There are as many methods of smoking fish as there are people who smoke fish. Some like it “hard smoked” and other like moist and flakey. One item common to all recipes is some type of brine to reduce the water in the fish before smoking. Flavor can be added to enhance the final product. Alaskan Gourmet Brine has been developed to produce a pleasing flavor no matter what smoking method you use. The best results will be obtained by starting with high quality fish that is properly prepared. Smoking will not improve poor quality fish!
- Fillet fresh fish. Keep the fillets uniform size and less than 1 inch thick for best results. Leave the skin on if possible for the variety of fish you are smoking.
- Add one (1) cup brown sugar to each packet enclosed. The two bags are identical and may be used together or separately, depending on the amount of fish you wish to smoke. Each packet should cover approximately 4 to 6 fillets of average size.
- Pack fillets in dry brine. Do NOT add water! Start with a layer of dry brine in the bottom of a plastic dish or bucket. Place a layer of fillets, skin down, in the brine. Cover the top of the fillets with more brine. Place the next layer in the brine skin up. Continue adding layers until all your fillets are well covered with dry brine.
- Refrigerate at least 24 hours. Longer time may be required for thick fillets. The brine will draw water out of the fish and form a thick syrup. Move the fillets around several times in the syrup to insure they are completely covered.
- Rinse fillets well. If you do not rinse enough your finished fish will be salty. You can even soak them for 30 minutes to insure the salt has been removed.
- Pat fillets dry with a towel or paper towel to remove excess water.
- Let the surface of the fish dry before smoking. This will form a shinny dry coating on the finished product.
- Smoke using your favorite method. Make sure your smoker is up to temperature and dry inside before you place the fillets inside. I recommend 20 to 30 minutes of heat (about 150 to 170 degrees) with the vents wide open to dry the smoker and fish even more before starting smoke. Start the smoke and continue for at least 30 minutes. Leave vents open slightly to let excess moisture escape. You can use smoke longer if a stronger smoke flavor is desired. Remove the fillets when the desired texture and dryness is reached. I use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature. 120 degrees F makes a soft flakey product. 160 to 170 is well cooked and produces a dryer, more firm product. Experiment with different temperatures and times to find the product you enjoy the most.
ALASKAN GOURMET BATTER