Preparation / Directions:
Well I would have to say catfish is the best smoked fish. Here is what I do.
First you want nothing over about 6 pounds. I would just use those larger ones for pan frying.
Do not skin the fish, leave the skins on (this helps keep more of the oil in the meat.) The catfish should be filleted (cut along the backbone).
Mix the apple juice, pineapple juice and salt together in the water until you feel no salt on the bottom of the bucket.
Now take you a glass baking dish and layer your meat with the first skin to the bottom, now the next layer will be meat down. Continue this meat to meat skin to skin. You never want the skin to touch the meat. When finished layering, pour brine over the meat so that meat is covered. Put plastic wrap over the dish.
Put in refrigerator for about a minimum of 24 hrs. to a max of 36 hrs.
Now as far as the smoking goes it is more like a slow cooking. I cook directly over the hot coals and the wet chips. I keep the temperature around 150F and I use alder chips or a mixture of peach and alder. I have a Brinkmann pit but again I do not use the side boy for this.
The fish will be done when you see the skin turn dark brown or almost black and the flesh will be firm but soft.
Take off pit let and cool for about 30 minutes then eat by pealing off the skin. It should just about fall off the meat.
Leave the skin on until you are ready to eat it.
I have kept it in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks and freezer for 4 months with no problem.