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  1. #1
    chanquetas
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    Best fish for Smoking?

    Whats the best fish for smoking? I would have thought Mackeral and other oily fish. But has anyone successfully smoked others, like reef fish or tailor?
    Also I would be happy to hear brine recipes etc if anyone wants to share.
    Cheers,
    Jake

  • #2
    Ausfish Addict
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    Re: Best fish for Smoking?

    G'day Jake
    I reckon smoked is the only way to eat some fish, tailor is one of my favorites for smoking. Any of the oily fleshed fish such as tailor, mullet, seem to come up better smoked. I don't think I would be too keen to smoke reef fish, they are nice as they are. I tried some smoked slimey mackeral once and was suprised at how good they taste. I have also smoked scallops and oysters (mmmmmm) and prawns come up very nice as well. Spanner crabs are nice smoked too, I have yet to try a Muddie.
    Try collecting some old dry banksia flowers, and crush all the hairy bits off then use the hairy bits as your sawdust. The coastal banksia's are good for this.

    Happy smoking......Regards, Tony

  • #3
    chanquetas
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    Re: Best fish for Smoking?

    Thanks Tony, yeah I know what you mean about reef fish, hard to beat them just as they are. I saw another thread about smoking muddies and reckon they would be great. I'll try it myself in a few months.
    Thanks for the tips!

  • #4
    NeilD
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    Re: Best fish for Smoking?

    Hot smoked Tailor is one of my favorites. Lunch on the beach of freshly smoked tailor sangas washed down with an icy XXXX is hard to beat.
    As Tony said keep your reefies for other cooking methods as smoking would dry them too much.

  • #5
    Ausfish Platinum Member
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    Re: Best fish for Smoking?

    Fresh water - trout is by far the best. The neighbor smokes trout freshly caught at the creek/pond behind the house in Germany each weekend. Eel is also tops (very oily). We actually have 1 metre by metre smoker in the back garden, but the is some rust I have to fix. Smoked horse mackerel is a staple in Holland and I'm not surprised that slimy mackerals taste good. Probably also the yellowtails... Has anyone tried pike or trevally? Or perhaps the many eels that live around the boat ramps?

    I think a lot depends on the wood you use. Always serve at smoked fish at room temperature or higher. Cold and it is less appealing.

  • #6
    Ausfish Bronze Member
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    Re: Best fish for Smoking?

    Have to try the slimeys, usually only do Tailor and Aussie Bass here. Each year the prunings from the apple tree get collected and put to good use.
    As for brine, I pop them into a couple litres of water with 4 tbs salt and 3 tbs brown sugar for about 30 mins, then put them under a little desktop fan for an hour to dry them off and get a nice tacky finish. If I'm hungry tho' I'll just whack 'em straight into the smoker and to be honest I can't really taste much difference.

  • #7
    chanquetas
    Guest

    Re: Best fish for Smoking?

    Yeah, I forgot about trout. Probably because I dont catch too many in Brissie. However, I can catch eels across the road and should try that, as I love smoked eel, although Ive only eaten it in Japan/Japanese restaurants.

  • #8
    Ausfish Platinum Member
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    Re: Best fish for Smoking?

    make sure you purge the freshwater eels if they have been living in muddy water - a few days in clear water. Sounds terrible, but one way to salt the eel prior to smoking (as they do here in Germany), is to put them live into a dry bucket with the salt to run around. They eat the smoked eel as cut into small finger size pieces, and just peel back the skin around the flesh, then eat around the bone. That way it's really easy.

  • #9
    chanquetas
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    Re: Best fish for Smoking?

    Well, the eels Ive seen caught here in the river have been about 2m long and will take a chunk out of you if you're not careful. Not sure Id want to wrestle one into a bucket...
    Giant Serpent Eels (Ophisurus serpens) I reckon they are.
    Ive caught the smaller native ones (Anguilla australis) in Tassie but had no smoker handy, we just skinned them and threw them on the BBQ, and they were great.

  • #10
    Ausfish Bronze Member
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    Re: Best fish for Smoking?

    Trevally, queenfish, tailor, snapper and best of all flounder come up great in the smoker.

    Best sawdust I've ever found is dry driftwood mangrove (for some reason the dead standing mangrove trees dont have the same flavour) hit that with the chainsaw and collect the chips on a tarp has a great flavour when smoked. I prefer it to hickory or apple or the designer blends available these days.

    Jack

  • #11
    chanquetas
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    Re: Best fish for Smoking?

    Snapper eh? It doesnt dry out then? I actually smoked a cod this arvo that I caught a few weeks back, and while it tasted pretty good it was bloody dry, and I wont be doing that again.
    Im going to catch some tailor on Straddie in a few days and will smoke them.....mmmmmmmm...tailor....

  • #12
    NeilD
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    Re: Best fish for Smoking?

    I would be a bit wary of mangrove wood. A couple of species are poisonous [smiley=hanged.gif]

  • #13
    Ausfish Bronze Member
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    Re: Best fish for Smoking?

    I like to sprinkle a bit of masterfoods cajun spice mix or morrocan mix or lemon pepper mix before smoking, a great change and makes the cold fish taste better (if there is any left).

  • #14
    chanquetas
    Guest

    Re: Best fish for Smoking?

    Mangroves bad...ok

  • #15
    ahjayem
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    Re: Best fish for Smoking?

    In my younger days I was based in Proserpine for six months, worked with, and got to know a bloke by the name of Garth who was the typical “mad, keen, fisherman”! We were both newly married and our wives got on pretty well too. Monofilament 50ft bait nets had just been released on the market, so Garth had to have one. He also had to have someone to go on the other end so it would work properly – you guessed it – me. One afternoon about six o’clock after a few sherbets – heavies in those days - we decided we’d try the net out, so we headed south, along the highway and finally through canefields to the banks of the O’Connell river where we observed some schools of poddy mullet. As well as poddy mullet we also caught a few legal size bream and a pike about 30 inches long. Garth reckoned they would be good for tea. Back to town we went. Garth was renovating his recently purchased house and had thrown out a small plug in oven. On driving into the yard he saw the oven and had a brainwave. “We’ll smoke those fish”.

    Now I had had fish battered, crumbed, and grilled but never smoked so I readily agreed. While I was washing and packing the poddy mullet, and scaling, gutting, filleting, and skinning our larger catch, Garth converted the little oven to a smoker and produced a bottle of port wine. Under his instructions I cut the bream and pike fillets into smaller pieces and soaked them in a briny solution to which some brown sugar had been added and settled down with some of the red. When the smoker was operating successfully, Garth let it warm for a while, and then put several pieces in, on a tray or a rack. After a short while – maybe five minutes, he removed the fish and it tasted fantastic when eaten in the fingers and went down really well with the red. The women then appeared with plates, so etiquette had to prevail.

    As quickly as Garth cooked the fish, we ate it. He then asked me to get him some more saw dust.
    “Where from?” I queried.
    “The toilet, mate”, he replied.

    Dutifully I did as requested and surprisingly the fish tasted just as good as previously.

    It is interesting to note that Proserpine had a couple of sawmills which mainly milled rainforest timbers from the nearby ranges, so I expect that the saw dust was a local rainforest product. Whatever its origin, it certainly did the trick for us that autumn evening in Proserpine.

    Yes, this is a true story. Unfortunately Garth is no longer with us, but his wife is and she would readily confirm the above. Additionally, since croc shooting has become an illegal activity, quite a healthy population of crocodiles has built up in rivers south of Prossy.

    Tight Lines

    RJM

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