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#152781 - 06/03/02 09:20 PM smoking previously frozen fish
fromcuthroattosteelies Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 09/08/01
Posts: 468
Loc: olympia
Should it really make THAT big of a difference. A couple of weeks ago spent the weekend at the Cowlitz and brought home 3 steelhead and two springer jacks. Smoked em' up the next day without freezing them and they turned out simply phenomenal. Last weekend I froze 2 steelhead and smoked them yesterday and they turned out horrible even though they were only in the freezer for a week. I catch all of my fish on the weekends so I usually always have to freeze them before I can find the time to smoke them. How long will a fresh fish last in the refrigerator? Maybe I could leave them there for a while and then smoke them without ever having to freeze them. HELP PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!Smoked fish is sooooo good when done right.
Thanks
Cuthroat
_________________________
Another patient exhibiting symptoms of the steelhead virus.

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#152782 - 06/03/02 09:32 PM Re: smoking previously frozen fish
FishCatcher Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 189
Loc: Lacey, WA
I always vacuum seal my fish and freeze it. I wait until I have enough to fill my smoker or I decide to take a day off from fishing. I prefer to freeze it before I smoke it. It always comes out good. Just my opinion but I freeze it to kill any bugs and think it opens the pores more to soak in the brine.

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#152783 - 06/03/02 10:48 PM Re: smoking previously frozen fish
escapee Offline
Spawner

Registered: 09/20/00
Posts: 584
Loc: Marysville, Wa., USA
I agree with fishcatcher, freezing didn't ruin your fish, it was something else. I think freezing it before hand helps.

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#152784 - 06/04/02 12:01 AM Re: smoking previously frozen fish
desertdrifter Offline
Smolt

Registered: 03/25/01
Posts: 78
Loc: richland
If you dont have a vacume packer put youre fish in a ziplock bag fill it with water and get all the air out and most of the water. I always fillet my fish first but you will have to cut them up into managable size. To thaw: put them in the sink full of COLD water the faster they thaw the better as long as they dont get warm. I personaly think this is better than a vacume packer, but what do I know. this my tried and true method hope it helps.

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#152785 - 06/04/02 12:43 AM Re: smoking previously frozen fish
silver hilton Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 10/08/01
Posts: 1155
Loc: Out there, somewhere
Answer to question 1, how does freezing affect smoked fish? If you freeze the fish before brining it, it breaks the cells down a bit, and the fish takes the brine a lot faster. I brine fresh fish 6 to 8 hours, frozen fish about 2 to 3 hours for the same affect.

Answer to question number 2, how long can you keep fish in the fridge? I think fish that has been in the fridge, not frozen, for more than four days, tops, is liable to start getting skanky. I generally try to do something to the fish within 48 hours, either cook it, brine it, or freeze it.
_________________________
Hm-m-m-m-m

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#152786 - 06/04/02 10:55 AM Re: smoking previously frozen fish
RiverLiver Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 12/06/00
Posts: 345
Loc: Tacoma, WA,
I have found that I get a better smoked flavor if the fish is frozen first ( vacuum sealed) S.H. is right the cells break down and the brine and smoke is more readily absorbed. I almost always freeze my fish for a week or so before smoking.
_________________________
"FISH HARD" ~

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#152787 - 06/04/02 10:55 AM Re: smoking previously frozen fish
chumsalmon Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 06/22/01
Posts: 194
Loc: Bellingham
I'm with silver hilton on this one, if i smoke my frozen fish, then i'll cut the brine recipie in half, and brine for the same amount of time. it always turns out just fine. Or as SH suggested just brine for a shorter period of time.
I to still freeze all my fish in water, i have yet to afford a vacume packer, but that is my next purchase. will save on my frezzer space laugh

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#152788 - 06/04/02 11:08 AM Re: smoking previously frozen fish
Timber Offline
Carcass

Registered: 05/27/00
Posts: 2339
Loc: Stumpy Acres
What I like to do is if I know I am going to be smoking it is mix my wet brine and pour it into big zip lock bags with the fish before I freeze it..I have found this turns out the best for me..

I've never tried it but I bet a guy could sprinkle dry brine over it then vaccum pack. That might work out well to..


TM
_________________________
If ya can't run with the big dogs stay on the porch!


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#152789 - 06/04/02 12:31 PM Re: smoking previously frozen fish
MasterBaiter Offline
Parr

Registered: 03/29/01
Posts: 69
Loc: HUMBOLDT
I agree that about 4-5 days in the fridge is the limit. You should keep the fish from soaking in the drippings so you want to drain the container often, this will slow down the stenching process. I will even rinse periodically and pat dry.

2 weeks in the freezer is nowhere near long enough to produce negative affects to your catch!

One suggestion when freezing is to leave the fish in roast form rather than fillets. This will leave less flesh surface area exposed to the detrimental dry refrigerated air that sucks the moisture out causing freezer burn. Also if you are vacuum sealing, it is easier to get a reliable seal since there are less bones exposed that ultimately create pin hole punctures in the vacuum bags.

IMHO, steelhead does not smoke as well as salmon anyway! It does not have nearly the amount of oil content producing a drier fare.

Hope this helps!

Thomas Pate

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