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drying salmon

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  • drying salmon

    Anybody know a good way to get fish dry faster than a month? I have to go to town the second week of June to deliver the baby and that is going to seriously interfere with drying fish this year. We have no electric to our cabin and no refridgerator. Also, I don't think we can get a good icehouse built in time (tough pregnancy, in town for doc this week). We might be able to get a very small icehouse up, but to insulate with sawdust I don't think a little bitty one will stay cold enough to keep the fish. I know we could do half dry then jar it, but I only have a waterbath and I hear you have to pressure can fish.

  • #2
    Traditional salt brine as used for King strips (no sugar) should give you relatively 'finished' fish in under 2 weeks, if aired proiperly, enough salt applied to the brine, and a bit of smoke if desired).

    ~4 lbs. salt to 3-1/2 or 4 gallons of H2O in a 5 or 6 gallon bucket, brined (if strips) for 10-20 minutes, making sure that all the strips get even exposure to the brine by occasionally running your (clean) hand/fingers through there, like trying to untangle someone's pony tail..

    If doing whole fillets of relatively 'thin' variety (reds, etc.) then decrease the salt just a touch, but incerase the amount of time in the brine a bit. Thicker cuts/filets means either cutting either a grid or parallel lines of 'slits' in the meat (but not through the skin) every inch or two inches or so, to allow the brine to access the meat more evenly, or soaking longer, which can lead to too much salt in the thinner areas of the fillets.

    Others may have other ideas. Those are mine..

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    • #3
      Excellent! Thank you! Yup, King strips, and maybe some dog fish. I'll try that!

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      • #4
        I wouldn't use too much salt brine for the fish for the dogs; not good for them. I'd research that further, through someone better versed than I am in that regard, but I don't think a bunch of salt's good for your critters. We human beings ingest all sorts of stuff that we probably shouldn't, including salts, etc., but we've got who-knows-how-many generations of adaptation, too,

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        • #5
          Good point about animals and salt. We just call chums 'dog fish'. We'll be saving those for human consumption this year tho. We only have 2 dogs and the scraps from cleaning and cutting our moose should last them quite a while next fall.

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          • #6
            You must have a pressure cooker to jar salmon safely. It is a great tool and sure does come in handy a lot. I recommend anyone living out on the river and without a fridge to get one. I don't have a fridge, only a root cellar and have had no luck when we made and used an ice house...stuff just molded.

            Probably the best person to ask is strangerinastrangeland. Send him a PM and get his advice on drying fish.

            I make some dried fish and fish strips (jerky) but never have had to rush it.

            Here's a couple links to some pictures that may help give you an idea on how to do it. Not sure of the time-line though and if drying in the outdoors will be quick enough for you to accomplish.
            Good luck to you in all,
            Grandma Lori

            http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...w=1264&bih=538

            http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...t:429,r:12,s:0

            http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...w=1264&bih=538
            If God had intended us to follow recipes,
            He wouldn't have given us grandmothers. ~Linda Henley

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            • #7
              Make Mark stay home and put the fish up
              Chuck

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              • #8
                Mark? Hehehehe, my husband would probably get jealous if I let a guy named Mark stay...

                I wonder why the ice house failed? How was your root cellar? Our lot gets pretty wet in spring, so I don't know if we'll go ground level or not with our cellar. I'll poke back in later in the year and let you know.

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                • #9
                  Whoops I thought grandma started this one:confused:
                  Chuck

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                  • #10
                    Cut yer strips/fillets thinner. Sometimes my wife will cut meat from the inside of the fillet and use it immediatly (or severla fish worth) and get thinner, quicker drying fish done that way.
                    Get wind on 'em, the sun off and watch for insects, dust, and moisture.
                    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.:topjob:

                    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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                    • #11
                      Thank you! Thinner, add wind. Will do!

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