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Thread: Need help with taking bones out.

  1. #1

    Default Need help with taking bones out.

    I just put some Silvers (fresh) and Reds (frozen and thawed) into some brine to smoke. Before I did I tried to pull the rib bones out with pliers. For the life of me I could not get 99% of them out no matter what direction I pulled or how gently I tugged. They just kept breaking. I went ahead and put them in the brine in the hopes that after they break down a bit they will come out easier. Am I doing something wrong or do you actually take them out after the brine? Any advice?

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    What kind of pliers are you using? I use the longest, skinniest needlenose pliers I can. More contact area with the bone leads to a smaller risk of the bone breaking. I can probably get 9 out of 10 out most times.

  3. #3
    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    I take the pin bones out prior to brining. Here's a video that may help:



    The angle is key, as well as pulling towards head.
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

    "People who drink light 'beer' don't like the taste of beer; they
    just like to pee a lot." --Capitol Brewery

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the vid. That was pretty much what I was doing but I was using regular pliers. I'll pick up some needle nose pliers tomorrow I guess.

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    I used to pull them with my teeth if I knew I was the only one who was going to be eating the fillet. I could feel every bone with my lips or tongue, especially if I arched the fillet. I could do a whole fillet a lot faster that way than if I was using pliers.

    Now I just use the pliers in my leatherman. They're perfect for grabbing the bones. I even rinse off the pliers when I'm done, so now no one's afraid to eat my fish.

  6. #6

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    you can always pull the bones after smoking. the fillets will shrink a little and expose the bones a little more.

  7. #7
    Member Doug in Alaska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    What kind of pliers are you using? I use the longest, skinniest needlenose pliers I can. More contact area with the bone leads to a smaller risk of the bone breaking. I can probably get 9 out of 10 out most times.
    This is how do it also. I have noticed that the bones pull easier on a fillet that has been frozen and thawed than a fresh fillet. My wife and I prefer our fillets cooked in tin foil with butter, salt, pepper, garlic, onion, and lemon. I always take great care to pull the bones first, makes for a much more enjoyable meal.
    Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

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    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    This is where someone needs to bump the fishinphysician's fillet school photos.
    "...just because we didn't agree with you doesn't mean we didn't have good discussion. It just means you missed it." -JMG-

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    Member 9601's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmo1977 View Post
    you can always pull the bones after smoking. the fillets will shrink a little and expose the bones a little more.
    They come out a heck of a lot easier too.

  10. #10

    Default Good tweezers...

    works best for me. I used to use needlenose pliers but had the same issue with bones breaking in the meat. Tweezers force you to use finesse, not brute strength. When the fish is fresh, it's a little harder, but slow, steady pulling will get them out. Notice I said "good" tweezers, not the cheapo fiddy cent models, nor the ones that sometimes come on a Swiss army knife! Go easy and you WILL get the bones out ALL in one piece.
    Happy boning!

  11. #11
    Member matjpow's Avatar
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    Better yet get some forceps. They come in handy for more than just the average backyard surgeon. Besides that, you will really look like you know what you are doing. While your at... it get youself a scalpel.
    That's what she said...

  12. #12

    Red face hmmm

    Hope your dinner guests didn't see you doing that...lol. Imagine their faces when you explained how you made the chocolate pudding cake?



    Quote Originally Posted by Bibico View Post
    I used to pull them with my teeth if I knew I was the only one who was going to be eating the fillet. I could feel every bone with my lips or tongue, especially if I arched the fillet. I could do a whole fillet a lot faster that way than if I was using pliers.

    Now I just use the pliers in my leatherman. They're perfect for grabbing the bones. I even rinse off the pliers when I'm done, so now no one's afraid to eat my fish.

  13. #13
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    wait are you talking about the rib bones or the pin bones? the rib bones are easy you just fillet them off, the pin bones are easy enough to take out when you are eating or after cooking them. If you are canning they are soft enough to eat in there.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  14. #14

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    Sorry. Pin bones.

  15. #15

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    don't try to pull them fresh. the muscle needs to relax by sitting in the fridge for a couple days. makes for much easier deboning. good luck, abel6wt

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    I have the same problem that OP has......use a needle nose pliers and fish was frozen and defrosting for a couple days in refrigerator. Seems to be fish dependent..........some fillets, the bones come out easy and in one piece; others, they seem to break very easily. I find that they break more often if you try to pull them "straight out".......in the same direction that the bone is pointing; it seems to help if you pull at an angle to that direction which "rips" the flesh but ,
    generally, it still is a problem.

  17. #17

    Default Hemostats

    Hemostats - look for them at a drug store.

    I prefer a larger-sized hemostat - maybe 10" long. I find they work better than needle-nosed pliers, tweezers, or anything else I've tried.

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