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These are different processes from Scotch smoking which is cold smoking- the fish remains raw. Kippering and barbecuing are hot smoke processes where the fish is cooked. In barbecuing you have no control over the heat; the smoke is hot only. The fish is placed in a pre-heated smoke oven and kept there until cooked. The only control is smoke on or off during prolonged cooking. In kippering you gradually bring up the heat to condition the fish before final hot smoking and cooking.
The salting procedures are the same for both cooking methods. You can kipper or barbecue whole sides for special occasions but pieces of fillets cut according to thickness is easier to salt and smoke cook.
You can dry salt, plain or mixed, whole sides and wet brine, plain or mixed, pieces. Thick sides are hard to dry salt so either slice into two thinner fillets or inject brine.
Plain salt:Score the skins as for dry salting before Scotch curing and place the salt the same way. The time required is ⅓ as much as for Scotch smoking and ⅙ if brine is injected. This is because Scotch smoked fish must be thoroughly conditioned so as to be able to slice it thinly but here we are just adding enough salt for flavor. Also Scotch smoked fish is an appetizer, a tid-bit and can be salty to the taste but kippered and barbecued fish is a main course. After dry salting, simply rinse off the salt and drain before cooking.
Salt mixes: add ¾ cup white or brown sugar to each 2¼ c pickling salt and optionally add up to 50 bay leaves, 8 tsp pepper, 2 tb mace, 7 tsp allspice, 2 ¼ tb cloves, or 2 tb juniper berries.
Prepare the side for salting as for dry salting for Scotch smoking and place the salt as for Scotch smoked fish. The time required is ½ as much as for Scotch smoked fish or ¼ if brine is injected.
Plain Brine: Prepare brine [2 ½ c salt to 2 qt water] and cool to 50 deg. Keep fish and brine cool at all times. Stir pieces from time to time. The time required is about ⅜ as much as for plain brining for Scotch smoking. Drain fish coming out of the brine before smoking/cooking.
Sugar-Spice Brine: Prepare brine as for Scotch smoked sugar spice brine. Time: ⅜ as much as Scotch smoked method. Drain fish coming out of the brine before smoking/cooking.
Reusing brines: Because the fish has absorbed sugar and salt and released water, you must bring the brine back up to strength by adding more salt or mix. Use a salinometer to be accurate and bring back up to 90deg salinity.
Smoking Kippered Salmon: Drying- is important for appearance and flavor. During drying the salt soluble protein protein from the fish forms a skin on the surface called a pellicle which combines with the smoke for a pleasant appearance and most of the smoke flavor. Methods of drying include hanging under building eaves in a breeze out of the sun, with a fan, a forced draft smoker and a small clear fire in a natural draft smoker. Dry at 100 deg with maximum draft for 1 ½ hr [forced draft] or 3-4 hours [natural draft].
First smoking- 1 hr, medium density at 100 deg.
Tempering- is gradual as opposed to sudden heating and is important for appearance and quality, so soluble protein juice does not pool on the surface and form curds or the flesh dry unevenly and crack.
Gradually raise the temp to 175 with medium smoke over an hour.
Second Smoking- 1 hr at max. smoke at 175. Take thinner pieces out of the smoker now and give the thick pieces 1 more hour.
Barbecued fish: after salting or brining, place in a hot pre-heated smoker and cook until fish flakes readily.
Storage: of kippered or barbecued fish. Cool as quickly as possible.
Do not wrap before it has cooled or it will spoil. Freeze the surplus promptly.
Extracted from: Smoking Salmon & Trout by Jack Whelan. Published by: Airie Publishing, Deep Bay, B.C. ISBN: 0-919807-00-3 Posted by: Jim Weller Submitted By JIM WELLER On 11-03-95