How long will smoked fish keep?

Discussion in 'Fish' started by smokeydokey, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. Hello All,

    I'm about to smoke a variety of brined fish, which I plan to Kryovac after the smoking process.

    I would like to send some to family around the country, but am not sure if it is safe or not. While it is winter, I'm thinking I may be OK, but I don;t want to bump off any relations with bad fish ( well... Oh, never mind!)

    So, being brined, smoked, and stored with all oxygen removed, how long will this stay fresh, or should I plan on freezing them and eating them all myself?

    Thanks for any clues.
  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member


    Welcome to the forum, glad to have you here

    I don't think we can give you a definitive answer to your question.   You are brining (which does little to kill most pathogens), smoking (which reduces the presence of oxygen that encourages botulism), and shipping without controlling temperatures (which is just dangerous)

    You could keep your smoked fish cold and ship with dry ice and  you can use a nitrite cure (Chef Jimmy just posted an interesting article) which will kill the bad guys before smoking to improve the safety of the final product

    If you want to use your current recipe I suggest you keep the first couple of batches for yourself and enjoy them over a couple of weeks under refrigeration.

    There has been much discussion on the forum about the safety of smoked salmon and I believe the general consensus is that if you use safe food handling techniques you will probably be OK but if you use a nitrite based brine and then keep the final product refrigerated you add a considerable safety margin.

    Good Luck and again   Welcome to the Forum
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Are you using cure in the brine?
  4. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Gotta do this, how long will it hold?  Until I can get it scarfed down [​IMG].

    Go with Chef JJ's recipe, you'll do good.

    Have fun and...
  5. Al,

    I am using apple juice, salt and sugar mostly, but after the responses I've been getting I need to study up more on the ingredients of the brine. What do you mean by "Cure"?

  6. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Your recipe sounds delicious,  just don't vacuum pack and put on an airplane [​IMG]   if you expect it to be safe when it gets where you are going.[​IMG]

    You might check with Chef Jimmy about an exact recipe.  

    A "cure" for fish is generally a mixture of salt, sodium nitrite and various spices and sugar.   The sodium nitrite is the curative chemical in a cure mix.  It's purpose is to retard the growth of pathogenic bacteria, set color and add flavor.  

    I think what you are doing is perfectly safe if you keep your smoked fish under refrigeration and consume it in a reasonable amount of time.
  7. Hmmm..... well, I WAS going to do just that, vacuum seal, then pop it in my luggage for a 1 hour hop to visit family... what happens when you fly?

  8. Well , folks, we have a favorite fish to smoke down here in N.W. Florida called "mullet". They run in schools in the spring ( North), and in the Fall (South), all along the Gulf of Mexico. We don't brine, we just smoke. As an oily fish, it is outstanding. Not sure why the obsession is on salmon. If your have the chance to get mullet, though bony, try them out.
  9. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

     Loved smoked mullet dip. I usually smoke blues and use no brine. I can vacuum seal the fillets and they will stay find for 6 months. Although near the end of those later months, I may use them more for dips than just chunks of fish on crackers.
  10. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm sure some one will correct me if I'm wrong, but if ya vac sealed it, froze it, wrapped it in newspaper put it in a small cooler you'd be fine for 1 hour.

Share This Page