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Question on smoked fish


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After reading Musky Bob's recipe on smoked fish I went out and purchased a Brinkman electric smoker. After you smoke fish how long does it last in the fridge, can you re-freeze the smoked fish, or do you just smoke enough fish for a meal(s)? I've never had smoked fish and this recipe just looked so delicious. Thanks.


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Wish I had the recipe. It was one of those "mixes" that I got as a present one year, I think it came from Maine. You added fresh corn, potatoes, cream and whatnot, along with smoked salmon. Got to tell you, if I could remember where it came from I'd order a bunch of it. That was the finest chowder I ever tasted.

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Length of refigeration freshness is contingent on a few things. The least amount of time is when you use fruit juices and sugars and little sodium in the brine. In this case the smoke is your only real preserving element.

Dryness of the meat is next. If it is drier it will last longer, however it is not as flavorful and tougher.

What you package the meat in will also affect the time of freshness. I like to keep the end product in a loose foil package to allow the meat to dry a little. If you seal it in a ziplock bag, it will get moisture trapped in with the meat and get a little icky over time. Vacuum packing is best.

For longer storage in the fridge up to 4 weeks, use sodium nitrate (bacteria inhibiting salt) about 2 tablespoons to a gallon of cold clean water without chlorine in the brine and limit the amount of sugar to very small 1/2 cup brown sugar amount. If I want to add flavors I sprinkle seasonings on the meat while the meat is drying to form the pellicle before smoking. You can baste on maple sugar for some sweetness or even sprinkle brown sugar on before smoking. If you use the sodium nitrate (i use Morton tender quick) I usually try not to add too much sugars to the brine because you want the meat to firm up overnight with just the sodium penetrate the meat. Sugars will cause bacterial growth and fats and oil in the fish react to cause the product to go rancid at a faster pace. That's why I add these flavors after the brine process and then the spice or sugars are just superficial and become part of the glaze and will last the longest in storage.

Be sure you don't smoke the fish right to the end, it will sometimes make the fish bitter. About 2 to three hours in the beginning depending on how thick the smoke is going. Then the drying process is all is necessary to get the finished product the way you like it. Hope this helps ya get started and don't be afraid of MUSKYBOB'S brine with the juice, or even Apple cider. It is very good, and will last a week in the fridge without troubles. Pack it loosely to breath moisture a bit.


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I have used Musky's brine many times and skipper is correct about how long you cook (smoke) the fish. If you keep it a little on the dryer side it will keep longer. I like mine more firm and dryer than most so it will keep for quite some time but I also cut each fillet into 4 pieces and freeze everything that I do not want to eat right away and of course use a vaccum sealer. It will gather a little moisture in the freeze and thaw but still tastes great. Never had a complaint yet.

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