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Thread: smoking frozen fish

  1. #1
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    Default smoking frozen fish

    I may not return home from my Kenai/dip netting trip until Sunday, and I may do the last of my dip netting on Thursday.

    I typically have my fish comercially vacuum sealed and flash frozen in Kenai.

    I think Thur - Sun would be too long to keep some fish on ice to brine and smoke. If I have them sealed and frozen and thaw them later for smoking I've been told to cut the brine time in half for previously frozen fish.

    I normally use a dry brine

    Does the advice on cutting the brine time sound right?

  2. #2
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    I brine mine for 4 hours using the basic recipe in the Big Chief manual. They come out really nice looking and I get a lot of compliments on the smoked salmon I do. I don't think I have ever smoked any salmon that has not been previously frozen. Let me know how it works for you with the dry brine, I have been itching to try them out.

  3. #3
    Member Tomcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gottago View Post
    I've been told to cut the brine time in half for previously frozen fish.

    I normally use a dry brine

    Does the advice on cutting the brine time sound right?

    That's news to me... I've always thawed frozen fish for smoking. It soaks overnight in a simple dry brine -- full strength as specified in the recipe -- then goes in the Big Chief for eight hours. Comes out perfect every time.

  4. #4

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    freezing actually helps the brining/smoking process because the cell walls rupture and give up the water contained therein more quickly. this allows the salt in the brine to draw moisture from the flesh faster.when using frozen fish i shorten my brining time by about one-third, rather than dilute my brine, because i like to use the brine for flavoring as well.

  5. #5
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    I agree with what Dirtysteev wrote.

    I haven't shortened the brine time by much, other than to soak toward the shorter or mid-time frame that the recipe I use prescribes, but not shorter than called for.

    What pre-freezing the smoked fish does do is to provide for a more firm fish when finished, still moist in the middle, but notably more uniform in the overall texture.

    I have acquaintances who now make a point of freezing fish first, before smoking them; partly due to time constraints during this part of summer, but also due to the preferred outcome in their fish.

  6. #6
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Added benefit of freezing first... it will kill the bad bacteria and such that can spoil the meat during the smoking process. They recommend freezing at 0°F or colder for at least a week to kill everything.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

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