Smoke fish at home and you will no longer want to buy such a product in a store. If you use the tips of this article, then as a result you will get the most delicate fish, saturated with the aroma of natural wood smoke. Such a product will have value not only for its taste, but also for a long shelf life.
If we talk about the benefits of smoked fish, thanks to the treatment with smoke, which is the strongest antiseptic, meat is freed from bacteria and parasitic organisms. In addition, this heat treatment allows you to save all the useful substances of the product. Smoking is one of the methods of canning, which, in combination with pre-salting, significantly extends the shelf life of meat.
Preparing the fish for the smoking process is that it needs to be cleaned and salted. If the carcass is too large, then you can cut off the head and tail from it. Otherwise, if the size of the smokehouse allows, then the fish is laid in the whole tank. All you need to do with the carcass is to free it from the insides. Fins and scales must be left in place. After cleaning, the fish must be washed with cold water and dried with a paper towel.
The next step will be salting. To do this, grate the carcasses with coarse salt and put in a saucepan for a couple of hours. You can add a little black pepper to the brine. An interesting feature of fish is that it is practically impossible to salt. Therefore, the exact proportions of the brine do not exist.
Before laying for smoking, you need to make sure that the excess brine drains from the fish. To do this, it can be hung by the tail for 20 minutes. It is best if this is done in the fresh air, as the delicacy should be well-worn. It is not necessary to wash and soak the carcass.
In order to get moderate smoke, smoke chips need to be soaked in water for 20-30 minutes. While sawdust swell, you need to prepare a smokehouse. To do this, a sheet of foil is laid on the bottom of the main tank. This is done so that the wood does not burn to the bottom. It will also make it easier to clean the smokehouse.
Now we fold the sawdust into a colander to remove excess water. The pressed chips are laid on the foil with a layer of 1.5 cm. Then, a tray for collecting fat is installed on the wood, if it is provided for by the design of the smokehouse.
We install the grill of the first floor and put fish on it, then place the carcasses on the second tier. The smokehouse is closed with a sealed lid and set on fire. Some smokehouses have a water seal. This device allows you to cook fish in a home environment. Due to the special groove with water, smoke purposefully enters a special hole equipped with a flexible hose.
The first 10 minutes, the heat can be quite strong, as soon as the first smoke appears, the coals under the bottom need to be slightly moved apart. An indicator of the correct temperature will be moderate smoke intensity. The entire smoking process usually takes 40 minutes. It doesn't make sense to keep fish on fire longer.
The finished product must be removed from the smokehouse and let it breathe a little. Smoked fish are thought to become tastier after they have completely cooled. Therefore, whatever the temptation, try to tolerate at least 30 minutes. You need to store the finished product in the refrigerator in sealed packaging.
Please listen to these tips.
1. If you over-hold the fish in the smokehouse, then instead of a fragrant dish, you can get a bitter product. After the smokehouse is removed from the fire, it must be opened for ventilation.
2. To reduce smoke exhaustion, river sand can be poured onto the bottom of the smokehouse. This material will also be a good absorber of dripping fat.
3. For smoking you need to take exclusively fresh fish. Frozen product has too loose flesh, which will not look aesthetically pleasing on the table.
4. The fish must be of the same species and the same size, otherwise the cooking time may be different. In addition, the product will salt unevenly.
5. The carcass must be freed from the insides, as offal can give bitterness. Gills should also be removed.
6. The fish will turn out to be more flavorful if you use woodchips of fruit trees (apple trees, pears) for smoking.