Smoked catfish Skin On or Off

Discussion in 'Fish' started by outdoorsmen, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. I plan on smoking some catfish and was wondering if it matters if the skin is on or off? Thanks
  2. I will be watching to see how this turns out. I've never smoked catfish but I would think leaving the skin on would keep it from getting too dry.
  3. Id smoke skin on.  Mmmmmmm Catfish.
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    What are you trying to do with it? Hot smoke and eat right away, or cold smoke?
  5. I smoked a catfish yesterday. It was a Big Flathead that we caught in the creek. I smoked it skin off and it turned out perfect. I will be making a post later today with Q-View to show you guys how I did it. The fish turned out a perfect golden brown when it was done and the meat had a perfect smokey taste! 
  6. SKIN, (other than marlin), on ANY and EVERY fish (other than marlin - though I even tried with my teeth to cut through it but to no avail) but SKIN?????????????

    SKIN is the very best part of any fish, or so I believe and enjoy! (But for marlin which is wonderful fish but inedible skin). Otherwise, any skin is divine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Cheers! - Leah
  7. I guess I never thought of that. I am kind of new to this smoking stuff. What I would like to do is be able to smoked some fish to store for the winter months during hunting season, to eat with crackers. I am actually working on a collection of fish to try. Right now I have some Trout, and now catfish also should be getting some salmon and bass to add to the collection. Any advice on brine or smoking process. I also will be using an electric smoker. Thanks all. 
  8. I'm guessing you have never had catfish with skin on. It makes good leather. Smoke it skin off. I love catfish but the skin is just nasty. If the fish has to be skinned like a mammal you probably don't want to eat it (the skin that is)
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  9. txfshrmn

    txfshrmn Fire Starter

    Hello . It's all common sense when it comes smoking fish , ( my opinion ) . If you hot smoke for yourself , make it skinless . If you cold smoke it

    for export , or selling , leave the skin on so the meat does not fall apart .
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Definitely skin off with Catfish. Their skin is very similar to a rubber wetsuit.

  11. rickyldd

    rickyldd Newbie

    I filet my fish. It's the best way to remove the skin (esp catfish) . Under that skin there is fat and dark meat on the bigger fish, that needs to be removed. I haven't smoked any catfish yet, I grill mine mostly. I did smoke some white bass the other day (they were great) skin off.
  12. txfshrmn

    txfshrmn Fire Starter

    This is true , but if you buy salmon , the skin meat is still attach to the skin . Use a fork to remove , same thing .
  13. woodsman1st

    woodsman1st Newbie

    Catfish skin should only be smoked inside an old rubber tire; first though you must clean out the rubber tire with diesel oil and allow it to soak inside a refridgerator around 40 degrees or so. Then place the catfish in a circle inside the rubber tire with the tails pointing outwards.

    Plan on about 2 hours for catfish filets of 2 to 3 pounds. When cooked throw away the catfish with the skin on and eat the rubber tires.

    Man catfish skin is NASTY; it's amazing that something that is covered in such a nasty, slimy, skin can have such a wonderful tasting meat inside that skin.

    I am new to smoking; but an old time catfishing man. About 40 years ago one of my customers, an older man to me back in those days, in his 60s, used to use a Little Chief Smoker to smoke all his salmon, trout, and catfish; and every week that kindly old man would bring me in about a pound of catfish that he had smoked on his little chief smoker. I have never forgotten that wonderful taste after all these years.

    Well i just got my Little Chief Smoker and now waiting for it to cool down a tad so I can go after some catfish. These temperatures here in Arizona, the last week getting up to 114 degrees, is too much for this old man! I can take temps around 105, and I might think about fishing inbetween 105 and 109; more thinking than fishing actually. But when that temp gets so high that when I walk out the door and I can actually smell the hot air, I know its 109 or 110 and above, and thats way too hot for this old man; now is the time to sit inside and tie flies and swap lies about fishing.

    I will BBQ catfish and other fish on my Brinkman El Cheapo Special that I modified many many years ago; back in 1968, That one finally wore out about 5 or 6 years ago; so I promptly bought another and modified my new one. Man those good old boys that dreamed up that mod for the Brinkman should be written about in history books; sheer genius was at work when they got together way back when. I dont know when they first came up with their idea for mods on the Brinkman; but I followed their directions way back in 1968 when I first bought mine; it was the same year I started to work for the company that I retired from is how I am so sure of when I bought mine and did the mods....SHEER GENIUS. And thats as close to smoking as I've ever come.

    So I hope to learn a lot here in this Forum; I should cuz it seems like everybody in here knows more than I do; some of that has just got to rub off on me.

    I believe I made my first of many to come mistakes two days ago; i failed to take into account that it got up to 114 degrees  that day here in Peoria, Arizona when I tried making my first Venison Jerkey. I failed to take that exceptionally high temperature into account when I was smoking the 5 pounds of jerky for 14 hours in my Little Chief Smoker. It didn't ruin it thankfully; but the results are a lot harder than I like my jerkey; I'm pretty sure that the 114 degrees should have told me to keep it in the smoker a few hours less time; but I wasn't listening.

    Am I right? Should I have cut back on the time I had the jerky in my Little Chief by, I'm guessing now, 3 to 4 hours, to end up with a softer jerkey; one not so hard.

    Please correct me if Im wrong and if you have some advice I would sure love to hear it.

    Stay safe everyone;

    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome Ken!!

    I wish I could help you Ken, but I'm not a big Jerky maker, and the last time I saw temps of 105* to 114* was back in 1969.

    What you really should do is go to "Roll Call", and tell us about yourself & ask your Jerky question either there or start a new thread in the Beef Jerky forum. The Title of "Beef Jerky Question" will draw the top Jerky makers to your question.

  15. woodsman1st

    woodsman1st Newbie

    Great idea Bearcarver; thanks. I do it right away.


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