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doobie

Brining fillets - how long is too long?

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I have had a  look through the various posts here about smoking fish etc, and also a bit on Google, but I can't seem to find if there is a "too long a time to brine fish".

 

Some mention for 3 or 4 hours and some say overnight.

 

I going to try a 'Dry' brine of 3 cups brown sugar and 1 cup table salt rather than wet (as I see more think that is better or have been converted from wet to dry), but should the brining be say no more than 10 hrs or 12 hrs or 15 hrs etc.

 

Any thoughts would be great - thanks.

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Hi Doobie,

 

I can only say what I have found over time, and that is to save the time on brining.

When I started I brined everything and now all I do is to salt about twice as heavy

as you would if "seasoning" it

 

As for time I normally leave it as long as it takes to fill all the racks before loading

straight in to the smoker.

 

Maybe if you have a few fillets You could try a few different ways to see what your taste

buds like

 

Cheers

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G'day

I like salt as much as the next person but found soaking fish in brine was waaay to salty for my taste.    I halved, then quartered the amount of salt, then realised I'm not trying to 'preserve' the fish, just cooking with flavour.  Now I don't brine at all, just add the flavours prior to getting the smoker ready.  Much better imo and less mess and stuffing around

If you live in Alaska and trying to preserve fish though the winter, brining is important.  Maybe try some without and see what you think

Regarding the actual question, depends who you ask, some say a few hours some say overnight

Cheers

Rod

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Seems fair points Wilda and Rod.

 

I thought the brining process was good to cure the fish - and suppose this could be the way to go if fish wont be consumed straight away.

 

It is all trial and error, so will try as you both have suggested too.

 

Cheers again.

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I've never used the dry method only used the wet method.. 1 tablespoon of Brown sugar, 2 tablespoons salt to a pint of water.. I also add a small dose ( 2 tablespoons) of soy & sweet chilli sauce to the mix, drop the fish into it, cover and leave in the fridge over  night. Dry fish with paper towel and then hot smoke.. This is what I do when I keep a trout or two throughout the trout season on the odd occasion..

 

cheers

Adrian

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And that's about the way I was going to do it Adrian, but after seeing so many saying they did a wet brining for 10 or 20 years and now reckon doing a dry brine was better in their opinions.

 

Suppose I'll need to try all the different ways and see.

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I've never used the dry method only used the wet method.. 1 tablespoon of Brown sugar, 2 tablespoons salt to a pint of water.. I also add a small dose ( 2 tablespoons) of soy & sweet chilli sauce to the mix, drop the fish into it, cover and leave in the fridge over  night. Dry fish with paper towel and then hot smoke.. This is what I do when I keep a trout or two throughout the trout season on the odd occasion..

 

cheers

Adrian

 

Same for me. I eat very little salt and hate my foods too salty. This method certainly does not make the results too salty.

 

Brining also removes moisture and firms the flesh a little.

 

For salmon, i prefer fillets from fish 35cm+. I find the smaller STs too much work for the return plus the thinner parts of the fillets get too dry. Funny tho as I'll always prefer smoked tommies over salmon and then i happily use the smaller fillets!

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Well I dry brined the salmon late afternoon yesterday with 1 part salt and 2.5 parts brown sugar and stuck in the refrigerator.

 

This morning I took out the fridge, drained the liquid out, washed under the tap and pat dry with paper towel.

 

Put on a wire rack and outside to dry off and some gum wood sitting in a bucket of water.

 

3 hours later, the webber is firing up ready to put the fish in.

 

I'll have a few photos soon and put up.

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The brine mix i use is keep adding salt until you can float a uncooked egg.The time required depends on the size of the fillets but overnight would be from a big salmon say 6lb down to a couple of hrs for fillets from 25cm salmon trout.The most important thing is that you let your fillets dry before putting them in the smoker because they won't take smoke until they are dry.

                                 cheers b

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G'day

I just brush on a mix of light soy, brown sugar and sweet chilli, leave it on the trays while I prepare, the smoker, preheat it to get the smoke started.  Then I pour boiling water in the water tray (pointless putting cold water in IMO), then stick the fish in the smoker with the marinade(?) on.  Smoke flavour goes in to the fish no worries. 

I used to brine in water/salt/soy/brown sugar, then pat dry.  I found it all quite messy and time consuming.  This simpler, cheaper, cleaner way even tastes better, according to those who have tasted it.  My own invention but worth a try. 

Cheers

Rod

Here's my last lot of tuna, had some for lunch today.  On toast, a little chilli jam with tomato, fresh ground sea salt and pepper

Oh, mrs put a dry mix on a few pieces as well.  

20160811_124248.jpeg

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mmm, some good points brenton.

 

And from what you have said about completely drying them before smoking......well maybe due to the size of them (I cut into cutlets), maybe they didn't dry out in the middle of them.

 

But too late now as they are in the smoker, but lesson learnt if they haven't dried out.

 

I have actually followed this process (but with dry brine).

 

 

But here are some photos with the end result to be shown a few hours done the track.

 

After dry brining with juices expelled

 

IMGP6155.JPG

 

cutlets drying out (hopefully)

 

IMGP6157.JPG

 

on the webber with wet branches - wife already complaining about smoke smell in the house  :rolleyes:

 

IMGP6159.JPG

 

lid on and smoking well.

