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I've been inspired, getting ready to smoke some fish 2 questions.


Fire Starter
Joined Jul 22, 2015
Looking at all these great post on smoked salmon and tuna has inspired me to smoke some up. I have some fresh Coho filets and some fresh Albacore tuna loins, but have but researching the Internet a bit and there seems to be mixed opinions on two things, could use some advice. First most smoke salmon pics I see are with the skin off, but plenty say leave the skin on....... Skin on or skin off? Second a couple of post say not to freeze the fish before smoke because is breaks down the meat a bit, some say to be sure to use frozen fish that has been thawed........ To freeze or not to freeze prior to brine and smoke?



Smoking Fanatic
Joined Dec 27, 2013
Skin on or off is usually just a personal preference or because some fish is too fragile without the skin to hold it together. Salmon & tuna are pretty firm & good either way. The freeze 1st is because most recipes call for lower smoker temps. around 165 to 180 and pulling the fish at a 145 internal temp. Since many fish have parasites that take an internal temp. of 160 to kill, long term freezing is an alternative kill method. Check out the following link.


I vacuum seal & freeze all my fish & have gotten the best results defrosting by putting the still sealed bag in a bowl of cold water in the fridge.
Last edited:


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Jun 23, 2012
I do a fair amount of Salmon
 which is all vacuum sealed and then frozen.  I thaw by placing the package in the fridge for 12-24 hours.

For all filet's which is most traditional, I leave the skin on.  Helps prevent the meat from drying out. If though I'm doing my Salmon nuggets or Salmon Jerky, skin needs to come off.

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