Hot Smoked Mackerel

Hot Smoked Mackerel

Smoking fish is a great introduction to this hobby. It doesn't necessarily need expensive equipment, and unlike curing meat, good results can be had in hours rather than days. Many people will make their own versions of this 'table-top' smoker using roasting tins, bread bins, cake tins, woks etc. A quick 5 minute brine of fish fillets (and even that's optional), a quick drying out of the fillets, pop them in the smoker and Bob's your uncle, 15 - 20 minutes later: smoked fish.

Others will choose to use a more elaborate method that heats the fish more gradually to a temperature where it is fully cooked. It may take a couple of hours, or more.

Whilst there are a wide variety of options available to do this in the US, in the UK people will probably use something like these, or use a barbecue, something like this.

As commercial smokers like this one aren't available in the UK, the only other option is to make your own:

My smoker

Anyway, enough of that, back to the mackerel. This is how I did mine; it's a compromise between the two methods above:

Firstly make up a brine using 1.2kg of salt to 1 gallon (4.546 litres) of water, or pro-rata - boil the water, dissolve the salt in it and then cool it.

When cold immerse the mackerel fillets in it for 5 minutes, then dry them off and leave them until the surface is dry. I left mine on a rack in the fridge.

Pre-heat the smoker to 45-50°C and smoke the fish over your chosen wood (I used oak) for 30 minutes. Then, over the next 45 minutes to an hour, increase the heat gradually to 130°C - but keep it below 100°C for the majority of this period. Check the temperature of the fillets at their thickest part - the internal temperature needs to be at 72°C throughout to be safe: higher if you like it that way. I took mine to 80°C.

Hot Smoked Mackerel Fillets

Blimey, it's harder to describe than do!

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There are two comments

Dave Smith

Hi Phil, you might like to try his brine as well
Take 4 litres of water and add 500mL salt, 250mL brown sugar, 75mL lemon juice, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 tablespoon allspice, 2 teaspoons white pepper. Mix until the sugar and salt are dissolved.

Dave Smith, - 14-03-’13 19:37

Thanks Dave, I’ll try that.


Phil, - 15-03-’13 19:13

I'm somewhat incapacitated at present so replies may take some time. Please post urgent enquiries at the forum.

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