firm up the fish.
    Hook the fish through both eyes (or use a skewer) and then hang in the smoker. Place little pieces of wood between the belly flaps to keep them open - cocktail sticks are great for this. 
    Smoke at ~45 C (115 F) for 30 minutes. Then then raise the temperature up to 80 C (175 F) for 1.5 -2 hours depending on the size of the fish. The skin should turn a deep golden colour and become slightly wrinkled.
    Allow to cool and then wrap.

    If you are smoking them filleted then only brine them for about 45 minutes.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  7. nellyo

    nellyo Newbie

    Wow! Such a great advises! Thank you very much!
    I brine the salmon usually, but for Mackerel, after cleaning it, i lieberaly rub it with mixture of kosher salt and a bit of sugar. I live it on the fish for about an hour and rinse thorough, dry it and than put it in the smoker. I do like the idea of hanging them. The picture looks really neat. Thanks for sharing it. Would definitely try it next time. I also use technique of gradually rising temp for smoking salmon, but that requires "babysitting" the smoker ☺️ I wanted to find a way to just throw the fish in the smoker before bed and wake up to a finished product. it worked well first two times but it failed this time around. Ohh well... thank you very much to everyone for your time a great advises. Everyone was very helpful!