smoked carp, anyone?

Discussion in 'Fish' started by bigfish98, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. bigfish98

    bigfish98 Smoking Fanatic

    As a kid growing up in western Illinois, I remember eating smoked carp. My grandfather used to smoke carp, but I believe his recipe and methods are in his back pocket on that big fishin hole in the sky. As I have moved around the midwest, I have asked people if they have ever had it or know the best way to prepare it and have had no luck (and my fair share of "what are you smoking" looks). I was wondering if anyone on here has done it, if there is a trick to doing it, and what the general steps are. Any help would be appreciated!

    Stay smoky, my friends! :grilling_smilie:
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I can think of a lot of fish I'd rather smoke than carp. When I was a kid we'd shoot them with a bow & arrow, but we never ate them.
  3. bigfish98

    bigfish98 Smoking Fanatic

    Al, thats what I have heard from most people. I have had fried carp and I really like it. I haven't had smoked in so long I honestly cannot remember if I like it or not, but I have family on the Red River here in ND and that has a ready supply of carp. Figured why not try it again. May start a national craze! Doubt it, but hey, you never know!
  4. When in doubt, smoke it.

    I've never had it, but it used to be pretty popular (there used to be a pretty good market for it in the NY area).  If I had a supply of carp, I'd sure give it a go.

    Most the old recipes seem to say "roll it in salt, chill over night", some say "salt and sugar".  I see no reason to not try Bearcarver's brine, try it out.

    Worst case, you make some cats happy!
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  5. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    We had a local farmer that would smoke up carp, I had it quite a few times and liked it.  It was moist with big flakes of meat. I can't help ya with the recipe as Bob Has pasted on many years ago also,

    If it was me, I'd get some smaller ones and do it like a salmon. Maybe?
  6. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Considered a pest down here,eradication programs using electric shocks then turned into fertilizer. Eaten in Eastern Europe/China but its all about getting the muddy taste out of it.I  remember an old dutch lady had a way of doing it that when I was a little kid but lost in mists of time. Good luck
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    Like Al said, we used to shoot them with bow & arrow, with rubber fletching & a special tip, but I used to give all of my Carp to my Grandfather, so he could roto-till them in his garden-----"Great fertilizer" !!!

    That said, if I was going to try to smoke some, I would use the same brine I use for my Smoked Salmon, in my signature at the bottom of all of my posts. Go by size of pieces for how long to brine.

    Then Smoke them low & slow like in my Step by Step for snacking type smoked fish, like I did.

    If you want to eat it as a meal, instead of for snacking, take the heat up quicker, so it doesn't dry out much.

  8. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    We used to catch them on worms then bury them around the passion fruit vines, that grew over  back fence.its illegal to catch them & return them to the water so they end up in stinking piles on riverbanks . Are you sure they are worth the trouble.
  9. bigfish98

    bigfish98 Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks Bear. 

    Next time I get some out of the river, I am definately trying it.  I will let you all know how it turns out!

  10. whittling chip

    whittling chip Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    You will need to filet them properly. Here's a link:

    When I was a kid my parents talked about sometimes people pressure cooked them. The y-bones are are real problem.

    I've tried them a few times, cooked numberous ways. I raise Japanese koi and over the years we always have had ugly ones that weren't worth selling so we tried eating them.

    Your best advise is to roto-till them in the garden. That's what they taste like!
  11. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I just saw something on I think the Cooking Ch.  maybe on DDD on smoked Carp. This guy was making a ton of money selling them in his place...He smoked about 50 of them a day if I remember correctly...It sure was a good thing for him...Down here in Louisiana we eat a fish called a Buffalo thats in the carp family. The most popular part of it is the Ribs and believe me they are VERY GOOD....deep fried...lots of white meat...The best size is around 15lbs.
  12. Well being raised by a man that could cook any kind of fish, I have eaten the "trash fish" called carp. It is a very good fish if done right.

    don't go over a 5 or 6 pounder first of all. 3 to 4 lb would be better. If you leave bone in, there is a mud streak in the center spine area (looks like little blood sacs).

    You have to take a small tip knife and remove this. After that soak in salt water for 24 hours. Then use Bearcarvers brine and then follow his smoking directions also.

    If you decide to fillet them, then still soak in salt water for 24 hrs. Then brine with same above and same cooking method.

    You will love eating this fish it is an excellent piece of fish.

    My father passed it off as White Bass one year at a family cookout, and everyone loved it. Excellent on the grill wrapped in foil with butter and garlic.

    Oh, and the reason about not using anything much over 5 lb. is that there is alot of fat that is hard to remove from the fish. Gives it a greasy taste.

    Happy Smokin'

    bigfish98 likes this.
  13. bigfish98

    bigfish98 Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for the info!  I went to college for Aquatic Biology with an emphasis in Fisheries so I try to give any fish at least an even shot.  I have had some catfish (one of the most tasty fish ever if you ask me) that have been extremely nasty to eat, so I am willing to give other not so often eaten fish a try as well!
  14. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I vote for Bears Roto-till in the garden method. haha Thats about all we ever did with them but you can smoke them and they come out pretty good. My old man use to smoke quite a few carp and suckers back in the day.
  15. bigfish98

    bigfish98 Smoking Fanatic

    I have had some really good smoked whitefish in the Bemidji area before!  Thinking of doing that too!
  16. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yea they are pretty good as well. None of these compare to smoked salmon but they are different and can be very tasty. The only thing you want to watch is they like to dry out since they don't have all of the oils like a salmon or trout. 
  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Catfish are my favorite eating fish, preferably 16" and below.

    They are the only fish we don't fillet. We just skin 'em, gut 'em, and cut the heads off 'em.

    Then after frying them, you can just grab the head end of the backbone, and with your fork, scrape all the meat off in two strokes, leaving every bone that catfish was born with, in one perfect piece. Awesome Fish !!!

    BTW: I was eating catfish many years before they were socially accepted in the NorthEast as a fish to eat.  [​IMG]

  18. bigfish98

    bigfish98 Smoking Fanatic

    The innovator, never the imitator!
  19. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    This thread you started brings back memories of sitting on 5 gallon buckets on the bank of the Delaware River, at least half-way through the night, with my Dad. I had one line goin', he had two.

    Two Kerosene Lanterns going in front of us.

    Catching catfish left & right, mostly between 10" and 14" long. My Dad had it down to about 15 seconds----grab the catty in the mouth with a rag (to get a good grip on the slippery little guy). Then cut around the back of the head, just behind the gill plate, Then grab the skin, at the cut (with needle-nose Pliers), and in one smooth motion, strip the whole skin off in one piece. Throw said catfish in the bucket of water, replace the lid/seat (catfish will swim around all night without skin). Re-Bait if necessary, and return sinker to bottom of river.

    Ahhhh----The good old days!

    Sorry if I got off track a bit,

    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
  20. bigfish98

    bigfish98 Smoking Fanatic


    I beta your dad and PETA would have been great friends. I used to raise catfish in baskets in my pond so I am ok skinning them, but nothing like your dad. I have to use skinning pliers made especially for catfish. Just skinned some the other day and the smaller ones I kept whole. Mother in law didn't care too much for them. she is used to filets.


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