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Thread: To much smoke on fish???

  1. #1
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    Default To much smoke on fish???

    I'm new to smoking fish and I've followed one of the simple recipies from the forum. I'm using a little chief and the fish has been in for 6 hours and the small pieces are getting done at this point and they taste great!

    My question is how long should I keep smoke on the fish? I've pretty much had it on them the entire time. I'm on my third pan. I'm planning on smoking them for about 8 hrs.

    thanks

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    The easy answer is that the amount of smoke should be "to taste right to you".

    Most would say you're slightly over smoking now. I say pour the smoke on; just watch the ambient smoker temp and the meat temp.

    To read a fillet with an instant read thermometer you have to hit it within the first couple seconds of opening up the smoker; 120 F max would keep you from over-kippering.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    The easy answer is that the amount of smoke should be "to taste right to you". . .

    . . . . smoking salmon is at least as much art as it is science, probably more . . go for it . .

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    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    If you are going to can it/jar it. three smoke pans are enough unless you like dried out squaw candy. I like mine moist and even add a tablespoon of olive oil to keep it moist. Are you canning it? the canning process alone cooks the fish
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    Good point whop. Me too; it it'll be canned I make sure to not get the fillets all the way "done", so maybe their internal temp might be 100F or at most 110F.

    And there are some fine points too, like:

    - put the correct "finish" on your smoked fillets by adding 15 degrees F to the smoker temp for the final 10 minutes
    - dust the fillets with fresh ground pepper before putting fillets into smoker

    For non-canned, I also make sure (before vac packing) that the smoked fillets have time to breathe or sweat or whatever.... Set'm out for a few hours or if you're in a hurry use a fan. This prevents them from sweating once their vacuum packed and before they're fully frozen, if you don't, and water inside the vac pack is bad.

    I too add a very small amount of extra virgin olive oil to each can of salmon before I cap each can.

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    My understanding is that most meat, fish included, absorb the most amount of smoke within the first 40 minutes. After that, the actual flavor absorbed is minimal. Wood variety tends to be the biggest flavor influence in my opinion. Bring the smoker up to temp, add your fish on racks, then add your chips.
    Hope that helps.
    Colby Jack

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    Default smoke infusion

    Quote Originally Posted by Colby Jack View Post
    My understanding is that most meat, fish included, absorb the most amount of smoke within the first 40 minutes. After that, the actual flavor absorbed is minimal.
    I'd like to hear more info on that, because my experience runs somewhat contrary. For example, one time I did a cold smoke that went close to 30 hours long. There was so much (good I think) smoke flavor in the still-raw salmon that some people didn't like it just for that reason. Just one tiny (1/4 inch by 3/4 inch square) piece of salmon on a saltine was perfect, of course accompanied by paper-thin-cut red onion and a little dab of cream cheese - Yum!

    But maybe what you're saying is true for hot smokes (kippering) maybe? I've never over-smoked anything I was kippering, not with red meat nor with fish. So I don't know different, but I'd like to hear more facts/opinions on that.

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    I use kettle smokers, charcoal heated, the trick is determining the correct number of briquets so as not to get the temp too high, and add freshly cut and peeled alder from my yard for 5 hours of heavy smoke. I smoke the fish until it is nearly cooked-slightly raw in the center, I like it moist. Fresh peeled willow is another favorite wood.

    Keep trying until you acheive the desired smoke flavor, it is well worth the effort in my book.

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    IMO, use damp or soaked wood. Otherwise, if there is a flare up, the smoked fish can get the wrong smoke ... kind of like if someone rolled their salmon in an ash tray.

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    If you are smoking (kippering) fresh salmon, meaning they have not been frozen prior to smoking, the internal temp of the fish must reach at least 135 F in order to inactivate/kill parasites. If the internal temp of the fish does not reach at least 135 F, the fish must be frozen at some point prior to eating in order to kill the parasites.

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    Only if you are not canning them, Canning kills it all.
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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