Baby Step 11: Make a Cold-Smoker and Prepare Smoked Fish

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.

Brine Recipe:

2 cups water

1/4 cup sea salt

1 cup brown sugar

dried hot pepper flakes (optional)

dill (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

Smoking Fish on YouTube by HOMESTEADING DOWNSIZED.

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