Smoking Catfish

Discussion in 'Fish' started by duckybud, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. Has anyone tried smoking small catfich whole?  Does it work well.  I have 3 whole fish that are about 1/2 lb dressed, would like to try smoking them because they are not enough to heat up the grease, and the smoker is going every weekend.

  2. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I never tried that.  Catfish are a delicate fish.

    Having said that, I've always said that if you can cook it, I can smoke it.

    Do it and post it up for us!

    Good luck and good smoking.
  3. Thanks Venture, Going to do it this weekend, plan on salt, pepper, and lemon pepper.  Will post up results, good or bad.
  4. smokinal

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

    It sure sounds good. We love catfish, but never smoked them.
  5. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  6. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I didn't take the time to check out Jeanies thread.  It would just make me hungry.

    Lets see how yours go?  If you don't like them, and even if you do?  You will never go wrong with one of her great recipes.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  7. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I worked in a machine shop about 25 years ago and we would smoke bullheads out back in the shack. We would gut and hang them and they were pretty good from what I remember. We kept them whole but gutted to keep some natural oil on them. [​IMG]
  8. Thanks to all.  Its 4:00 Sat. morning here and am planing todays smoke, put a 4 lb beef eye of round roast in Lawry's Herb & Garlic marinade in food saver vacume on Thur. evening, 3 1/2 lb of store bought corm beef dry rubbed for pastromi, and 3 littlte channel cats in brine.  Will get the smoker fired up with the next hour, and the beer will be flowing within the next 3 hours.  Sat. around here are always pretty close to this, unless I take a day off to make sausage, as it should be.  Work your azz off all week so you can work with meat and smoke all weekend, LIFE IS GOOD!!!

    Will post up when finnished.

  9. Fish came out great, brined for 4 hours, patted dry, liberally coated with sea salt, black pepper, and lemon pepper.  Smoked at 185 for 2 1/2 hrs, they came out great; moist, flaked well.  Sorry no q-view on these, they vanished as they came off the smoker.  Hope to post up pics of roast beef and pastrami later today they are still cooling in the fridge.

  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sounds great Ducky!

    Would have liked to see some Qview on these.

    Did you skin them?

    I would think that thick rubbery skin on catfish would block a lot of smoke, but smoke could get in through the body cavity.

    We used to skin ours immediately after catching, and stick 'em right in the bucket of water.

    They'd swim around all day, without their skins.

    My Dad & I had a system:

    Catch 'em----Grab inside the mouth with a rag----cut all the way around, just behind the head----grab skin with pliers, and strip it right off----Drop it in the bucket----catch the next one.

    Sure would have liked to see some Catfish Qview,

  11. Bear,

    would love to show you some Q-view, but as I stated above, i got carried away with eating to even think about pics.  I skinned and cut off the rib section because they were so small.  It was just an experiment, but will do again, as soon as I can get back to the river and catch some more.  I promise q-view on the next batch.

    To all,

    Tried to get pics of roast beef and pastrami but something is wrong with camera, cannot get to focus.  They both came out great.  Pulled beef at 145 it and rapped in double foil and a towel for 2 hrs then into fridge over night, sliced today and was nice and rare as we like it.  The pastrami was cooked to 160 then rested the same way, sliced today, great, just a little too much pepper flavor but it will make great sammys this week.

  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Ducky!

    That sounds like a deal to me!

    Can't wait!

  13. Here you go Bear,

    Got to the river and caught 35 nice channels.  Got them cleaned and cut into fillets, then soaked in clean water for 24 hrs to get the blood out.  Mixed up simple brine of, 1 cup kosher salt, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 tbl pepper corns, 1 tsp cayenne.  Put the fillets in brine for 8 hrs, patted dry and let them air dry for 1 hr, while I got the smoker fired and warmed up.  Put a full rack of fillets on at 170 for 2 hrs. Flipped them for another hr  


    Off the grill to cool a little


    As you can tell from this pic, the thin ends of some came out a little dry, but nothing wrong with fish jerky.  The brine gave a nice flavor of salt, sweet and a slight pepper flavor to the fish.  I am very happy with the end results, son-in-law said they weren't as good as fried, but I disagree.  Ended up eating 5 fillets while they were cooling, along with beer, made a great lunch.

    Froze the rest individually, and will vacuum pack tomorrow so grandma can taste them when she gets back from the birth of our first grand baby.

    Don't be afraid to try new things, some come out very good.

  14. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    They look  good  [​IMG]
  15. Overlap the small ends of the catfish when you put them on the smoker. The ends will not overcook as much
  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    This is the first I saw your finished pics---They look great!!!

    Thanks for bumping this, KyRiver!!!

  17. Hi,

       Did you skin the fish?
  18. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You have to skin catfish. Their skin is like a rubber suit.

    We always removed the skin at the river & let them swim around in the bucket all day without their skins.

    Then when we got home, we only had to cut off their heads & gut them.

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