Cold Smoking Fish

Course : Fish
Serves: 1
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1 cup pickling salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon crumbled bay leaf
2 cloves garlic -- pressed

Preparation / Directions:

ALL COLD-SMOKED FISH NEED TO BE CURED. COLD SMOKING DOESN'T COOK FISH, JUST FLAVORS IT. Now for the process: Prepare the fish as you would for hot-smoking, using a cure or brine. In this case, however, you must add curing salts, unless the cure already has a high salt content. Combine the ingredients, and rub well into fish. Place in a NON-METAL container for several hours or overnight, depending on the size and amount of fish. Rinse fish well in cold water, rubbing slightly to release excess salt. Pat dry, then allow to air-dry for several hours until fish acquires a glaze. Smoke as follows. Preheat the smokehouse while fish is drying. You can use any mild wood for this, cherry, alder, or apple. Temperature in the smoke chamber should be 70F with a light smoke. After the fish has been smoked for approx. 12 hours a heavier smoke can be applied. Smoking time can take from 24 hours to 2 WEEKS, depending on the type and size of fish, and how dry you want it. The longer the smoking time, the longer the fish will keep. Fish can be placed in a smoke chamber and lightly smoked for about 8 hours at 80 - 90F, then densely smoked another 4 hours as you gradually increase the temperature to 130-150F. Hold the smoke chamber temperature for another 2 or 3 hours, or until the fish turns a shiny brown. Cold smoking the fish before hot smoking it will give the hot smoked fish a stronger smoke flavor. To store cold-smoked fish, wrap each piece in plastic wrap and foil, then refrigerate or freeze it

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