"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > Recipes & Ingredients > Fish & Seafood
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-02-2012, 10:40 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 8
Smoking smelts?

I love smoked fish, any fish. I buy canned Sprats from Russia and they are delicious; very smokey flavor. I've had fried smelts and like them. has anyone ever tried smoking smelts? Any suggestions? Thanks

howzit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2012, 02:11 AM   #2
Chef Extraordinaire
 
buckytom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: My mountain
Posts: 21,539
i'm very interested in the responses to this thread.

i've wanted to smoke fish, any whole fish, for a while now. from trout, to mullet, to whiting.

my family loves fried smelts, i'd bet they'd be great smoked.
__________________
The past is gone it's all been said.
So here's to what the future brings,
I know tomorrow you'll find better things
buckytom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2012, 06:29 AM   #3
Executive Chef
 
Harry Cobean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 2,913
Quote:
Originally Posted by howzit View Post
I love smoked fish, any fish. I buy canned Sprats from Russia and they are delicious; very smokey flavor. I've had fried smelts and like them. has anyone ever tried smoking smelts? Any suggestions? Thanks
Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom View Post
i'm very interested in the responses to this thread.

i've wanted to smoke fish, any whole fish, for a while now. from trout, to mullet, to whiting.

my family loves fried smelts, i'd bet they'd be great smoked.
love smoked anything-fish,bacon,chicken,duck etc.best smoked fish i've had bucky was at bolas's.he did bass,trout & mackerel(brined 1st).the mackerel was outstanding.mackerel is my fav fish....amazing isn't it,the cheapest most plentiful fish outta the sea & imo the best!
i live in an apartment so conventional smoking is not on the cards.i do a "cheats smoke".line a wok with foil,chuck in some soft brown sugar mixed with tea leaves,cover with another layer of foil with holes punched in it,put in the wok's rack,fish on the rack,lid on,on the heat,20mins later hot smoked fish or whatever you put in.i always brine the food before smoking,don't see why it wouldn't work with smelts
__________________
I spent a lot of money on booze,birds & fast cars.The rest I just squandered.
Harry Cobean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2012, 06:37 AM   #4
Chef Extraordinaire
 
CWS4322's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rural Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 13,466
I've never had smoked smelts, but would probably like them if they were moist smoked instead of dry. Curious if anyone living in MN, MI, or WI has eaten smoked smelt (I'll have to look at the locker plant next time I go to northern MN). A quick search on the Internet, and it would seem that smoking smelts is common--Alton Brown even has a recipe.
__________________
I've got OCD--Obsessive Chicken Disorder!
https://www.discusscooking.com/forums...les-76125.html
CWS4322 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2012, 07:18 AM   #5
Executive Chef
 
justplainbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Eastern Long Island, New York
Posts: 4,206
Scales on & guts in?
justplainbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2012, 08:09 AM   #6
Certified/Certifiable
 
Chief Longwind Of The North's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 10,546
Quote:
Originally Posted by howzit View Post
I love smoked fish, any fish. I buy canned Sprats from Russia and they are delicious; very smokey flavor. I've had fried smelts and like them. has anyone ever tried smoking smelts? Any suggestions? Thanks
I personally haven't smoked smelt. But my Dad did, and they were superb. To smoke them, he brined them, then brushed with a brown sugar glaze. He put them into his "Li'l Indian" smoker with hickory. It was like eating candy, only better. The smelt flavor came through, in combination with the smoke and brown sugar flavors. I remember eating the smelt, bones and all. It was almost a ritual during smelt season in the U.P. We normally just dredged them in flour, pan fried in a little oil, salted them, and munched them down. But the smoked smelt he made that one year were truly a treat. Just don't make the brine too salty. If I recall, you should be using a cup of salt for every gallon of water.

I wish I had the recipe he used, to give to you. Sorry.

You don't know what good memories you have invoked within me, with this thread. Thanks.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
__________________
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- https://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
Chief Longwind Of The North is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2012, 08:21 AM   #7
Chef Extraordinaire
 
CWS4322's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rural Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 13,466
Quote:
Originally Posted by justplainbill View Post
Scales on & guts in?
I don't remember that the smelt we'd eat (just the way Chief mentioned--dredged in flour and fried) had "scales" on them. Smelt aren't very big. When the smelt would start running in early, early spring, it was a ritual to go smelting...yes-memories here too!
__________________
I've got OCD--Obsessive Chicken Disorder!
https://www.discusscooking.com/forums...les-76125.html
CWS4322 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2012, 02:07 PM   #8
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 24,676
I have those same memories, CSW. Spring smelting and lots of yummy little fried fish.
__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2012, 02:27 PM   #9
Master Chef
 
CraigC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 6,422
Been a long time since I smoked any fish. When I did it was with an el cheapo water smoker. I used ice in the water pan, which kinda acted as a cold smoker. Back then I only used hickory chips and I think it took 3-4 hours. I'm sure I brined the filets first.
__________________
Emeralds are real Gems! C. caninus and C. batesii.
CraigC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2012, 02:33 PM   #10
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 8
Thank you all for your posts...

