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Smoked Fish 06
Smoking Salmon and Trout Part - Kippering And Barbecuing
These are different processes from Scotch smoking which is cold
smoking- the fish remains raw. Kippering and barbecuing are hot
smoke processes where the fish is cooked. In barbecuing you have
no control over the heat; the smoke is hot only. The fish is placed
in a pre-heated smoke oven and kept there until cooked. The only
control is smoke on or off during prolonged cooking. In kippering
you gradually bring up the heat to condition the fish before final
hot smoking and cooking.
The salting procedures are the same for both cooking methods. You
can kipper or barbecue whole sides for special occasions but pieces
of fillets cut according to thickness is easier to salt and smoke
cook. You can dry salt, plain or mixed, whole sides and wet brine,
plain or mixed, pieces. Thick sides are hard to dry salt so either
slice into two thinner fillets or inject brine.
Plain salt:Score the skins as for dry salting before Scotch curing
and place the salt the same way. The time required is 1/3 as much
as for Scotch smoking and 1/6 if brine is injected. This is because
Scotch smoked fish must be thoroughly conditioned so as to be able
to slice it thinly but here we are just adding enough salt for
flavor. Also Scotch smoked fish is an appetizer, a tid-bit and can
be salty to the taste but kippered and barbecued fish is a main
course. After dry salting, simply rinse off the salt and drain
Salt mixes: add 3/4 cup white or brown sugar to each 2 1/4 c
pickling salt and optionally add up to 50 bay leaves, 8 tsp pepper,
2 tb mace, 7 tsp allspice, 2 1/4 tb cloves, or 2 tb juniper berries.
Prepare the side for salting as for dry salting for Scotch smoking
and place the salt as for Scotch smoked fish. The time required is
1/2 as much as for Scotch smoked fish or 1/4 if brine is injected.
Plain Brine: Prepare brine [2 1/2 c salt to 2 qt water] and cool
to 50 deg. Keep fish and brine cool at all times. Stir pieces from
time to time. The time required is about 3/8 as much as for plain
brining for Scotch smoking. Drain fish coming out of the brine
Sugar-Spice Brine: Prepare brine as for Scotch smoked sugar spice
brine. Time: 3/8 as much as Scotch smoked method. Drain fish coming
out of the brine before smoking/cooking.
Reusing brines: Because the fish has absorbed sugar and salt and
released water, you must bring the brine back up to strength by
adding more salt or mix. Use a salinometer to be accurate and bring
back up to 90deg salinity.
Smoking Kippered Salmon: Drying- is important for appearance and
flavor. During drying the salt soluble protein protein from the
fish forms a skin on the surface called a pellicle which combines
with the smoke for a pleasant appearance and most of the smoke
flavor. Methods of drying include hanging under building eaves in
a breeze out of the sun, with a fan, a forced draft smoker and a
small clear fire in a natural draft smoker. Dry at 100 deg with
maximum draft for 1 1/2 hr [forced draft] or 3-4 hours [natural
First smoking- 1 hr, medium density at 100 deg.
Tempering- is gradual as opposed to sudden heating and is important
for appearance and quality, so soluble protein juice does not pool
on the surface and form curds or the flesh dry unevenly and crack.
Gradually raise the temp to 175 with medium smoke over an hour.
Second Smoking- 1 hr at max. smoke at 175. Take thinner pieces out
of the smoker now and give the thick pieces 1 more hour.
Barbecued fish: after salting or brining, place in a hot pre-heated
smoker and cook until fish flakes readily.
Storage: of kippered or barbecued fish. Cool as quickly as possible.
Do not wrap before it has cooled or it will spoil. Freeze the
Smoking Salmon and Trout - Making Lox
There are three products called Lox: old fashioned Lox, Nova Lox
and Lox Salmon [ plus a whole lot of other smoked and pickled
products using the name but bearing little resemblance to any of
Old fashioned Lox: Freshen mild-salted fish [salting instructions
follow in a later chapter] by soaking in several changes of water.
Thin pieces will require less time than thick pieces that may take
up to 24 hours. Test by tasting, remembering that the subsequent
smoking will dry the fish and concentrate the saltiness. Drain the
freshened fish on the smoking racks. Smoke at 85 deg F with medium
density smoke for 6-8 hrs [forced draft] or 12-16 hrs [natural
draft]. Cool the fish before wrapping and freeze any surplus. Lox
Nova Lox and Lox Salmon: Fish may be either fresh or frozen. Frozen
is actually better as the freezing and thawing removes some of the
moisture. If the fish are frozen whole, fillet them when they are
half thawed. Cut into pieces according to thickness. Use the thick
portions for Lox and the thin ones in kippering, drying, canning
or eating fresh. Make a dry salt-sugar mix of equal parts sugar
and pickling salt. Dry salt by placing the pieces in a container
of mix. Cover each piece but do not rub it into the flesh. Sprinkle
some mix into a container and lay the salt mix dredged pieces on
it skin side down. Sprinkle each layer with more mix and add another
layer etc. Times for salting according to thickness are the same
as for Scotch smoked dry salting above.
Remove the pieces from the mix, rinse and drain. Now brine the
pieces in 90 deg sal brine [2 1/2 c salt per 2 qts water] with
optional bay leaves included. Keep brine and fish cool throughout
the process. Then freshen the fish under running water more or
less to taste; the table is just an approximation.
BRINING AND FRESHENING TIMES
Thickness Brining Time Freshening Time
3/4" 9 hrs 45 min
1" 12 hrs 1 h
1 1/2" 18 hrs 1 1/2 hrs
2" 24 hrs 2 hrs
At this point decide whether you want smoked Nova Lox or unsmoked
Lox Salmon. For Nova Lox smoke as for old fashioned Lox. For Lox
Salmon the pieces must be dried without heat until firm enough for
slicing. A frost free refrigerator will dry uncovered Lox enough
to firm it.
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