Cold smoked fish, preparation for smoking, options and recipes for cooking smoked fish.

Cold smoking of fish occurs at a temperature of 30–35 degrees and lasts from a day to several days. During processing, fish loses a significant part of its moisture and is largely preserved by smoldering fuel smoke; therefore, the shelf life of the finished product increases to 3-4 months. The longer the fish smokes, the longer it will be stored. 

Cold smoked fish, preparation for smoking, options and recipes for cooking smoked fish.

Before smoking, it is necessary to remove blood from fish. To do this, it should be soaked for 30 minutes in concentrated brine (250 g of salt in 5 liters of water). Then followed by salting, soaking for 20-24 hours, washing and drying. Large fish should be dried for 5 days, small fish for three. Large fish need to insert spacers into the abdominal cavity. It is advisable to wrap the fish with tender meat while smoking in thick paper or canvas..

to maintain constant smoke for the first 6-8 hours. Cold smoking of fish is provided by two parallel processes at once. Actually cold smoking of fish and its drying. At the same time, the meat does not harden, since with proper smoking / curing, not all moisture evaporates, but only half. Therefore, in a smokehouse it is very important to maintain a constant smoke temperature of 25–35 degrees so that the fish does not lose a lot of fat and does not dry out.

The more salt left in the fish after soaking, the lower should be the temperature in the smokehouse. On average, cold smoked fish lasts 3-4 days. A more accurate time must be determined taking into account air humidity and fish size. For small fish weighing 300-500 g, 2 days is enough, larger fish have to be smoked up to 20 days.

For example, 24 hours will be enough to process a gutted medium-sized herring; uncut herring should be left in the smokehouse for 2-3 days. For trout, carp, whitefish, eel, 4–5 days of smoking are sufficient. It may take 2 weeks for large pike, and 20–22 days for salmon. At the final stage of the smoking process, it is desirable to add raw juniper branches along with berries or other aromatic herbs to the fuel. They have strong bactericidal properties, so smoked fish can be stored longer..

Cold smoked fish can be considered finished when the fish gets a golden hue. The surface of the finished cold smoked fish should be dry, and the meat should be resilient and well adjacent to the bones. At the ready stage, not all fish species have the same color. Salmon and lake trout turn reddish yellow, halibut, mackerel and herring turn golden yellow.

It also happens that smoked fish is ready, but it has a dull smoked appearance or ash has stuck on it. This can be fixed by wiping the carcass with a cloth slightly moistened with fish oil or vegetable oil. At the end of the smoking process, the fish should be cooled in the open air, taking care not to get dust, bacteria, or insects.

After smoking, do not stack carcasses on top of each other, since in this case cooling is slow and uneven, and unappetizing spots form in the places of contact. It is advisable to hang the finished fish in the air for another 2-3 days for drying. This will make it tastier and slightly increase the shelf life..

Cold smoked fish, general recipe.

5 kg of fish, salt, ground black and allspice. Grate the prepared carcass of the fish with salt, spices and stand for 12 hours. Then soak for 24 hours. After that, smoke at a temperature of 25 degrees for 2-6 days, depending on size.

Smoked Mackerel Recipe.

3-4 kg of large mackerel, salt. Gut large mackerel and cut into 2 halves. Rinse, dry, sprinkle with plenty of salt and leave in a cool place for 12 hours. Rinse salted fish, add clean water and soak for 2–2.5 hours, often changing the water. After that, put halves of mackerel on a sieve and let them dry a little. Smoke for 24 hours.

Smoked Salmon Recipe.

1 kg of salmon, 100 g of salt, spices to taste. Not too greasy salmon carcass cut along the back along the ridge, remove the insides, carefully separate the head. Rinse the prepared carcass, dry and grate with salt and spices on both sides. Leave for 48 hours in a cool place. During salting, turn the carcass several times. When salmon is salted, clean it from salt, dry it, tie it with twine and smoke for 5-12 days. Hang the finished fish for drying outdoors or in a cool dry place.

Smoked Herring Recipe.

4 kg of herring, 20 g of black tea, salt. Gut the fresh herring without cutting off the head, rinse and dry with a paper towel. After that, immerse the carcasses in brine with the addition of a strong brewing of black tea, soak for 20-30 minutes. Then take out, dry the fish and smoke for 7-8 hours at a temperature of about 30 degrees.

Smoked Trout Recipe.

3 kg of trout, salt. Trout carcasses cut along the back, remove the insides, then carefully separate the head. After that, rinse the fish, dry and incubate for 12 hours in a 20% salt solution. Remove the fish from the brine, wipe, cut lengthwise into two halves. Soak 3-5 hours, then hang to dry in a cool, dry, ventilated area for 24 hours. Cold smoking of fish takes 2–4 days, depending on its size.

Smoked Silver Carp Recipe.

10 kg of silver carp, 1 kg of salt. Pour a 0.5 cm thick layer of salt at the bottom of the dishes. Sprinkle pieces of fish with salt, put them tightly in the dishes, pouring salt. Cover, press with oppression and keep in a cold place for 2-3 days. During this time, swap the upper and lower layers of fish several times. Remove the fish from the brine, rinse thoroughly under running water, removing salt from the abdominal cavity and gill holes. Put the fish in large dishes and pour cold water. Change the water several times, each time washing the gills. Soak for 24-30 hours. After that, rinse and suspend the fish in a dry, well-ventilated place to dry for 2-3 days. Cold smoking of fish lasts for 50–70 hours.

Smoked Pike Recipe.

3 kg of fish, 100-120 g of coarse salt, 20 g of sugar, spices to taste. Grate the pike with salt. Then, on its surface, make deep longitudinal cuts, where to rub spices and sugar, leave for 12 hours. After that, soak for 24 hours and dry for 3-5 days. Cold smoking of fish occurs at a temperature of 30 degrees for 7-8 hours.

Smoked Bream Recipe.

2 kg of bream, salt. Maintain fish in an aceous brine under oppression for at least 12 hours, and then wither in the wind. Cold smoking of fish takes 1-3 days, depending on its size. In the smokehouse maintain a temperature of 28-30 degrees.

Based on materials from the book We procure poultry, meat, fish. Smoking, canning, drying, cooking sausages.
Kobets A.V..

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