Is it really summer without the smell, the taste and the joy of preparing and sharing your catch with friends and family? Let's be honest, hot smoked fish is amazing all year round. This is a simple recipe and you can adapt it to suit the type of smoking chamber you have mounted your Smokai Smoke Generator on. Adjust the ingredient quantities for the wet brine, to suit the amount of fish you are smoking. This recipe covered 2 x medium sized Trevally with room for 1 or 2 more.
2 medium sized Trevally, cleaned and prepared for smoking. We like to butterfly the whole fish for maximum utilisation.
Wet Cure (Brine) Ingredients
1 Litre of Water
200g Non-Iodised Sea Salt
100g Soft Brown Sugar (you can also use Coconut Sugar)
Optional Fish Brine Ingredients
Finely chopped onion
Dill (fresh or dried)
Crushed black peppercorns
Fresh or dried chilies
Crushed fennel seeds
Smokai Smoke Generator
Quality Woodchip or BBQ Pellets
A non-reactive container
Combine the water, salt and sugar in a saucepan and heat/stir until the salt and sugar are fully dissolved. Allow this to completely cool to room temperature.
When cooled to room temperature, pour the brine into a non-reactive container and place in the fridge for a few hours to chill down further.
Butterfly the fish and place it completely submerged in the brine for up to 1 hour, depending on the thickness of the fillets.
Remove the fish from the brine and soak it in fresh cold water for 15 to 20 minutes to remove some of the saltiness.
Get some paper towels and pat the fillets dry. Make sure you remove as much moisture as you can, then place on a rack, skin side down. If you do not indent to smoke straight away, place the rack in the fridge until a pellicle forms on the surface of the fish (a light tacky feel).
Before you smoke – bring your fish to the ambient air temperature and wipe off any visible moisture.
Place your fish evenly spaced out on a rack in your bbq/smoker/smoke chamber or alternatively, hang from dowels in your smokehouse.
When you’re ready, fill the hopper of your Smokai Smoke Generator with wood chip or quality hardwood BBQ pellets and light it.
Hot Smoke as follows:
50°C for 1 hour without smoke
Light your Smokai Smoke Generator
60°C for 1 hour with light smoke
70°C for 2-3 hours with heavy smoke
NOTE: If you are using a hooded BBQ/Grill for your heat source and low temperatures are difficult for you to achieve, hot smoke for 1 hour at 70-100°C or until the internal temperature of the fish reaches 63°C. A reliable test is to insert a fork into the thickest part of the fish and twist. The flesh should separate (flake) easily.
You can eat the fish straight away. IF you can find the self control, it will benefit from an ageing period of 24 hours in the fridge to allow the smoke compounds to permeate the flesh and balance the flavour.