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Old 02-17-2001, 08:17 AM
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Okay, I've been catching a lot of smelt and I'm growing tired of the standard fried batch and I thought I'd try to smoke em. I only have gas grill so any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 02-18-2001, 06:22 AM
Salmonsmoker Salmonsmoker is offline
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Doughboy,

Sounds like a good use for Smelt. To get the best flavor, I would mix 1 Cup of seasoning salt (or 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup curing salt with any other spices that you want) to three quarts of water. Then, submerge the Smelt in the brine and refrigerate for 24 hours - turning every 4 hours. After this time, remove the Smelt from the brine and rinse them quickly under running water, then lay out to air dry for about an hour.

Brush a light coat of cooking oil (I prefer olive oil) onto the Smelt (this keeps them from drying out during the smoke/cooking process.)

If you are going to do them on a gas grill, you will need to select the lowest heat setting that you have - and put the Smelt as far away from the heat as you can (to get a maximum amount of time in the smoke.)

As for the smoke, since even with the above, the Smelt will be cooked within a reasonably short time (when I make smoked fish, they are in the smoker for 4 hours) you will need a strong smoke so I would go to the woods and find some Shagbark Hickory. There will normally be plenty of bark on the ground around the tree because it "sheds" it bark continually. Take this bark and put it in some water and let it soak for 2 hours. then, place some metal screen on your lava rocks and put the wet bark on the screen. After about 10 minutes, you will have a lot of smoke. Then add the fish.

You will have to check them after 15 minutes or so and turn them when they start to brown. This will not be your normal turning of items on the grill because there will still be lots of smoke - may make it hard to see. Keep the open time on your grill to a minimum - it lets the accumulated smoke dissipate.

After one batch, you will have a good idea as to what modificatins you may want to make to "finetune" the flavor.

Let us know how it turns out.

ss
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Old 02-18-2001, 07:37 AM
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Thanks for the instructions. They are going in my recipe file and I can't wait to get all the fixing to try it. This will make the catchin and cleanin that much easier. My next purchase a smoker so I can try more recipes from the board. Thanks again.
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