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We are a active outdoor family and we fish a bunch. I am looking for a healthy way to brine and smoke fish any recipes that anyone has and would love to share would be great. Any other thoughts on this would be great also.
Smoking is great and my favorite method of cooking, but I don't consider it particularly healthy to be eating the by-products of wood burning. I've actually started to use a natural no additive liquid smoke in some of my foods because I think a few drops of filtered smoke is safer, no idea if this is true but it's all I have. I still will smoke some food in the warmer spring/summer in the PNW.
A simple brine for salmon is the leftover pickle juice from a jar of real cultured pickles. We have Moonbrine in Portland or the Bubbies pickles nationally. Then smoke, broil, pan fry or sous vide until desired doneness. This brine might overpower some delicate fish so use accordingly.
I have a Weber smoky mountain smoker and I love it. Food comes out tasting so good!
And over the however many hundreds of thousands of years of our ancestors cooking, I'm sure the majority of it would have tasted smoked to some degree or another! Whether the meat was speared and cooked over an open fire, or turned on a spit in front of an open log fire as in any of the large mediaeval kitchens in Britain (and no doubt the rest of Europe!) the smoke taste would have been pretty dominant. What we have lost since the invention of the oven!
I have a nice huge natural gas grill, which is great for smoking. I just turn the far left burner on high, and put meat to the far right. Temp where the meat is hovers right around 215 (depending on outside temp). I've smoked pretty much everything so far and it turns out amazing.
The key is moisture. If you're smoking lean meats, you need to brine them. My parents were in town for Xmas and my dad and I just got about 6 pheasant, 5 chukar, and 6 quail last Monday. For Xmas dinner, we brined 2 pheasant overnight in a mix of really salty water with a rub. Take me out, pat dry, inject with butter, and rub them down. We smoked at 220 degrees with applewood chunks and cherrywood chunks to a breast internal temp of 150. Tasted shockingly amazing.
For fattier/oilier meats, brining isn't necessary. We also smoked a 3 rib prime rib roast on Xmas with the pheasant. Injected with butter (can you see a pattern?), rubbed and smoked to an internal temp of 125 for a perfect med rare.
If you want to smoke anything the real key is a good digital thermometer. I'm NOT associated with this company, but LOVE my thermometer. Get a Maverick ET732. It has a clip and probe for the ambient BBQ temp, and a probe that goes in the meat. These go into a little remote that wirelessly transmit to another remote up to 300ft away. You can monitor the entire process while playing with kids or prepping other dishes.
Thanks for some input. I will try just using a brine and then using a rub for the fish. We raise raise most of our own meats. Longhorn cattle,rabbit,chicken,sheep,goats,quail. Plus all the fishing we do. SO it is nice to make jerky and smoke the meat for our adventures in day to day life. Nothing like going snowshoeing and having some good old smoked fish or meat/jerky.