I love smoked fish. I didn’t think I would ever say that when I was a child. When I went on Boy Scout trips, we would get our fishing license and we would pull countless rainbow trouts out what ever stream or tributary we fished at – and I would lament the part where we would sit down and have to eat the sucker.
Then a couple years ago we went to a fish farm in the Cache Valley in Utah. My sister-in-law has had her fair share of fish – sometimes it was the only thing they could put on their table. She had so many different ways to prepare the muddy water fish. I listened and took notes, so when we were done with this fish farm adventure I could know what to do.
I gutted out my old broken grill and converted it to my ghetto smoker. And used this brine recipe – notably, I had quite a bit of marinade left over. However, it changed the flavor and of course removed all the muddy characteristics the trout had.
What I was left with, was this firm fleshed fish and an amazing amount of flavor. I was impressed. So, Nikki this is for you. Thank you for opening my eyes to brined, smoked trout, salmon and white fish.
This recipe was based on trout and salmon – but this works really on any fish. My favorite use of the smoked product is to slice thinly with a serrated knife, and place with sour creme, dill sprig on a latke – bite size. A little sea salt to top – my friends, this is great stuff.
I hope this changes your life as much as it has mine. Good Eat’s to you!
- 2 Quarts water
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 3/4 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon onion salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Lawry's seasoning salt
- 4-5 Dashes hot sauce (Tabasco Sauce)
- In a 3 gallon food safe bucket combine all of the ingredients and stir to dissolve the salt(s).
- Brine your fish for 6-8 hours in thin chunks or average filets. You could go 10-12 hours if you were going to brine a whole fish in the refrigerator.
- Remove the fish from the brine and place on your smoking racks with air circulating around them. This will allow the fish to obtain a glaze.
- This brine makes enough to cure 12-15 three pound trout or salmon.
- Set your smoker at 200 degrees and let it smoke for 2 hours so the fish reaches a internal temp of 160 degrees F. The fish should hold this temp of 160 degrees F for at least 30 minutes to ensure any nasty parasites might meet their demise.
- I suggest smoking with a sweet wood, such as apple wood or alder wood (no bark).