A different approach: smoking fish instead of frying it

Smoked fish

Fish Friday has a long tradition in many German families. It goes back to Christian roots and is already practiced in the western habitat for 2000 years. In most households, fresh fish from the pan or oven ends up on the plate on Fish Friday.

A tradition that has been around much longer than Fish Friday is smoking. The taste of smoked fish is in no way comparable to other seafood recipes. In very few households today fish is still smoked. This method is easily possible with modern equipment.

Before smoking

Visually, smoked fish is clearly different from the fried or steamed version. When the fish comes out of the smoker, it has taken on a delicious golden-brown coloration. For this to happen, the preparation must be right. In order to smoke your fish, it must be salted and dried beforehand.

For this purpose, the fish is soaked in a homemade brine and then dried in the open air. The salt extracts water from the fish and serves for preservation. Contrary to the name, the brine does not only consist of salt. According to your heart’s desire, the brine can be refined with various spices. If the brine is boiled, it must be cooled down again before pickling in any case. The prepared fish may only be placed in cold brine. Of course, he has to be gutted first – all innards and gills have to be removed.

The right smoker cabinet

On the market there are a variety of products for smoking fish. To preserve and flavor fish, it doesn’t have to be a high-quality and large stainless steel smoker right away. If you would like to try smoking fish first, you can buy a beginner’s device.

Inexpensive and small smokehouses on the market usually work with an electric heating coil. It generates enough heat to heat the wood chips. For a noble taste, woods from beech or fruit trees are ideal. The variant of external firing by a heating coil is safe and guarantees a constant temperature. For advanced and expert smokers, the market offers higher quality equipment. More information about smoking and smocking can be found here.

Tips for amateur smokers

If you want to try your hand at smoking fish, you need a lot of practice and patience. Over time, each optimizes his craft and smokes fish that taste better and better. With the following tips you will succeed in optimizing your own fish craft in a very short time.

  • The brine develops the optimal flavor when it has been prepared at least 12 hours before and rested. Use only table salt from the supermarket, such as crystal salt or sea salt.
  • The fish requires several hours to dry. Only when the skin feels like leather is the fish ready for the smoker. The fish can be optimally hung out to dry on a clothes rack.
  • The ideal temperature for smoking is between 90° and 100° C. During the process, the temperature inside the oven should be kept as constant as possible. In the last third, the temperature can be lowered.
  • The fish is cooked when the dorsal fin can be easily pulled out.
  • Smoked flour is used for flavor enhancement at the end of the process. As soon as the flour starts to smoke, the oven can be switched off.

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