Smoked winter steelhead

RunWithSasquatch
Soooo, I had a bunch of skank winter fish I couldnt get my self to eat for dinner, so I figured it was time to throw it in the smoker.

I figure if I get it smokey and salty enough it'll be good with a beer, and my friends dont know the difference anyway ;)

Ive done a few other recipes, I did a big batch of "Indian Candy" earlier this year, and I really liked it, its just about 50 dollars to buy all the brine materials, and a lot more time and effort.

I googled around, and checked a few websites, and there was a recipe that I seen that came up a few times, once on a video, and the other on Steelhead university's web page. I like the simpicity of it, so I decided on it.

Here we go:

I started yesterday with defrosting and preparing the fish. I also mixed the brine and stuck it in the cupboard.

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Recipe is simple:
4 Cups dark brown sugar. (32 oz package = 4 cups)
1 Cup Non iodized Salt, Helps keep the fish from gaining a metallic flavor.
10-15 Cloves of garlic. - Me, I wanted simple, I liked the looks of "Oh, Garlic!" which is dehydrated garlic with a few other herbs, so 10 table spoons of that stuff
And no one called for this, but I added 5 Table spoons of black pepper
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Once the fish was thawed, I pulled all of the pin bones, and sliced the flesh down to the skin, but leaving it attached. Once everything was ready, I stuck the fish in the fridge, and waited for this morning before starting the brine/drying process, I didn't want to be up until 5 in the morning babysitting this stuff.

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I got up at 6 this morning, and started the brine process:

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You will need a large non metal container to do this in.
Take your time, and rub the fillets thoroughly, working the brine in the folds, also rubbing the back side of the skin. Take a hand full of the brine and cover the bottom of your container, and layer a round of fish skin side down in your container. The next round of fish will go meat to meat, then you will go skin to skin, repeat.

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Once you're all brined up, it goes in the fridge. I did mine for 5 and a half hours in the brine, the recipe I read recommended to start at 6 hours. I think mine came out good at the time span I did.

After the brine period in the fridge, remove from the container, and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Be nice to the fish, you dont need a brush when you do this.

The meat will come out very firm, and a lot of the moisture will have been pulled from the meat through the curing process. Place fish on racks to air cool, recomended 4-6 hours, I did mine for 3 and a half, ( I got things to do, ya-know)

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Once things had dryed and firmed, it was too the smoker:

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I had to keep going and checking on things as they smoked, I had two really different thickness' of meat, so the thinnest ones ended up going about 3 and a half hours, and the thickest ones are still going. It'll just depend on your smoker and your taste


And here is what Ive got so far with the thin batch:

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Gunga
dang that small batch sure does look tasty!
 
troutdude
Party at Squatch's house today everyone!!!
 
gonagin
Looks pretty darn tasty. I think I'll try your recipe this fall. Maybe a few chile flakes for some heat.
 
rippin fish lips
looks so good!!! hey i got a brine that im sure you would love... pm sent
 
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