Well, I finally got around to have a go at at producing some smoked mackerel, I managed to obtain some fresh ones and the first thing I done was to fillet each one and immerse them in a brine of about 70% strength for 1 1/2 hours then I dried them off (put them in the fridge for an hour) next I sprinkled cracked mixed peppercorns on each fillet and then hot smoked them on my kettle bbq until cooked (I used a couple of handfuls of oak woodchips wrapped in foil and placed on the hot charcoal.) I omitted the cold smoking stage and I am very satisfied with the results
Incidently they are better cold with a salad!
Ryan C wrote:Hey Gaz,
I'm afraid I don't know much about brining fish. I'm not sure why you want to do it this way instead of dry-curing like your salmon. My best guess is that it would take closer to a few hours rather than a few minutes for your mackerel to cure.
I always dry-cure my fish because I find it easier to feel the 'firmness' of the flesh to tell when I think it is done.
As for safety, as long as you've cured the salmon properly and it is fresh, the only real safety hurdle is the temperature inside the smoker. Keep the temperature below 12 C (often this is easiest done overnight) and you wont poison anyone.
Putting the salmon back in to re-smoke is no problem at all, in fact most of the time that is what I do - as do many others.
Remember, keep everything clean and in the fridge and you will have no issues whatsoever - except for a load of scroungers coming round to eat your fish!!
Best of luck
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