Cold-Smoking is a method of curing meat with smoke and minimal heat. Cold-smoked fish has a moist, flaky texture with a delicate, smoky flavor that is intoxicating. Serve smoked fish with a cracker, mix it into a spread or toss bits into a fresh garden salad. Any way you prepare it – it’s absolutely yummy!
We converted our Hot-Smoker into a Cold-Smoker by cutting a 4 in. hole into the sidewall. We then dug a square hole (14 in. x 14 in.) two feet away from the sidewall. We lined the hole with concrete patio pavers (floor and walls). At the hardware store we purchased a 14 in. x 14 in. prefabricated sheet metal vent cover with a 4 in. diameter fitting. We then fitted the vent cover with a 3 ft. x 4 in. diameter piece of flexible duct. The opposite end is then secured through the hole in the smoker sidewall.
Once your fish has been brined (see recipe below), build a small fire in the lined pit. Let the fire burn down to a bed of red-hot coals before adding chunks of Alder, Apple, Cherry or Maple. Cover the fire pit with the vent cover. Smoke for 4-5 hours feeding the fire as needed keeping it smoky . Your fish will be cold – smoked when the flesh is firm, skin is dry and meat easily flakes with a dig of a fork. Cool, wrap and refrigerate for up to three weeks.
2 cups water
1/4 cup sea salt
1 cup brown sugar
dried hot pepper flakes (optional)
Whisk together all ingredients. Soak and brine fish for 8 – 10 hours.
Always keep brine and fish chilled. Never reuse the brine after use.
Take another baby step to life’s independence by preparing and preserving food off the grid like cold – smoked fish. – Jabbear