New To Smoking

Discussion in 'OGF Kitchen' started by BtweenShots, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. I will be starting a new venture
    of smoking and looking thru
    a lot of sites one thing stuck in
    my mind. It was advised not to
    smoke fish in the smoker that
    one uses for meats and poultry
    and yet most advertise will smoke
    everything. My choice for a smoker has become an electric
    unit but not decided on which one, if that is a issue also.
    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. scroll down and check past threads.....i have a water smoker and like it........some of the members have some home built smokers that are awsome........mid
     

  3. What are you talking about smoking and what kind of volume? There are many different smoking methods but basically its split into two different groups hot and cold.
     
  4. I smoke fish in the same little water smoker that I smoke everything else in. It may add a small amount of fishy flavor to the ribs or whatever you do next but not real bad. And after using different kinds of wood chips and trying them out I started just using charcoal briquets to smoke fish with , as long as you dont use any type of lighter fluid to get them started, and you soak the fish in a brine beforehand , they come out great.
     
  5. Stay away from briquets they burn too hot and the additives may ruin the taste of the fish. Charcoal briquets are a thing of convience because they light faster but they also may contain amounts of sulphur, sodium nitrate , limestone, borax, charred sawdust, starch and different petroleum based additives.
    Like I mentioned in a earlier post there are two methods of smoking fish one is hot smoking where you eventually obtain a temp of 175 to 180 and the other is cold smoking where your maximum desired temp is about 85 but its better in the 74 to 80 degree range. I dont hot smoke any of my fish I cold smoke it all basically because when I do smoke fish I smoke fattier species like steelhead and salmon and the occasional catfish. If you try both method you'll find that the cold smoke gives a much milder smoke taste to the fish and the fish will still have an almost raw appearence as opposed to the hot smoke that results in a more pronounceed smoke taste and the regular flakey texture that your likley used to from other cooking method (baking, frying).
    Brining...All brines are a basic 2:1 ratio of salt to brown sugar in any given amout of fluid (usually water) but you want a salinity of about 80% a good way to tell is put a to put a egg in there and it if floats you at atleast 80%
    (5 gallons = 14 cups of salt, 7 cups of brown sugar). To the brine add different herbs and spices to suit your taste dont be affraid to experement with different combinations. Put the fish in your brine and leave for 12- 16 hours (12=smaller fish/cuts , 16= larger) but make sure it completely submerged, take out and rinse under cold running water for 1 to 2 hours and if you dont mind eating raw fish taste to check salinity, Pat it dry and place uncovered in a fridge for 8 hours or so so that salt levels can even out (for salmon I cover the fillets with fresh dill for this period) Place fish in smoker for 6 to 8 at about 80 degrees or until it has a shiny or glazed appearence vacumn seal and freeze to kill bacteria. Also...freezing before this entire process helps to control bacteria and to draw some unwanted moisture out of the fish. As you can see its a labor of love so if and when you do it do a good amount....GOOD LUCK!
     
  6. Ummm,...like I said,...I DO use briquets and it comes out fine. Without getting to overly SCIENTIFIC , I was raised on smoked fish most of wich were smoked with cherry , apple, or other hardwood, and there really is only a minor difference in flavor using clean burning briquets , atleast using the type smoker I have. As for the sulfur etc., you get a lot of that using wood chips as well. Sure briquets arent as good as using real wood, all Im saying is they can be used with good results.
     
  7. No doubt briquets are suitable for cooking/smoking but i'd just use lump coal or wood for fish because of the delicate taste. If and when I use coal I use 100% natural hardwood briquets because I can tell the difference in flavor. I cater a minimum of 2 events a week whether it be a pig roast or serving steaks at a golf outing or bachelor party and a decent percentage of my customers would also know the difference in the taste not to mention that they would burn entirely too fast and too hot for my pig or lamb roasts resulting in money that literally went up in smoke.
     
  8. If you cold smoke do you still need to cook the fish.
     
  9. No, its a way of preserving foods that dates back centuries and is still super popular especially in europe.
     
  10. Holy project Chucky....I have seen the little round smoker pictured in that link fitted with a electric element which accomplishes the same thing with 1/20th of the effort.