Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Cook-Off 59: Cured, Brined, Smoked and Salted Fish

Cookoff Charcuterie

  • Please log in to reply
127 replies to this topic

#121 Prawncrackers

Prawncrackers
  • participating member
  • 1,145 posts
  • Location:Birmingham, UK

Posted 16 September 2012 - 01:23 PM


Prawn how much is Eel a KG, what's the yield and er what's the procedure?

I've only ever seen one recipe for it, somewhere.


Last one I bought around the new year was £22 per kg, and it was dead on about kilo too. I didn't weigh the smoked fillets, but if I had to guess then I got about 200g from it. So not cheap at all, but so worth it. I'll give you a procedure in this very thread if I can get my hands on one or two soon. Watch this space!



Right at the start of this thread I promised a step by step guide to smoking eels. Here it is finally! Eels haven't been available this summer, it's taken this long to get hold of them. The price has climbed to £30 per kg since, so there may not be many opportunities to smoke them in future.


Step 1 - Buy and kill

Posted Image
Get your fishmonger to choose the most lively eels, 1 kilo in size is just right. Any smaller and the yield is poor, much bigger and they're difficult to handle in a normal kitchen. I get mine from the Indoor Fish Market here but they won't kill them for you but if your fishmonger does then get them to do it and clean them too, making sure they leave the head on. Some people just go for it, whack them over the head and gut them whilst they're still thrashing but I like to handle them as little as possible. So in a suitably sized pot with a lid scatter three or four big handfuls of coarse salt all over the bottom and pour in a little water to make a grainy slush. Tip the eels into the pot and clamp the lid down tight. Leave for an hour, the eels will thrash around for a while but the salt will eventually kill them and help to deslime. You can tell they're dead when the eyes go blank, they usually go belly up too.

Step 2 - Clean and Gut

Posted Image
Remove the eels and rinse them under plenty of cold running water. A lot of the slime will be left in the pot but there will still be some on the eel. You have a choice here, you can rub this off with some more coarse salt or scrape it off with a sharp sturdy knife. It's a messy job either way. When the eel has been fully deslimed, gut it from it's anal vent to it's jaw and remove all it's innards making sure to clean the bloodline. Most other fish are quite easy to gut but eel guts are particularly tenacious, you may need sturdy fish tweezers or pliers to make a really clean job of it. Most importantly when gutting eels you need slice a couple of inches towards the tail to get the kidney out. The tip of my knife in the photo is where the anal vent was located, you can see how far to cut in that direction.

Step 3 - Salt and Dry

Posted Image
For every kilo of eel rub 70g of salt into the cavity and all over the outside. Place covered in the fridge overnight, preferably 24 hours, redistributing the salty brine at least once in that time. The next day rinse the eels off and dry them quickly with a clean cloth inside and out. Place the eels on a rack uncovered in the fridge overnight for a sticky pellicle to form on the skin and in the cavity. A pellicle allows smoke to adhere better to food so make sure that the eel is as exposed as possible while it's in the fridge, that's why a rack is useful. The resting in the fridge also helps to redistribute the saltiness throughout the eel.

Step 4 - Smoke

Posted Image
You're ready to smoke your eel. Prepare your hot smoker for a 80-90C burn for up to 90 minutes. It's very important that you don't smoke them too hot or they will split and all the oil will burst out. If you're using a horizontal smoker, lay the eels carefully belly up, you may need a small skewer to stop the eels from turning over. More commonly eels are smoked vertically, tie some string or twine around the throat just below the side fins and use this to hang them head up. If you don't do this and simply insert a hook straight into the jaw then as the eel cooks it softens and will fall off the hook - a complete disaster! I like to use oak chips, it's a classic flavour with fish, robust and sweet but really you can use any smoking wood. Check your eels after an hour, they should be nicely smoked, leave for up to half an hour longer if you've got particularly fat ones.

