Lotsa whitefish

Discussion in 'Fish' started by fishinfool, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. I have had a very successful ice fishing season here in the cold north and as a result I have quite a few pounds of whitefish in the freezer. They are all filleted with all but the pin bones removed. My question is...can I smoke these whitefish??? I had no intention to do it originally, but my coworker has just given me a Little Chief smoker...so I thought I would give it a go.

    The reason I'm skeptic is that I did not leave the skin on, and am afraid that they might just stick to the racks or worse yet, comlpetely fall apart. Is there any way to smoke these clean fillets?

    Thanks in advance,
  2. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  3. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  4. the dude abides

    the dude abides Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey Fishin Fool, I don't have any experience smoking fish (but it's on my list to try) but check out this post by erain
    he does a lot of fish. He had another one that looked good where he smoked them in a tin filled with butter, onions, limes, etc.

    Also, look for a post from cowgirl about her smoked cod fish tacos. She had a process for smoking the fillets in little tin foil "boats".

    Be sure to share some pict us when you do it. Or if you like, you can send me some of your fish and I'll give it a try and let you know how it turns out. [​IMG]
  5. werdwolf

    werdwolf Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I haven't done whitefish, but when I smoke the salmon I skin it. I just wipe the racks with a little oil or cooking spray. Don't have a problem with sticking.
  6. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Whitefish should taste great smoked using methods previously posted. Remember with whitefish to remove all red meat from the fillet, that is the part of whitefish that will ruin a fillet.
  7. teacup13

    teacup13 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    its the only way i will eat whitefish...

    if you want to smoke them without the skin on them, just spray your racks very well cooking spray....
  8. fishawn

    fishawn Smoking Fanatic

    Clean your racks & follow Werdwolf's advice, spray the racks!.....I would suggest "not too much smoke" for fish & choose a wood that is mild. I personally use Alder 80% of the time, Vine Maple once in a while & recently have used some Hickory, which I thought was pretty good on Sockeye....Little Chief's work excellent for fish. If weather conditions such as wind or temps are a challenge, provide it shelter, if you can & not too much smoke....Good Luck!
  9. MMMM, smoked whitefish!

    When smoking fish, I prefer to leave hide (skin) on.

    I would also suggest maple, alder or apple for the smoke.
  10. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    [quote any way to smoke these clean fillets?

    I have done 2 smokes this year, both Salmon and both without the skin. Just sprayed down the racks with pam and they slid right off. Take some pics for us to see if you try it, would love to see em. Good luck.
  11. When I lived in MI, we did whitefish by simply taking off the head and guts. Then brine them at least 24 hours prior to smoking. Cold water, Kosher salt, some cherry juice, some cloves, a bay leaf or two in a plastic container for the brine. Smoke over low heat until done. You get more yield this way because the skin will slide off and the bones will peel out easily. Only way to eat frozen white fish, otherwise they are mushy.
  12. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    i would reccomend next time leave the skin on. whitefish are super oily fish which makes them a super smoking fish. one of the best, better than salmon IMHO. them and laketrout have to hold top honors and they are both very oily fish. and they are very good for you as this "fat" is very high in omega 3's and 6's...

    i would do a brine and probably do a small batch and start out with say an 8 hour brine time. they are very delicate fish, its not that they are mushy, its the oils in these fishes make up which gives the flesh that appearance and texture. be gentle with them, even hard running water can wash them apart. do not rinse, run the cold water first and then carefully soak and rinse in the water.

    you could oil the racks and try it like that but i think if i were doing it, and this is just what i would try, i would cut a piec of foil same size as fillet, using a fork i would make a bunch of holes in the foil. then i would use some evoo on the foil and place the fillet on it and smoke as usual. so basically a replacement skin.....

    here is the brine i use and feel it is a very good one and many whitefish have been smoked in this brine. good luck and be sure and do a thread and post pics on this.....

    brine recipie:

    smoked fish brine

    2 3/4 cups pickling salt
    10 qts cold water-use good water
    1 cup brown sugar
    2 tbls garlic salt

    soak avg sized pieces 24 hrs, soak in fresh water 1 hour

    big thick pieces of fish, may require more time and smaller less. once out of brine set on a rack with a fan blowing across fish til outside of fish dry, a coating will form on it called the "pellicle", is now ready for smoker. i also like to rub some brown sugar on the meat

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