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Wednesday, January 30 2008

Welcome to preparing smoked fish. I will offer tips and a simple recipe for preparing your favorite smoked fish from home.

You can use almost ant kind of fish that you want to smoke, but my favorite is Mullet. Be sure to use a fish that has scales because that is important to keep the fillet from falling apart. Scales provide a bonding layer. Avoid using Catfish or any other fish that has no solid scale structure. In preparing Mullet some people prefer to cut or "butterfly" the whole fish down the middle to include the bones and backbone. I like to simply fillet the fish starting from the neck and cutting to the tail. Then I cut out the rib cage(for Mullet). Remember do not scale the fish. Now I have a clean fillet free of bones.

Now let's choose our grill or smoker. You can use most any type of grill to smoke fish from a large cast iron smoker to a small Weber type grill. It is important to separate the location of the heat source from the fish. Larger smokers are equipped with a fire box located next to the cooking chamber so there is no problem there. A smaller BBQ grill will work just as well as long as you don't over cook the fish.

Next you will want to choose the type of wood to use. Any dry hard wood will do. I use Oak because it is plentiful and it leaves a nice smoke flavor. Pecan is another fine wood. Now let's prepare the grill. If you are using a small grill, place a handful of charcoal briquet's on one side of the grill. Charcoal will provide a base fire to keep the wood burning. Light the charcoal and place some wood pieces on top to ignite the wood. Put the cover on the grill and wait for it to start smoking. Open the lid vents and place them opposite the heat source.

We are ready to prepare our fillets. Lay the fillets on a counter and sprinkle with salt(do not over salt). Now sprinkle with course ground black pepper. Now top it off with paprika. This will give the fish a nice red tint and flavor. They are ready for the grill.

Remove the lid from the smoking grill and place the fillets scale side down as far as possible away from the smoking wood. You may have to smoke a couple of batches at a time. Put the lid back on the grill and make sure that the vents are over the fish and not the wood. Keep an eye on your fish as they cook and add more wood if needed. Since fish cook fast we want to get as much smoke flavor as possible while they are on the grill. A good sign that they are done would be a dark reddish brown tint to the meat and the scales at the bottom will curl around the edges of the meat. The fish can be eaten hot or refrigerated and eaten cold or used in a your favorite dip. I hope that I have provided enough information for you to prepare your own smoked fish from home.

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 09:55 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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