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Thread: smoking reds in the cold

  1. #1

    Default smoking reds in the cold

    Hello, I am in need of guidance by some of you more experienced fish smokers. Here is my problem. Now that the temperature has dropped outside to about 20 degrees, how long should I leave fish in my Big Chief before they are sufficiently cured for storage and consumption? All of the instructions that come with the smoker are assuming that the outside temperature is 70 degrees and we don't see that often up here. No, I do not have the insulating cover to put on the smoker. I am thinking about covering it with a heavy duty tarp to try to hold some heat in. Maybe I could put it outside for the smoking phase only and then move the operation into the carport to finish drying the fish at a warmer temperature? Any ideas? I know that I am not the first person to wonder about this. I'm new to smoking fish, but I did a pretty good job smoking fish this summer when the temperature was warmer. I smoked all of my Silver and King Salmon bellies. YUM! I wish I had more. I think I gained 15 pounds from eating so much fat, but it is soooo good.

    Hurry my pellicals are about formed and I will not begin smoking untill I get a response!

    On another note, I am planning to can some smoked Salmon in half pint jars to send to family in the lower 48 for Christmas presents. Every one will get some fresh jelly and some fresh canned fish this year. How long should this fish be cured before throwing it in jars and putting it in the pressure canner? I want it to have nice color as well as good taste. Also, do I need to brine the fish that I am smoking to can? If so, should I leave out the salt in the jars? Yes, I have a pressure canner. Yes, I am experienced at canning fish. The wife and I canned over a hundred pounds of Pink Salmon that we caught at Hope this Summer. I know, I know, Pink Salmon aren't the preferred fish to eat, but when you have 6 kids to feed you try to use everything that the good Lord gives you. Besides, canned Pinks are good I think. Especially nice bright ones.

    I think that should be enough for my first post. Please help and thank you all in advance!

  2. #2
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    Default

    I cold smoke year round. Lil Chief smokers are hot smokers so you will have to insure the temp gets up to about 130F or so long enough to cook the fish. My biggest problem smoking below 32F is condensation, in the smoker, that developes on the fish. I would expect it may not be as big of an issue in a hot smoker though. That said I would make sure the smoker is well vented to rid itself of excess humidity. The humidity pretty much wrecks the pellicule and the interior fat forms on the meat, in the form of a white paste. This is not necessarily a bad thing but it detracts from the pleasant smoked fish look. Lil Chiefs come with a box the helps to insulate the smoker. A tarp will probably work well. Keep us in the loop on how it turns out. pak

  3. #3
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    if retaining heat is an issue put a box over the smoker. i have used this with good sucess in the cold months.
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  4. #4

    Default

    Get you a sheet of one inch foam insulation and put it around your smoker box. Been smoking that way for 30 plus years and it works. Might have to keep them in a little longer

  5. #5
    Member frozen okie's Avatar
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    Default fish smoking

    I do my salmon in the salt/brown suger brine for 6-12hrs sometimes longer.Then smoke it in my little chief with the door ajar so it dont get to hot I dont like to see the white stuff. I do that for about 3-4 hrs like 2-3 pan fulls I think. Then in my canner at 15psi for 70 min this works great for me .Hope this helps let us now how it goes.

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    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    A box or an old sleeping bag, or canvas tarp has worked for me in the past. I don't like smoking fish in the cold as it seems I need to move it around to much.

  7. #7
    Member byrd_hntr's Avatar
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    Default 2" blue foam

    I made a cover for my smoker out of 2" blue foam and Im smoking some reds right now, about -5 F outside.

  8. #8

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    On another note, I am planning to can some smoked Salmon in half pint jars to send to family in the lower 48 for Christmas presents. Every one will get some fresh jelly and some fresh canned fish this year. How long should this fish be cured before throwing it in jars and putting it in the pressure canner? I want it to have nice color as well as good taste. Also, do I need to brine the fish that I am smoking to can? If so, should I leave out the salt in the jars? Yes, I have a pressure canner. Yes, I am experienced at canning fish. The wife and I canned over a hundred pounds of Pink Salmon that we caught at Hope this Summer. I know, I know, Pink Salmon aren't the preferred fish to eat, but when you have 6 kids to feed you try to use everything that the good Lord gives you. Besides, canned Pinks are good I think. Especially nice bright ones.

    quote]

    I've had pretty good luck canning my salmon with a pressure cooker by letting it smoke for 2 hours. It's not completely cured by that point, but what I'm going for is to give it a good smoke flavor. Then I let the pressure cooking process finish preserving the fish. 15 psi for 70 minutes sounds about right to me (can't recall specifically). I've canned quite a few pinks as well. I'm not ashamed to keep 'em And my family in the lower 48 like them as I think pinks tend to have a milder flavor than the reds or silvers I can.

  9. #9
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shearej View Post
    On another note, I am planning to can some smoked Salmon in half pint jars to send to family in the lower 48 for Christmas presents. Every one will get some fresh jelly and some fresh canned fish this year. How long should this fish be cured before throwing it in jars and putting it in the pressure canner? I want it to have nice color as well as good taste. Also, do I need to brine the fish that I am smoking to can? If so, should I leave out the salt in the jars? Yes, I have a pressure canner. Yes, I am experienced at canning fish. The wife and I canned over a hundred pounds of Pink Salmon that we caught at Hope this Summer. I know, I know, Pink Salmon aren't the preferred fish to eat, but when you have 6 kids to feed you try to use everything that the good Lord gives you. Besides, canned Pinks are good I think. Especially nice bright ones.

    quote]


    I've had pretty good luck canning my salmon with a pressure cooker by letting it smoke for 2 hours. It's not completely cured by that point, but what I'm going for is to give it a good smoke flavor. Then I let the pressure cooking process finish preserving the fish. 15 psi for 70 minutes sounds about right to me (can't recall specifically). I've canned quite a few pinks as well. I'm not ashamed to keep 'em And my family in the lower 48 like them as I think pinks tend to have a milder flavor than the reds or silvers I can.
    canning ..... 110 min at 10lbs.... light smoke as the flavor will grow in the canner... i only brine it about 15 min in a 1 cup -1 gallon for light smoke about an hour.. the canner will cook it. for fresh canned.. i don't do anything but let it soak in salted water for 10-15 min.... let drain and squeeze the extra out as i pack it in the jars... and i mean pack it...



    on a note about canning the pressure is to raise the temp of the product... the TIME is what is important to kill botulisms and salmonella poisons.... if you raise the presser and shorten the time you may NOT kill all the bacteria....
    Last edited by Vince; 10-26-2008 at 18:16. Reason: canning add
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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