What to use in your brine

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Throbbit _Shane

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I smoked some trout last week i used salt, brown sugar, lemon juice, and some spices i found in the kitchen. I let it soak over 12 hours, and used cherry wood to smoke it.

I was wondering how you guys smoke your fish? Whats in your brine? what kind of wood do you use? how long do u let it smoke?
 
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halibuthitman

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thats a long brine, you cold smoking it? I brine trout for around an hour and a half. my brine recipe is in the cooking threat.:D
 
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Throbbit _Shane

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I dont know what u mean by cold smoking but it was cold outside when i was smoked it :lol:

I let it brine over night. this was my first attempt so im still learning.
 
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mgdguy

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I smoke my first fish a couple weeks ago (steelhead) using a similar dry salt and brown sugar brine recipe I found. It also had a little garlic and onion powder I believe (would have to check the recipe at home). I brined it for 14 hours, which I think was a little long but it did the job. I smoked it with applewood, 3 1/2 pans, for close to 10 hours. It was a little cold and windy that day and I didn't think it was done enough so I finished it off in the oven at 175 for a couple more hours for the bigger pieces.

It was like CANDY :dance: Soooo good!
 
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halibuthitman

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cold smoking is the use of smoke only without the heat, a brine time like you mentioned would be suited for this. cold smoking is a long proccess, sometimes days. trout shouldn't take more than 4-6 hrs to smoke.. you using a big/little chief? when its cold out you can put one briquette in your chip pan, it will raise the temp without having to put the box over the smoker. was your fish really salty?
 
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Throbbit _Shane

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Its a tad bit salty but it doesn't taste bad. And yes i used a little cheif with the box over it. its quite old and the smoke was coming out of the seams of the box. so i put a large black garbage bag over it. i think i used two and half pans of wood. any tips would be greatly appreciated as im doing another batch soon.
 
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mgdguy

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Its a tad bit salty but it doesn't taste bad. And yes i used a little cheif with the box over it. its quite old and the smoke was coming out of the seams of the box. so i put a large black garbage bag over it. i think i used two and half pans of wood. any tips would be greatly appreciated as im doing another batch soon.

what was your salt to brown sugar ratio?
 
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halibuthitman

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Its a tad bit salty but it doesn't taste bad. And yes i used a little cheif with the box over it. its quite old and the smoke was coming out of the seams of the box. so i put a large black garbage bag over it. i think i used two and half pans of wood. any tips would be greatly appreciated as im doing another batch soon.

sounds like you didn't do too bad then, you probably didn't rinse the fish after you brined it... this will almost always result in too much salt taste, half the fun of smokin is figurin out what you like and your own secret brine, steelhead is my favorite medium to work in becouse it already is so high qaulity just on the hoof.:cool:
 
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Throbbit _Shane

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sounds like you didn't do too bad then, you probably didn't rinse the fish after you brined it... this will almost always result in too much salt taste, half the fun of smokin is figurin out what you like and your own secret brine, steelhead is my favorite medium to work in becouse it already is so high qaulity just on the hoof.:cool:

Thanks HalibutMan next time ill rinse them off before i let them dry. Maybe ill put some tapatio sauce in it next time :D
 
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Thuggin4Life

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I try to do equal amounts brown sugar/salt. Maybe add some pepper,teriyaki,garlic,worchestshire,a1,just random things after the sugar/salt and it always comes out good. soak them for a day or two. Towel/air dry them off some people rinse i don't. Put chips to them every hour and a half or so until done. seems in the little chief the more trout and the bigger trout makes for a longer smoke batch. tried skinless and it didn't change much. Even with a box it takes me 12 hours or more sometimes but thats with a full smoker. smaller batches take me like 6 hours. I use a similar brine for salmon/steelhead mixiing them up a bit everytime(helps to just eyeball everything) and the little chief seems to take 6-8 hours to be done doing the chips every 1 1/2 hours. I just got a propane smoker with a water pan just haven't been able to try it out yet but I'm sure I will be able to speed the process up a bit. Also I would like to try a dry rub brine for salmon/steelhead one of these days. for chips they don't change the flavor too much. tried apple,cherry,alder,mesquite and hichorey. Hickory is the best followed by the fruits. I know a guy who mixes them all and his fish is some of the best I have had. I will be buying all the flavors and mixing them before my next smoke out. Don't be afraid to experiment with the brine's and soon you will find what you do and don't like.
 