 

IMGP6161.JPG

 

 

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G'day

I just brush on a mix of light soy, brown sugar and sweet chilli, leave it on the trays while I prepare, the smoker, preheat it to get the smoke started.  Then I pour boiling water in the water tray (pointless putting cold water in IMO), then stick the fish in the smoker with the marinade(?) on.  Smoke flavour goes in to the fish no worries. 

I used to brine in water/salt/soy/brown sugar, then pat dry.  I found it all quite messy and time consuming.  This simpler, cheaper, cleaner way even tastes better, according to those who have tasted it.  My own invention but worth a try. 

Cheers

Rod

Here's my last lot of tuna, had some for lunch today.  On toast, a little chilli jam with tomato, fresh ground sea salt and pepper

Oh, mrs put a dry mix on a few pieces as well.  

attachicon.gif20160811_124248.jpeg

 

Good info Rod.

 

So your fish are 'fresh' and no drying out ? (mine might be ok then - maybe).

 

But as you say, that would be cleaner, cheaper and easier - will have to try this way too.

 

Thanks for sharing.

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G'day Doobie

Looks good

I mostly vacuum pack and freeze my fish, then thaw, smoke, vacuum pack and freeze.  The frozen packets are enough to eat in 2 or 3 days and just get a pack out of the freezer as required.  Each vacuum pack usually has about 6 separate packs inside. 

 

Cheers

Rod

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I was wondering how the smoked ones would be after freezing / thawing - obviously ok :)

 

Here is the final product - 1 hour 15 min.  I thought I had over done them and burnt them, but they have actually got a nice taste, slightly salty (and only slight) and still quite moist as well (I had left the scales on so that may have helped.

 

The blacker parts aren't really burnt and possibly from the sugar although it was rinsed off and pat dried.

 

But am happy for my first ever smoking attempt and also my first ever taste of smoked fish !!   :)

 

I'm converted  (y)  now to try different styles and flavors  :D

 

IMGP6163.JPG

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they do look delish D,i tend to fillet them just so i can scoff them without interruption from bones etc 

what you are doing there is really a smoke/cook because to smoke them like you would buy in the shops would take about 5-6 hrs in a warm smoker.Not meaning to be critical i'm sure they will be tasty.

                   cheers b

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Nice job

Salmon are one of my favourites for smoking, trevally are my pick for best so far.   Even snapper come out pretty good.  I've read squid are nice smoked also but never tried.

I would also like to try some different woods.  Fruit wood is supposed be good for fish

I've really only dabbled in the world of smoking, some do all sorts of creative stuff

 

 

Cheers

Rod

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they do look delish D,i tend to fillet them just so i can scoff them without interruption from bones etc 

what you are doing there is really a smoke/cook because to smoke them like you would buy in the shops would take about 5-6 hrs in a warm smoker.Not meaning to be critical i'm sure they will be tasty.

                   cheers b

 Thanks brenton.  As you say a smoke and cooked I have done otherwise just smoked takes a lot longer (cold smoked I think ?)

 

I would have preferred to do fillets but my fillet knife had broken and nothing left but a soso knife and hacksaw !

 

Nice job

Salmon are one of my favourites for smoking, trevally are my pick for best so far.   Even snapper come out pretty good.  I've read squid are nice smoked also but never tried.

I would also like to try some different woods.  Fruit wood is supposed be good for fish

I've really only dabbled in the world of smoking, some do all sorts of creative stuff

 

 

Cheers

Rod

 

Thank Rod.

 

I got catch some trevally now lol that you say are even better.  Squid would be interesting.

 

The wood I used was just pick up from side of road, but seeing someone tomorrow who has cut down a peach tree (for memory) and said will give me some to try.

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I believe the secret is once you take the fish from the brine (which has done its job in preserving), I rinse the fish in fresh water. I found this stopped that too salty taste. I prefer to smoke them slowly and when finished mix a little olive oil with lemon juice and brush it lightly on the fillets. The oil seems to keep the fish moist.IMG_1329.JPG

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I was scratching my head reading this topic over the last couple of weeks. Googled "Dry Brining" without effect and you know, too proud to ask. Wondering what this method is. Then it hit me - you are just lightly salting them! When did salting become "Dry Brining"  :P  Best oxymoron I've seen recently

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When did salting become "Dry Brining"  

 

Don't ask me Knackers, I'm only new to all this and I only just started to try this smoking game.  :)

 

But I googled 'dry fish brine' and a few things came up.

 

Found this youtube, bit long but interesting

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Forgot to add. One of the things brining does for me is that is puts that nice "skin" on the fish when I pat them dry and leave them in the fridge for a day of so. This "skin" seems to keep the fillets a bit more moist.

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Thanks for the advice. A thing I find amazing about smoked chook is that the smoked flavour goes all the way to the bone. And that is a whole chook. Never had that with pork, lamb or beef. 

 

I cut a big spanish mackeral up into 3 pieces. I have one left in the freezer. I will smoke it this week in the weber after a defrost and cutting into steaks. I'll post some piccies when finished.

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Morning BarneyB,

 

With yestys wind gusting around was a bit hard but normally between 120 and 150 c, or as on  my hark 250 to 300 f.

They all went in at 10, around 11 the snags came out. About 12, restocked the dust tray and spun the chooks 180 degrees.

Around 1.30 did a simple skewer test in the thigh and was all good . Closed the door turned of the gas and left them in till 3.30  

 

Cheers

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