Been smoking them for about 8 years now and have learned a few things that make a better product. I hope the pics load in order. Oh well, they didn't.
1. Ready to go in the smoker. Spray the bejesus out of everything with Pam, top and bottom, makes clean-up so much easier. The plastic mats I got out of BP years ago and are fantastic, no more falling through the grates and they make flipping the fillets much easier. Spray them too and you can throw them in the diswasher with the grates. My Rubbermaid brining container is in the back also, great since I don't have to cover a bowl with plastic etc.
2. My smoker rig and the chips I use.
3. Fish dried until it has a pellicle. (This should have been the first pic.) I have these baking racks that are elevated about an inch, both sides are ready for smoking. Paper underneath helps with clean-up.
4. Flip the fillets and rotate the position of the racks after 2 hours. You can see the fish on the right is more done, it was on the bottom, now it switches with the rack from the top of the smoker. Also, give the racks a quarter turn, there are definitely hot spots and cool spots. Stir chips and add a small handful to the pan.
5. After 4 hours, flip the fillets and brush lightly with Maple syrup. Rotate racks again as you see how they are finishing.
6. The chip pan after 4 hours, don't empty it. It will take longer to smoke again. Just add more and blow on it to get it rolling. If it flames for a second, great.
7. The pan with more chips.
8. After another hour, consolidate the fillets on the bottom two racks, flip, and brush with Maple syrup.
9. The final product. Eat tomorrow with mayo, lettuce and good tomato for the best damn summer "BLT" ever.
Last edited by merogers; 08-09-2011 at 07:02 PM. Reason: pics in wrong order
mmmm... Look good, you need to give us some tips though!!!
Some good tips are to soak your fillets in a brine with your selected spices overnight. Rinse and completely dry the fillets until a pelicle forms before smoking. Smoke with hickory at 225 degrees for about 4 hours. Some folks brush with honey or maple syrup before smoking. There are many recipes on the internet. Enjoy them. They look great. I just made two 5 gallon buckets of chum from elewives and will be on the blues soon.........Gary
Every rose has it's thorns.
Whoa, got some replies while I was editing. Gary, where do you get chum in the mid-bay region? I usually fish further south, but in a week or so I'd like to get some chum in the Chesapeake Beach area.
Thanks for taking the time to post, they look AWESOME! I'll be going out Thursday night and am almost looking foward to finding bigger blues than I am bigger rock
Thanks. Very nice of you.
Now if the blues would show up in numbers. Not to show my age but we had some times out of PLO 40 yrs ago.
Every rose has it's thorns.
Thanks for the excellent post. I'm saving this one for when I get a smoker.
Anadromous fish come and go, but catfish stay forever.
Yellow Hobie Revolution
Yellow Tarpon 120
If you want to save time on brining, you can use a dry brine (I like this method better). Equal parts kosher salt and brown sugar with a bit of old bay. Generously coat the fillets and place in frig on wax paper for 1 hour. Beware, this will suck out quite a bit of moisture, so be sure you have them in a dish or sheet with raised edges. Rinse, pat dry, leave out in room temp til pedicle forms and proceed.