I feel inspired! I have a bunch at home and I'm gonna' smoke 'em tomorrow. They have the heads and insides removed. I'm going to use my usual brine (someone suggested maple, so I think I'll add some maple syrup to the brine) and soak 'em for about 45 minutes, then smoke 'em for 20-30 minutes. I always use water in my smoker. I will use hickory for a strong smoky flavor. I'll let you know how they come out. Thanks again for all your thoughts and suggestions. Check back Thursday to see if I was a success or a flop.
howzit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2012, 02:43 PM   #11
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Addie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: East Boston, MA
Posts: 22,365
Brined and Smoked Smelts Recipe : Alton Brown : Recipes : Food Network

Alton Brown's recipe. It is rated five stars.
__________________
Illegitimi non carborundum!
I don't want my last words to be, "I wish I had spent more time doing housework"
Addie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2012, 03:27 PM   #12
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Austin, TX.
Posts: 678
Why would one Brine Fish?

Aren't they all ready brined?!

Eric, Austin Tx.
giggler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2012, 04:41 PM   #13
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Dawgluver's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 25,016
I think when fresh caught, there's no brine.
__________________
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
Dawgluver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2012, 04:51 PM   #14
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Addie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: East Boston, MA
Posts: 22,365
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
I think when fresh caught, there's no brine.
Smelts are one of those fish like the salmon that migrate if not caught at sea, to where they were born. In Brewster on Cape Cod, there is a very old mill. Every year the smelts are running. We used to go there with buckets and catch them to eat. The town would put in a ladder so they could get upstream easier. Once they got past a certain point, you weren't allowed to catch them. They had to be allowed to finish their journey. That way there would be more for next year. They would come in from Cape Cod Bay. It took a lot of them to feed a family just one meal.
__________________
Illegitimi non carborundum!
I don't want my last words to be, "I wish I had spent more time doing housework"
Addie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2012, 09:58 PM   #15
Chef Extraordinaire
 
CWS4322's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rural Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 13,466
The ones we ate were freshwater. As I understand it, there are fresh- and saltwater smelt. The ones we harvested came from Lake Superior, or thereabouts. They were very good as appetizers.
__________________
I've got OCD--Obsessive Chicken Disorder!
https://www.discusscooking.com/forums...les-76125.html
CWS4322 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 09:08 AM   #16
Certified/Certifiable
 
Chief Longwind Of The North's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 10,546
Quote:
Originally Posted by CWS4322 View Post
The ones we ate were freshwater. As I understand it, there are fresh- and saltwater smelt. The ones we harvested came from Lake Superior, or thereabouts. They were very good as appetizers.
We always got ors as they ran into streams either from Lake Huron, or Lake Superior, usuall Lake Superior.

The variety that lives in the great lakes region are a freshwater species called Rainbow Smelt. And yes, they are deliscious. The fish are small enough, that you eat them with the bones. The fish-heads are removed, and the fish are cleaned. Usual ways of preperation are to dredge in corn meal or flour, season with salt, and fry in a couple inches of hot oil. Usually there is nothing but the fish except for something to drink, which in our house was always milk. We all loved our smelt.

Sadly, smelt are not indigenous to the Great Lakes. They were planted as a foodfish for larger fish, such as Lake Trout, and Pike. From the time I was born, in 1855, until about 1974, the smelt ran so thick, that if you caught them in a run, you could practically walk accross the stream on their backs. If you didn' catch the run, you simply walked the stream in the daytime, and dipped the holes. In no time, you could fill a 5-gallon bucket.

Now, it takes hours of dipping, and you have to be there on the right night, when they are running. It takes a lot of dipping to get 5 gallons worth now.

I asked a local biologist about the decrease in smelt numbers. He said that there is more pressure on the smelt than when I was young. There are many more salmon, steelhead, and other predatory fish in the Great Lakes than before. Couple that with comercial fishing boats that net and sell them, and the invasive cormorants, and you can easily see why the numbers are down. In addition, since this wasn't there original biological home, they just may have peaked until the local eco-systems have adapted to their presence. He believes the smelt with never be found in the numbers that they were found in their heyday. So sad, but in actuality, better probably for the environment.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
__________________
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- https://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
Chief Longwind Of The North is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 09:37 AM   #17
Chef Extraordinaire
 
CWS4322's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rural Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 13,466
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
From the time I was born, in 1855, until about 1974, the smelt ran so thick, that if you caught them in a run, you could practically walk accross the stream on their backs. walked the stream in the daytime, and dipped the holes. In no time, you could fill a 5-gallon bucket.Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
My gosh, CLoN, I had no idea you were born in 1855! No wonder you know so much about cooking and techniques...you've had so much longer to master these skills than the average Joe. May I have permission to use this as an example of comma placement?
__________________
I've got OCD--Obsessive Chicken Disorder!
https://www.discusscooking.com/forums...les-76125.html
CWS4322 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 09:44 AM   #18
Executive Chef
 
justplainbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Eastern Long Island, New York
Posts: 4,206
Comma placement notwithstanding, the blurb provides some interesting info. Wondering if the smelt was introduced in 1955.
justplainbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 09:53 AM   #19
Chef Extraordinaire
 
CWS4322's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rural Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 13,466
Quote:
Originally Posted by justplainbill View Post
Comma placement notwithstanding, the blurb provides some interesting info. Wondering if the smelt was introduced in 1955.
I have a warped sense of humor. I laughed until tears were rolling down my checks re: the comma placement. It was "Today's Funny" for me.
__________________
I've got OCD--Obsessive Chicken Disorder!
https://www.discusscooking.com/forums...les-76125.html
CWS4322 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 11:02 AM   #20
Master Chef
 
CharlieD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: USA,Minnesota
Posts: 9,538
If you are buying sprats you should be able to buy smoked smelt in the same store I bet. I know for fact they sell it here in MN.
__________________
You are what you eat.
CharlieD is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
None

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:27 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.