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       Title: Smoking Salmon And Trout Part III - Smoking Fish
  Categories: Fish, Smoke, Info
       Yield: 1 text file
 
   There are several methods that fall into two overall categories: Hot
   smoked [cooked] methods include barbecued, kippered, smoked-canned
   and small whole fish and Cold Smoked [below 85 deg F] include Scotch/
   Irish/Norwegian/Nova Scotian style, Lox, Indian or hard smoked,
   pickled-smoked, Seelachs and smoked roes & livers.
 
   Cold smoked products are still raw, deeply colored, with a texture
   like cured ham and can be thinly sliced without crumbling. Hot smoked
   products are colored on the outside only and will flake like other
   styles of cooked fish.
 
   Barbecued: or smoke-cooked fish is made in a pre-heated covered
   barbecue or a box-and-hotplate smoker. The fish is cooked in a smoky
   atmosphere without preliminary cold smoking or prior conditioning.
 
   Kippered: fish are conditioned before hot smoking by first drying the
   fish in barely warm air, then bringing it up to cooking temperature
   gradually to improve its appearance and quality.
 
   Canning: fish is first lightly smoked by putting it into a pre- heated
   smoker. High temperatures are used to draw the oil out to the
   surface. The smoking is light as the flavor will intensify during the
   pressure cooking stage. The fish should also be further dried before
   canning.
 
   Cold smoked: is known variously as Scotch, Irish, Norwegian or nova
   Scotian smoked and is appreciated by gourmets more than any other
   method. The fish are salted before smoking and is still raw although
   it is cured when finished.
 
   Lox: or Lachs [German] can mean many things- traditionally fresh fish
   lightly salted and mildly smoke cured [therefore still needing
   refrigeration and is perishable], recently frozen fish thawed,
   salt-sugar cured and lightly smoked [Nova Lax] and even salt-sugar
   cured and unsmoked.
 
   Hard smoked: jerky like and so dehydrated that it does not need
   refrigeration; based on traditional Native Indian preparations of
   cutting fillets into thin strips. These strips are partially dried by
   wind on sunny days or by fan in a dehydrator or a force draft smoker
   and smoked for only a portion of the drying time.
 
   Pickle-smoked: fish are pickled before smoking. This is a good way to
   enhance the taste of lean fish that do not otherwise smoke well.
 
   Seelachs: or ersatz salmon are salted, sliced thin, then dyed and
   smoked white fish.
 
   The Smoking Process: When fish is smoked it is also dried which
   improves the keeping qualities and improves the texture. Hot smoking
   also cooks the fish. The steps are filleting, cutting, salting,
   curing, smoking and final preservation.
 
   Filleting exposes more flesh to salt and smoke and allows faster
   drying. Whole fish unless small take a long unpredictable time to do.
   Small whole fish benefit from having the skin slit to allow
   penetration. Large sides of fish salt and smoke easier if the fillet
   is chunked into pieces according to thickness. Individual pieces can
   then be salted, smoked and dried for varying times according to the
   thickness of each piece. Thick pieces can be used for lox and Scotch
   smoked that are later thinly sliced crosswise for presentation  and
   thin pieces hot or hard smoked, kippered, canned for serving whole.
 
   Salt: is necessary for flavor, releasing moisture from the fish thereby
   drying ut and for modifying [firming up] the flesh so that it can be
   thin sliced when serving.  N.B. Use only PURE pickling salt not rock
   salt of unknown purity or table salt that contains additives.
 
   Curing: is the process of draining off the brine and partially drying
   the fish. The flavor develops fully during this waiting time [ of up
   to 24 hours] before actually smoking.
 
   Smoking: is generally done today in forced draft units to get a
   uniform amount of smoke onto all the fish. Natural draft smokers are
   unpredictable, variable and have no natural updraft in hot weather
   unless the smoker is set over 85 deg which results in poor quality
   and cooked fish.
 
   Final preservation is important because smoked fish, except for hard
   smoked, is still perishable. We salt and smoke lightly for [mild]
   flavor and not for preservation. Therefore refrigerate [up to three
   weeks max], freeze or can promptly.
 
   Extracted from: Smoking Salmon & Trout by Jack Whelan. Published by:
   Airie Publishing, Deep Bay, B.C. ISBN: 0-919807-00-3 Posted by: Jim
   Weller
 
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