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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally smoked some bluefish and it was damn good. kind of reminded me of deer jerky that I make. and since I didn't go deer hunting this year it made for some much needed tasty treats. The wife didn't even give it five seconds after trying her first piece before she asked what else can we smoke in that thing.......good stuff!
 

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Funny you should mention..........I've been brining some bluefish and they go on the smoker this morning. A super fish on the smoker! Using some alder.

Keyskid you should look at Cabelas catalog - it has smokers and supplies. I got a Little Chef electric and it comes with all you need and a great cookbook/instruction manual. Also, go on youtube - amazing how many guys showing how to smoke fish.
 

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Got a Master Built after years of a Big Chief. Master Built is phenomenal for the price. Both are electric, but MB has been engineered to control temps and time which is the tricky part of smoking. Paid $139 on sale at Lowes. I would pay twice that and feel good. Have done a meat loaf, small brisket, big deer ribs, striper ribs and macs. All turned out perfect. I did bluefish on the Big Chief and it was good, can't wait to catch another bluefish.
The trick to bluefish is catch a 3-5#er, bleed and ice. I brine skinned fillet for 2 hours in 1qt. of GOOD water mixed with 1/2 cup Kosher salt, and 1/2 cup regular sugar. Then rinse and allow to sit for 1 hour. After the hour, put in smoker at 200 degrees. I am a cracked pepper fan so the fillet gets a generous coating before.Smoke for 2 hours.
 

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smoked blue is really good , i soak mine in a brine for 24 hrs. then smoke it also in a little chief electric smoke . Tuna and mackerel also smoke very well:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What kind of smoker do you have? How long did it take?...always wanted to get setup with one but never sure if its worth the time and hassle...
i bought the 69 dollar red, electric, bulletype from the big orange box. Its a brinkmans. I did make a few alterations. I bought two grill thermometers that I also found at HD and mounted one at the each grill level so I can have an accurate temp reading at all times. I am also going to drill some holes in the lid and add a metal plate so I can regulate the temp better. Overall very nice and easy to use right out of the box though and I am glad I didn't spend more money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Curious if you think you would get a better product with a charcoal smoker thar they

Also wondering how big pia it would be to keep adding charcoal?

Thx for the i put

After doing some research before buying my smoker, I believe that you may get a slightly better product with charcoal, but imo the extra work, mess, cleanup, and time spent watching the smoker watching for temp fluctuations isn't worth it. i wanted easy and thats what i got.
 

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Curious if you think you would get a better product with a charcoal smoker thar they

Also wondering how big pia it would be to keep adding charcoal?

Thx for the i put
No, I do not. I can control my smoker. I takes only one cup of wood chips per session. By that I mean you can smoke things heavy or light. Just smoked turkey legs for 4 hours with one cup of apple wood chips. Awesome turkey legs better than disney world.

It would be a big pia to add charcoal, and monitor temp.
 

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If you are using charcoal you want to use either lump charcoal or organic charcoal. Both charcoals do not have any petroluem products in them. Otherwise you will have the taste of the petroluem in whatever you are smoking. The charcoals mentioned are more expensive then ordinary charcoal.
I smoke mostly with fruit woods. With wood or charcoal you need to check your fuel source every hour to hour and half. As far as controlling the temperature its all done with the intake louvre and exhaust . Its not that hard once you know your smoker.
 

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I got a Master Built like Philjam, a year ago. I like the built-in timer and temperature control. The problems I run into are being able to generate smoke at temperatures below 185 degrees, especially during warm weather. The use of saw dust, instead of chips helped. Unfortunately, some recipes call for lower temperatures.

I too have smoked bluefish and it is great. I too bleed and chill the bluefish, and then fillet, and remove and discard all of the dark meat. Then I follow this recipe and smoke with wetted cherry sawdust:

Smoked Bluefish


Start by making a brine. You can make as much as you'll need to completely cover the fish - I usually make it by the quart:

1 quart water
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup kosher or pickling salt
¼ cup sugar
3 or 4 bay leaves, crushed
2 tablespoons mustard seed
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns

Combine the water and soy sauce. Add the salt and sugar and stir or shake to dissolve completely. Pour over the bluefish to cover in a shallow pan and add the bay leaves, mustard seed, and peppercorns. Cover and refrigerate while brining - a minimum of four hours. (I have kept it in the brine for up to four days.)

Brining the bluefish is important. It adds to and enhances the flavor, of course, but it also helps the fish to retain moisture during the smoking process. You should leave the fish in the brine for at least four hours, but it's okay to let it go longer (even a couple of days if you're not going to get to it right away - the brine is a great preservative also.) Just remember that the longer you leave it in the brine, the saltier it may be.

Getting ready for the smoker:
Smoke doesn't like to stick to wet surfaces, and the heat of the smoker can drive moisture out of the fish. And so, the next step is as important as the brine. When you take the fish out of the brine, place the fillets on a metal rack set above a few layers of newspapers. Allow the fish to dry for several hours, until the surface of the fish is dry and feels a bit tacky to the touch. It will take at least three hours, but if it's a damp day it can take five hours or more. If you're squeamish about leaving the fish out that long, make room in the refrigerator for the racks and dry them in there.

That dry, sticky surface is called a "pellicle," and it is formed by proteins on the surface of the fish as they are exposed to air. The pellicle will give the smoke a good surface to adhere to and protect the fish from giving up too much moisture while it's in your smoker.

Smoking the fish:
When the fish is dry, transfer it to the racks of your smoker. Bring the temperature of the smoker up to about 200 F for the first hour of smoking, then drop it to 150 F for another two hours or so. I find it difficult to generate smoke at the lower temperature, so I leave mine on 200 F.

At the end of that time, average-sized fillets will be done - moist but firm, flaky, and dry, perfect for snacking or using as an ingredient in a dip or paté.

Larger, thicker fillets may need more time.


The delicious finished product will look a rich chestnut brown color, slightly darker around the edges, tender and moist but firm enough to pick up without falling totally apart. I normally use cherry wood saw dust.

Let the fish cool, and wrap in paper towels, and lay on a plate covered by Saran Wrap, so they can breathe. I have stored smoke fillets for months this way. DO NOT use Zip-Loc bags, since they will not be able to breathe, and they will be covered with mold in a short time.
 

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Very good info Fishin' Finn. I too have replaced my 'Lil Chief after 20+ years of use with a Master Built about 2 years ago. I love the auto temp. controle. I also have a little trouble making enough smoke, especially when it's warm out side. Much better smoke when it's cold and windy so the element has to be on a little more to keep it warm enough. I saw some smoke generater how to videos on youtube that didn't look too expensive or difficult to put together. Will have to give it a try one of these days. I use the real small chips that you can make your self with a chain saw and a piece of wood. Also, I pull the chip tray out and hit 'em with a propane torch to get 'm smoking a bit more.
 

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Smoked bluefish and macks are awesome. The prep starts when fish are boated. We bleed out our fish heads down in a 5 gallon bucket of sea water. Then they are put on ice. Surrounded in a grave of ice. Not in cooler or hold with a few frozen soda bottles on it(c'mon man!). Then filet, brine and smoke. A true cold smoke is often hard to achieve. You gotta fiddle with your smoker. A nice dip is smoked fish mixed with equal parts sour cream and cream cheese with fresh chopped dill. Great for football games. Go Gmen!
 

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I am curious, I have a Weber smokey mountain I use for BBQ (ribs, pork shoulders, brisket, ATB's, fatties, etc). I never considered smoking my catch. Are we talking cold smoking to cure or "low and slow" bbq type smoking?
 
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