Clay's Kitchen : Fish Recipes

Fish Recipes

© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA

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Cold Smoking Fish

Fish Cure:
1 cup pickling salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
¾ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon crumbled bay leaf
2 garlic cloves, pressed

All Cold-Smoked fish needs to be cured. cold smoking doesn't cook fish, just flavors it. Now for the process: Prepare the fish as you would for hot-smoking, using a cure or brine. In this case, however, you must add curing salts, unless the cure already has a high salt content. Combine the ingredients, and rub well into fish. Place in a NON-METAL container for several hours or overnight, depending on the size and amount of fish. Rinse fish well in cold water, rubbing slightly to release excess salt. Pat dry, then allow to air-dry for several hours until fish acquires a glaze. Smoke as follows. Preheat the smokehouse while fish is drying. You can use any mild wood for this, cherry, alder, or apple. Temperature in the smoke chamber should be 70°F with a light smoke. After the fish has been smoked for approx. 12 hours a heavier smoke can be applied. Smoking time can take from 24 hours to 2 WEEKS, depending on the type and size of fish, and how dry you want it. The longer the smoking time, the longer the fish will keep. Fish can be placed in a smoke chamber and lightly smoked for about 8 hours at 80 to 90°F, then densely smoked another 4 hours as you gradually increase the temperature to 130-150°F. Hold the smoke chamber temperature for another 2 or 3 hours, or until the fish turns a shiny brown. Cold smoking the fish before hot smoking it will give the hot smoked fish a stronger smoke flavor. To store cold-smoked fish, wrap each piece in plastic wrap and foil, then refrigerate or freeze it.

Dry Cure for Fish
The brown sugar of this flavorful cure is especially good with salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon, though it is also excellent with other fish. This recipe makes enough cure for approximately 10 pounds of fish. Use it for fillets, steaks, or whole small fish. First I use a Brinkmann SNPP. I've had to modify it to cold smoke fish. What I have done is used a Weber Kettle as a fire box that sits about 6 feet away from the original firebox on the SNPP. I tapped a 4 inch pipe into the top of the Weber's lid and bent it to about 70°F. The 4 inch pipe is in sections that add up to about 6 feet. I then connect the other end of this pipe (smokestack) to the original firebox on the SNPP so that the smoke travels from the Weber to the SNPP a distance of about 6 feet. This really cools down the smoke. Temperature in the smoking chamber of the SNPP is about 70-80°F. That's the basic crude set up. It's ugly, but it works!

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