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Smoking Salmon and Trout - Indian or Hard Smoked

Low-fat fish make the longest keeping hard smoked fish as it is
the fat that causes rancidity. Very fat hard smoked fish should
be frozen or salted until just before eating. Medium fat fish will
last a week unrefrigerated before starting to go slightly rancid.
And lean fish will keep indefinitely unrefrigerated. Hard smoked
fish can be made from fresh, frozen or hard salted fish [instructions
for hard salting follow in a later chapter].

Hard salted fish should be freshened before smoking. Depending on
the hardness of the salting, your taste and the thickness of the
pieces to be smoked this may take 24 to 48 hours with water changes
every 3 to 6 hours. There should be no salty taste left as the
drying will concentrate any saltiness remaining. Other products
retain 50 to 75% of their original moisture but hard smoked fish
only 6%.

Fresh fish and thawed frozen fish should be very lightly brined if
at all. Brining draws out moisture and cuts drying time but salt
also speeds fat rancidity in the finished product. Make a 90 deg
sal brine and soak pieces no more than:


: Thickness Time

: 1/4" 2 min
: 1/2" 4 min
: 3/4" 7 min
: 1" 10 min
: 1 1/2" 15 min
: 2" 20 min

Smoking directions: Smoke for only a portion of the total drying
period according to taste. Dry at 85 deg F for 30 hrs with a forced
draft smoker and up to 3 weeks with a natural draft depending on the
weather or until the fish is completely dry and hard.

Smoking Salmon and Trout - Smoking Small Trout

Unboned: Make an 80 deg sal brine with 8.5 oz salt per quart water,
score skin and brine 1 hr. Spit them through the eyes with a heavy
wire [a welding rod works well here]and hold the belly open with
small match stick sized sticks. Dry at 90 deg F for 30 min [forced
draft] or 1 hr or more [natural draft]. Then smoke at 160 deg F
for 1 1/2 hrs [forced] or 3 hrs or more [natural].

Boned: Make an 80 deg sal brine and brine 8 min stirring often.
Depending on the shape desired and the boning method used, spit
through the eyes and prop open with match stick sized wood, or hang
over a dowel, or rolled and skewered. Drying and smoking temps and
times are the same as for unboned.

Smoking Salmon and Trout - Pickle Smoked Fish

Pickle smoked: fish are pickled before smoking. This is a good way
to enhance the taste of lean fish that do not otherwise smoke well.

Prepare and defat skinless fillets: To do this, when you fillet,
leave plenty of meat on the backbone where the meat is especially
fat. Cut off the belly portion. Skin the fillet leaving about 1/8"
meat on the skin. Make cuts on either side of the lateral line,
lift it out and discard it. Divide the fillet into pieces of
different thickness.

The pickling procedure is similar to corning meats. The flavored
sugar-salt brine is weaker than normally used and the fish brined
longer to achieve a cured taste. prepare brine in the following
proportions: 4 tb mixed pickling spice, 3 cups salt and 2 cups
brown sugar per 4 qts water. Keep the brine and fish below 45 deg
F at all times. Use a salinometer and maintain salinity at 60 deg
minimum at all times adding more salt periodically if needed. Don't
overpickle; remove the thinner pieces as they become cured.


:Fillet thickness Fat Fish Lean Fish
: 1/2" 30 hrs 20 hrs
: 3/4" 40 hrs 30 hrs
: 1" 2 1/2 days 40 hrs
: 1 1/4" 3 days 2 days
: 1 1/2" 3 1/2 days 2 1/2 days
: 1 3/4" 4 days 3 days
: 2" 5 days 3 1/2 days
: 2 1/2" 6 days 4 1/4 days
: 3" 7 days 5 days

Overhaul [stir and move around] the pieces daily to ensure even
pickling. When ready rinse off the pieces and let water drain off.
Cold smoke at medium density 7 to 10 hours depending on thickness or
30 to 48 hours natural draft depending on thickness and weather.
Continue until the flesh is firm enough for slicing. Cool the
finished product almost onto freezing before wrapping to prevent
sweating and spoilage. Freeze the surplus. Serve as for Lox and
Scotch smoked.


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