We are a big fans of seafood in this house. One of our favourite ways to eat seafood is by smoking a fish in our electric smoker. It’s mouthwatering. Sometimes we eat smoked fish as part of our meal or as a snack.
We generally choose whitefish when we are smoking because there is an abundance of lakes that have them in our area, plus its a fish that tastes good smoked. Believe me there are some fish that just don’t taste good smoked.
We are confident in our brine recipe but we are still experimenting with our smoking techniques. We find ourselves smoking more and more often, especially in the summer months.
I was hooked on smoked fish as a kid when my dad would take me out fishing for lake trout. I would watch and mostly eat the fish that he would put in the smoker. He preferred cutting the fish into chunks rather than doing the whole fish at a time. He would place the chunks in the brine and then lay them out on the smoker racks, and the smoker would be on for the better part of the day.
When I moved with my parents to Ontario my dad had less time and I had less interest in fishing.
Then I met Jon. I still don’t have much interest in fishing, but I love eating it, and so does he. We started getting into smoking a couple years ago and then my Dad, tired of lending us his smoker, gave us his and now we use it more than ever, especially in the summer months. It’s a Big Chief electric smoker and maintains one temperature of 140 degrees when it is on. It’s really simple to use and great for a beginner.
Our first attempt at smoking a fish didn’t go quite like we expected. We wanted to use hooks to hang our fish in the smoker. We noticed a lot of people did it and wanted to try it. The fish fell off the hooks. So we laid it the fish skin down on the racks. The fish still turned out really good.
The night before we plan on smoking we start by filleting, deboning and descaling the fish. Then we lay the fish in the brine overnight to soak in the flavour.
The morning of smoking we turn on the smoker and let it warm up to temperature. We also put the chips in and let them start to smoke prior to putting the fish in. Normally we buy our wood chips from the store, but this time because we had just pruned all the crab apple trees, we used or own chips from right here on the farm. We put the fish on for 8 hours total and change the chips ever 1.5 to 2 hours. It’s important to note that we soak our wood chips prior to smoking to prevent flare up.
Jon and I are still learning a lot about smoking but we have a lot of big plans for smoking going forward. We will be sharing all we learned and some more recipes with you that we’ve tried.
1 gallon of water
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of Himalayan Salt
1/8 cup of black pepper
1/4 cup of garlic
7 bay leaves
2 tsps onion powde