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Smoked Fish


Ingredients:

2 gal water
1/2 lb pickling salt
1/4 lb brown sugar
3-4 tbs pickling spice
2-3 tbs paprika


Directions:

Put the water on to boil, adding the entire 1/2 lb of salt, stir until salt is dissolved.Add sugar and stir. Add the pickling spice and paprika.You may not be able to get the sugar to dissolve, but if you can, add more salt. Irrespective of the amount of water, you want to achieve a super-saturated saline solution with the salt and sugar.The mixture will be super-saturated when you have salt granules on the bottom of the pot that won’t dissolve.The sugar is absorbed by the meat much slower than the salt. Cut fish in fillets and then in pieces about two to three inches wide. Brine the pieces for 3.5 to 5.0 minutes, depending upon thickness. Timing is important, don’t brine longer than 5 minutes, no matter the thickness of the meat.This brine time imparts salt/sugar/pickling spice flavors to the outer tissues, that then diffuse through the meat as it dries. Allow to dry at least until a pelicle (hard outer surface) has formed. Perhaps two day; less if sun dried. Salmon that is intended for canning is dried less to provide moisture in the jar.Which ever you do, you at least want the excess moisture to evaporate off. Smoke the pieces, skin side up, alternating the ones on the lower racks with those on the upper racks between chip loads. If your smoker is warm, the paprika will cause the meat to darken without your having to highly smoke it. Vacuum-packed product: Remove the pieces to a cookie sheet and place in an oven that has been heated to 350 degrees. Put the cookie sheets in the oven, close the door, and turn off the oven. Leave the smoked meat in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until you can see that it’s cooked.Vacuum packing assures that the salt/sugar/pickling spice flavors will be diffused through the meat. Freeze or refrigerate.