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Throbbit _Shane

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I try to do equal amounts brown sugar/salt. Maybe add some pepper,teriyaki,garlic,worchestshire,a1,just random things after the sugar/salt and it always comes out good. soak them for a day or two. Towel/air dry them off some people rinse i don't. Put chips to them every hour and a half or so until done. seems in the little chief the more trout and the bigger trout makes for a longer smoke batch. tried skinless and it didn't change much. Even with a box it takes me 12 hours or more sometimes but thats with a full smoker. smaller batches take me like 6 hours. I use a similar brine for salmon/steelhead mixiing them up a bit everytime(helps to just eyeball everything) and the little chief seems to take 6-8 hours to be done doing the chips every 1 1/2 hours. I just got a propane smoker with a water pan just haven't been able to try it out yet but I'm sure I will be able to speed the process up a bit. Also I would like to try a dry rub brine for salmon/steelhead one of these days. for chips they don't change the flavor too much. tried apple,cherry,alder,mesquite and hichorey. Hickory is the best followed by the fruits. I know a guy who mixes them all and his fish is some of the best I have had. I will be buying all the flavors and mixing them before my next smoke out. Don't be afraid to experiment with the brine's and soon you will find what you do and don't like.

Thanks for all the great info Thuggin.
 
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Kodiak

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I'm a dry brine kinda guy myself. What I love about smoking fish (and cooking in general) is amount of creativity involved. As long as you stay within certain peramiters (salt/sugar ratios) the other spices, fruits, and what not only reflect our individual tatses....try brining your next steelhead with diced dried apricots in the mix:shock:..a modified wet brine with cherry coke, Last bunch of fish I smoked I brined with cajun seasoning, blackened on the stove once the pemican layer developed and finished on the smoker.....It was spicy sweet smoked coho heaven. My son and daughter literally ate 2 whole fish as quickly as I could get them off the smoker (approx. 10lbs pre smoked weight).
I'm working on a lox recipe for steelies as I just love lox and bagels with a mamossa on the back porch when the sun is comming up in the mornings during the summer.:lol:...I know, a bit pretentious for a hill billy, but my old lady digs it.
 
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Throbbit _Shane

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Sounds like a plan kodiak, probally try some chili powder next time. What ratio do you use for salt and sugar, i did 2to1 salt then i added more unmeasured...
 
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Kodiak

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Mine is 4 parts brown sugar, 1part pickling salt. Too much salt will make your smoked fish more like jerky, and leaving it in the dry brine too long will do the same. I run mine in an electric smoker with one pan of chips. By the time my chips run out my salmon is fully cooked. It keeps it from being too dry, as I like mine to have some moisture to it.
For jerky I run 2 to 1 and smoke it hard......I also make a Tequilla lox, a rum lox, and a more traditional , with those ratios being more a 3 parts salt to 2 parts sugar. Considering it is a cold smoke process ( less than 90 f) the majority of the "cooking" is done in the brining process. the smoke is only for a little bit of flavor and texture on the outside of the meat.
 
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Last Cast

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Everyone seems to have their own secret brine for smoking fish. It’s kind of like finding a honey hole on a river and figuring out how to fish it consistently. It can take a little time and experimenting, but it’s a lot of fun. I like using a wet brine. The best part about a wet brine is that you can TASTE it. Taste is so important if your brine doesn’t taste good then neither will your end product. I start with a high quality soy sauce. Kikkoman soy sauce is not that good, once again taste it. It should taste good straight from the bottle.I like to use Yamasa soy sauce it’s a good balance of price and flavor. For salmon and steelhead I use approximately a 30oz container of Soy sauce to 2 lbs brown sugar. Then add crushed garlic, ginger white pepper and onion powder all to taste. Mix the soy and brown sugar in a mixer to dissolve most of the sugar then add the other ingredients, and taste constantly. Once you are happy with the taste of the brine then add the fish. If you want a moist end product let it brine for 12-24 hours. If you like more of a jerky then let it go for up to 4 days in the brine and cut your filets into 1.5 wide strips. Before you smoke put it on a rack to drip dry for about 2 hours. I think that wood chips do make a difference on propane smokers. I use to use the big chief chips, but I don’t think the wood is cured long enough so it develops more creosotes that affect the final flavor of the fish leave a hint of bitterness. Chips or chunks from specialty BBQ shop seem to be worth the extra money. Even better find someone with a cherry tree and age and cure your own wood it’s a little work but it’s worth it.
 
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Mike123

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Brown sugar, whole ground peppercorn, teryaki marinade, worcestercire sauce, soy sauce, morton quick tender, garlic powder, onion salt, a bit of liquid smoke, splash of tobasco, water.

My dad used to make and sell jerkey... and if you'd try it, hands down the best jerkey known to man. The steelhead tastes kinda like it. :cool:

Can't tell you how much of what to add, or I'd have to kill ya. hahaha
 
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Throbbit _Shane

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i have 10 trout for the smoker. ill let you guys know how they come out :)
 
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