For posterity, a 987g eel at the market weighed 751g after smoking and produced 482g of pure meat. Enjoy, it's worth it.
Posted Image

#122 David Ross

David Ross
  • host
  • 3,345 posts
  • Location:Spokane

Posted 16 September 2012 - 04:46 PM

Wow, those are darn tasty looking eels!

#123 adey73

adey73
  • participating member
  • 604 posts
  • Location:Moscow, Russia

Posted 19 September 2012 - 03:59 AM

Jeez Prawn death by salt, you really are one alpha-Panda!
“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

#124 nickrey

nickrey
  • society donor
  • 2,235 posts
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 05 January 2013 - 03:46 PM

Bit late to the party for this cook-off but here is my first effort at smoked salmon.

Dry Salt packed around fish overnight. Rinsed and patted dry. Dried in fridge uncovered on rack for a day. Cold smoked in my Masterbuilt electric smoker using A-Maze-N smoker with oak chips and apple wood sawdust for an hour and a half only. I also used my chamber sealer to seal ice in bags and put one bag on each of the spare racks. It was cool in there.

Came out perfectly. Here it is on toasted ciabatta with cream cheese, onions, and capers.

smoked salmon.jpg

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.
Unless there are three other people." Orson Welles
My eG Foodblog


#125 David Ross

David Ross
  • host
  • 3,345 posts
  • Location:Spokane

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:10 PM

Bit late to the party for this cook-off but here is my first effort at smoked salmon.

Dry Salt packed around fish overnight. Rinsed and patted dry. Dried in fridge uncovered on rack for a day. Cold smoked in my Masterbuilt electric smoker using A-Maze-N smoker with oak chips and apple wood sawdust for an hour and a half only. I also used my chamber sealer to seal ice in bags and put one bag on each of the spare racks. It was cool in there.

Came out perfectly. Here it is on toasted ciabatta with cream cheese, onions, and capers.

smoked salmon.jpg

Thanks. It's never too late to post in a Cook-Off. I like the idea of the ice bags to keep the smoking chamber cool. I've never thought of that. I think I'll try it once we get some fresh Spring salmon up here.

#126 scubadoo97

scubadoo97
  • participating member
  • 2,071 posts
  • Location:Dunedin, Florida

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:24 PM

Bit late to the party for this cook-off but here is my first effort at smoked salmon.

Dry Salt packed around fish overnight. Rinsed and patted dry. Dried in fridge uncovered on rack for a day. Cold smoked in my Masterbuilt electric smoker using A-Maze-N smoker with oak chips and apple wood sawdust for an hour and a half only. I also used my chamber sealer to seal ice in bags and put one bag on each of the spare racks. It was cool in there.

Came out perfectly. Here it is on toasted ciabatta with cream cheese, onions, and capers.

smoked salmon.jpg


Excellent nickrey. I smoked a couple of trimmed sides after wet brining my salmon in a 10% salt solution for 24 hr. I cold smoked for 3+ hours in my Masterbuilt. I used a couple of foam ice packs and managed to keep the ambient temp around 44-50* f. If you can get a few of these they're great. I wrap then in foil and but the fish directly on the packs and the fish stays very cold, even here in Fla. Just rinse and reuse over and over

Your salmon looks really good

#127 Shelby

Shelby
  • society donor
  • 2,352 posts

Posted 22 July 2014 - 07:50 AM

Bringing this topic back because we finally got an electric smoker.  A dear friend gave it to my husband.  

 

Not as nice by any means as David's, but it suits us just fine :)

 

photo 2.jpg

 

Yesterday my husband cold smoked some salt brined trout.  

 

photo 1.JPG

 

 

Thanks for all of the tips and inspiration everyone!


  • Smithy, David Ross and rotuts like this

#128 David Ross

David Ross
  • host
  • 3,345 posts
  • Location:Spokane

Posted 24 July 2014 - 03:11 PM

You'll have plenty of great smoked trout dishes.


  • Shelby likes this





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Cookoff, Charcuterie