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Smoked Fish....a Bit Too Salty.....

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
What am I doing wrong?

Smoked some bluefish fillets on Thursday......and while they came out good, they are a tad salty (AGAIN).......they're fine for me, as I'm a salt fiend, but Donna mentioned it as well.....

Did the usual......dry brined in a mixture of kosher salt and brown sugar, about 1/2 and 1/2.....brined on a rack to let the juices drip out.....

Rinsed well and dried with paper towels, then back on the rack to dry the pelicle.....

Ground pepper and some lemon juice over the top, and then smoked about 3-4 hours.......

Why are they so salty?

(If nothing else, I can cover up the saltiness for Donna by making a bluefish pate out of some of them using cream cheese, etc, and I'll eat the rest as is, as it doesn't bother me too much).....
post #2 of 12
How long did you brine then for?
Did you toss em in the sink and fill it with a bit of water rinsing and scrubbing them with your hands?
I wash mine really well and I don't brine any longer than it takes to stiffen em up.
As the water is displaced, compartmental equalization will draw the salt into the tissue.
A few minutes of washing will draw some of that salt back out.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
CD......probably too long, this time (just the way timing worked out).....but in the past, have only brined about 4 hours, and they were still salty....

Was wondering about the "soak after brine"......perhaps that is what I need to do.....
post #4 of 12
Hi Steve: Just wondering if you ever used a dry brine mixture. I always use the dry method and let sit overnight in a refridgerator then wash the fillets and pat dry. Dwain
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Dwain.....First....Welcome .....nice to see a new face here, and hope you can both learn and contribute......cause that's what we're all about.....

If you re-read my original post, you'll see that I did indeed use a dry brine.....

Generally for fish for the smoker, that's what I do......if I'm brining ribs for the smoker, then it would be a wet brine....

And of course turkey and chicken to be roasted gets a wet brine soak overnight.....

And BTW, some bluefish pickling in the fridge......
post #6 of 12
Originally posted by Steve in Mass:

And BTW, some bluefish pickling in the fridge......
Yeah baby!!
post #7 of 12
steve...the original recipe i got called for equal parts sugar and salt...i have cut back on the salt and bumped up the sugar

i haven't tried the quick rinse, but it is on my agenga
post #8 of 12

Have you seen the recipe on the kippermania website? I have done that with Salmon and it came out very good. I think their recipe for the dry brine is 3 parts salt and 4 parts brown sugar.
post #9 of 12
The 3:4 sounds about right. I do use a bit more sugar than salt and I do the short soak thing. Just a few minutes, but you have to wash them well and lastly under running water.
To really gross you out, I lick one of the fillets to check the surface salt content.
post #10 of 12
No grosser than sushi.
post #11 of 12
Originally posted by FarmerJeff:
No grosser than sushi.
Who said sushi was gross??
I love it.
post #12 of 12
When I smoke bluefish I use a dry brine of 1/3 kosher salt, 1/3 course ground black pepper and 1/3 sugar (I prefer light brown)

I mix well and dry brine the fillets for about 2 hrs refrigerated.

Wash off the dry brine and let the pellicle form while refrigerated again about 2 hrs. Right before they go on the smoker I apply course ground black pepper.

I smoke at 250 for about 4 hrs give or take based on the thickness of the fillets.

I prefer apple or cherry wood but have also used hickory with good results.

I am not a salty food fan and the 2 hour dry brine with the above mix is ok for me.
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