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Up in Smoke...

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  • Up in Smoke...

    If you are one of many who will be traveling to AK this season and are from the Lower 48, you do have the option to bring your fish back and smoke them yourself. The AK local boy is an expert with his smoker, and they really are not that hard to construct. Nor are the recipes that difficult, and the process is fun, plus you'll save several dollars per pound if you learn how to do this yourself.

    The Internet is your friend on this one. Key-word searches of "smokehouse construction", "salmon smoke recipes", and "wood smoking chips" will bring you all the data you need if you decide to go for it.

    Undoubtedly you are already excited about your trip. Building your own smoker ahead of time to celebrate that fantastic catch you are going to bring back will forever keep Alaska on your mind...

    Bon Appetite!
    "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"

  • #2
    Smoking fish in the field


    You bring up a good point. Many folks don't know that if they smoke their fish in the field, they have met the legal requirements for processing it. This allows them to bring more fish home if they want to without violating the posession limit.

    You can put together a cheap smoker from a tall cardboard box (you don't need much here, folks. Take a cardboard box about three or four feet tall and take the bottom out of it. Make your racks out of willow or alder twigs; you're looking for switches a little larger around than the diameter of a pencil. Sharpen the switches on both ends and poke them through the box until you have a grid. You can lay your fish strips on the grid, or you can suspend them by poking the end of the sticks through the fish and letting it hang. Either way, once you get your fish in the box, place the whole box over a small, smoky alder fire. Most guys I know just use green alder chopped up with a hatchet. You can peel the alder or not, it's up to you. Peeled alder is less resinous. You have to tinker with it a bit so you don't burn your box up, but it is definitely doable. Burn the box up when you're done. You can ship the box out to the field folded flat.

    As far as brine recipes, a lot of us just go with 1/4 salt and 3/4 brown sugar as a dry mix. "Bread" your fish with this and layer it in a plastic bowl for a few hours, then shake it off and smoke it. You can add garlic, jalapeno, onion powder, whatever you want after it comes out of the brine.

    Thanks for bringing this up. Great idea!

    Michael Strahan
    Site Owner
    Alaska Hunt Consultant
    1 (406) 662-1791


    • #3
      Re: Up in smoke

      Great posts,

      Another option for a fire is a small single burner electric burner and a small pot/pan for your chips, many campsites, cabins etc have power for such things. Although it is something that would have to be packed it is an option.



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