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Because the fish is hot smoked and inclined to crumble, cut the side into canned sized pieces before smoking. Use a 80 deg sal brine: 5 cups salt per 4 qt water.
: Piece thickness Time : ½" 10 min : ¾" 20 min : 1" 30 min : 1½" 40 min : 2" 1 hr Smoking must be minimized to avoid harsh flavor in the finished product, but drying is important for quality. For forced draft smokers with hot plates, smoke 2 ½ hrs at 110 deg F, and dry two more hours without smoke.
Fro natural draft smokers, smoke 7 hours low smoke or 3 ½ hrs medium smoke and finish drying two hours in a very low oven with the door ajar. Skin the pieces while still warm. Pack jars or cans as full as possible finishing with small strips. Process.
N.B. IMPROPERLY CANNED FISH OR ANY OTHER FOOD CAN CARRY BOTULISM - A DEADLY POISON!
Always process in a pressure cooker. Meat and fish are particularly susceptible to botulism. If you have any doubts about a canned product- do not taste it. Always boil home canned products at least 10 minutes before consuming. Never use any canned foods that show any sign of spoilage. Bulging can ends and jar lids usually indicate spoilage. When you open containers, check for off odours, froth, foam or mold.
How to control botulism:
Botulism type E bacteria are found in fish intestines, gills and in mud from the sea. They thrive in the absence of oxygen in low acid environments. 5% salt retards growth but smoked salmon runs 1 to 4% only. Prompt removal of guts and gills followed by thorough washing of the belly cavity reduces contamination by as much as 90%. Bacteria can grow, albiet slowly, in temps as low as 5 deg C so immediate icing of fish and dropping the temp below 4 deg and maintaining until eaten will keep them safe.
When pressure cooking, the heat must penetrate into the centre of the can. Every last bit of food must reach 240 deg F [118 deg C] to be safe. Test your gauge for accuracy periodically. Use pint jars or smaller. Or you can use small enamel lined ½ lb or 1 lb tin cans.
Process 2 hours at 10 lb pressure. 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