What NOT do do after smoking salmon

Discussion in 'Fish' started by fpmich, Nov 14, 2014.

  1. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    DO NOT place rack of fish on a rack in freezer to freeze, and then coat with cold water for better preservation from air. And forget it!

    I've done that process last year and it helped make the leathery outside softer to almost normal.

    I did this with a batch, but forgot it.   I didn't open deep freezer again for 6-7 days.  Freeze dried fish almost.

    I went ahead and coated with water and place them back in freezer in a zip lock for a couple of days or so..  Didn't want to want to waste a vac bag, on a screw up.  LOL

    Thawed last night.  Definitely not a snacking fish any more.  Too Mushy.

    I see salmon patties in my future.  Should be good for that anyway.  Not much flesh texture, but as good as most restaurants serve.  LOL

    Here it is

    I hope we all can learn from others mistakes.  Otherwise, I never would have post such an embarrassing photo.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2014
  2. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I don't think that "not forgetting it" would have made it less mushy.

    That technique (fish frozen in water) is for fresh (uncooked) fish. If you apply water to cooked frozen fish that water will get into the meat when you defrost.

    Just vacuum pack the cooked fish.
  3. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sorry, but I'm not following this.  Why would you freeze smoked fish without vacuum sealing it first? 
  4. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    It was a bad mistake!!!

    That is all I'm trying to impart to others, who may be tempted to do same thing,

    First  Atomic.

    Yes I know that freezing and the coating with cold water to form an air barrier over fish is acceptable for fresh fish.  Done it many times.

    Now to the question, both "cmayna, and Atomic" want to know....

    Why in the world would I do this to already cooked fish?   Good question.  Short answer is.... don't do it!

    This 1st fish this year, which is the one I did this too, was a little too hard on outside to suit me. 

    Last year,

    I discovered that when I produced too leathery of outside flesh, that if I froze, and then re-coated fish, in ice water and vac sealed, after thawing a month or so later, it would be much more acceptable.   It softened the outside leather a lot!

    That is what I intended to do with this fish, but I forgot it, so it became semi-freeze dried.  Thought maybe the same process would save it, but it didn't.

    Once you ruin a fish that bad, it's pretty much a loss.

    Also this fish was very soft to begin with after thawing before smoking. 

    It may have been a older fish or was just frozen too slowly.  I don't know.  I didn't receive fish until after being frozen.

    So the texture wasn't the best to begin with.  It had no odor, and wasn't slimy, so I use it anyway, with trepidation. 

    I did use a cure in that batch though.

    The second fish that my son gave to be, turned out great!  Flesh firm and normal.  So just smoked, cooled overnight and vac packed, and it is great!.

    I have another one from him, but the weather is so cold and blustery now and is the near future, that I may just re-coat in ice water and wait until spring to smoke.  I'm the hardy outdoor guy I used to anymore.  LOL

    Hope that explains my stupidity a bit, but it still remains stupidity doesn't it? 

    I think it's called experience learning. [​IMG]  
  5. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    At least it seems you have a constant supply of fish to practice on, which is good.  Just take notes during each batch so you can go back and learn what you might have done right or wrong.

    I have notes on every Salmon smoke I did as in, how much fish I'm working with, turning it into jerky, nuggets, filets or whatever, how long it's brined, dried and then smoked, using what flavor wood, etc.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014
  6. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    I wish cmayna! 

    Last year I had more, but this year I only had 2 & 1/2 given to me this year to play with .  First 1/2 one was this disaster.  Part quality of fish, part me.

    Next fish, I nailed it perfect!  Believe me, I've got notes on that one!  HA! 

    Last fish is still in freezer, and as I am not cold weather loving person, and it is 13* outside right now. I may be smoking this last one in the spring.

    Anyway...back to subject. 

    I made smoked salmon patties with it yesterday, thinking it would be great.  Nope!

    Seems smoked flavor increases 100 times when heated!  

    I made 8 patties with them, and they looked great, but then I tried to eat one while still hot.  OH MAN! 

    I ate about 4 - 5 bites trying to convince myself that it was good.  But in the end I tossed all of them in the trash.  WAY too smoky, even for  me!

    Now I know why people only cold salmon for an hour or so before canning.  Just too strong after that.

    I'm with you on notes of smokes. 

    I do notes on everything.  Even cheese. 

    Position of fire (right or left), wind, ambient temps & etc.

    Wife says I'm anal, but she can't argue, when I correct something using my notes, and it comes out better than before.  LOL

    I'm probably pretty much done smoking for the winter, unless we get a warm spell.

    Keep track of me though, I appreciate all of you guys & gals advice.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
  7. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I was going to say "Hey, if it's cold.....get out there and smoke some cheese",  but it sounds like you already do that.  Here, I'm tired of smoking fish, waiting for the temps to reduce so I can start some cheese and butter smoking. 

    My version of a Salmon patty is when the wife and or I come home with a Salmon, one of my jobs during processing is the scrape the bones and behind the gill to retrieve as much meat as possible. That plus any other small chunk get's finely chopped up, vacuum sealed and frozen so later I can use it to make Salmon patties which include onion, bread crumbs, parsley, etc.  Fried Salmon patties on a cold rainy day is so mucho good. [​IMG]

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