Richard_the_Aughth

Smoking fish

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In anticipation of blues I will catch this year, I was considering getting a smoker. I'm looking for something low end but I don't know much about smokers. Any advice on what to look for?

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2 mins ago, bob_G said:

What do you want to know, I've been smoking fish for 50 years. ;)

What do you recommend to start out with? From what I've seen there are many types of smokers, electric, gas, pellet, wood chips. Also, any must have features of a smoker you would recommend?

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If you are only smoking fish, electric is cheap and easiest to maintain a low temp that fish requires. Don’t wait for bluefish,(awesome as they are) there are plenty of stocker trout that you can perfect your method on. And as Bob will attest are delicious in their own right. 

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Personally I'd recommend a weber kettle grill.  Relatively cheap, works well enough to smoke things and can also function very well as a grill.  They are great starters to learn both smoking and cooking over charcoal.

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I still have my first smoker.  Been smoking fish and ribs now for a couple years.   All I know is my propane smoker.  The biggest drawback I have is maintaining a constant low temp.  Also smoking on a freezing cold day can be troublesome as the propane just doesn't want to flow when it is cold.


Me and most of the people I know have pretty much the same model, which is the masterbuilt 30" smoker you can get at bass pro for a couple hundred bucks.
If I got another one I would probably go electric.

 

Check out the book "Project Smoke"   Worth buying to figure out what the differences are and then hang onto for all the recipes and ideas in it.
it even has instructions on smoking ice cream.

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2 hours ago, giggyfish said:

If you are only smoking fish, electric is cheap and easiest to maintain a low temp that fish requires. Don’t wait for bluefish,(awesome as they are) there are plenty of stocker trout that you can perfect your method on. And as Bob will attest are delicious in their own right. 

I might go with electric, but is there is any issue with leaving it outdoors? Could the prongs on the plug possibly rust and be dangerous?

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3 hours ago, Richard_the_Aughth said:

In anticipation of blues I will catch this year, I was considering getting a smoker. I'm looking for something low end but I don't know much about smokers. Any advice on what to look for?

first advice is "don't count the fish until they are in the basket".I have three smokers but used 0 of them last year.

I would try a cheaper smoker like a bullet smoker first before purchasing a large pellet type.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

get a Chief.  Big Chief or Little Chief.  They are could not be simpler electric.  We ALWAYS leave them outside while smoking, no issues in 30 (?) years.  Do an excellent job.  We mostly smoke bluefish, plus some macs, eels, and bass

Edited by nicknotsebastian

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1 hour ago, nicknotsebastian said:

get a Chief.  Big Chief or Little Chief.  They are could not be simpler electric.  We ALWAYS leave them outside while smoking, no issues in 30 (?) years.  Do an excellent job.  We mostly smoke bluefish, plus some macs, eels, and bass

A Little Chief worked really well for me, i like to smoke fish, specially blue fish, at the lowest temp i can.  IMO,electric smokers allow good temperature control.

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1 hour ago, nicknotsebastian said:

get a Chief.  Big Chief or Little Chief.  They are could not be simpler electric.  We ALWAYS leave them outside while smoking, no issues in 30 (?) years.  Do an excellent job.  We mostly smoke bluefish, plus some macs, eels, and bass

Second that recommendation. Can’t kill them and I’ve smoked plenty of fish on mine.

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6 hours ago, sbcbmx112 said:

Personally I'd recommend a weber kettle grill.  Relatively cheap, works well enough to smoke things and can also function very well as a grill.  They are great starters to learn both smoking and cooking over charcoal.

Ditto on the Weber Kettle grill. Have had them for 30 years, slow smoking fish and even whole turkeys for years. I like to use apple wood chunks.

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2 hours ago, MakoMike said:

Second that recommendation. Can’t kill them and I’ve smoked plenty of fish on mine.

Big chief looks right for me so far. Do you guys leave always leave it out? Even when not using it? I found it online and the description says "Use properly installed ground fault interrupter (GFI) circuit". Anyone know what this means?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Masterbuilt pro duel fuel propane and/or charcoal. Around 200 or so. If doing bluefish, brine overnight. Lots of brine recipes out there, but I have a good one if you want it. Also, don’t use wood chips use wood chunks as there less prone to flare ups. 

Edited by Swine4Stripers

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