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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In this type of weather, how long do you smoke your fish?
Got a big chief, got a batch going in the early am!
Thanks for any help.
Wilson
 

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I just finished a batch in my Big Chief. 5 pans of smoke 4 1/2 hrs. and then put the bigger pieces in a 350 oven for 15 minutes. Dry and smoky on the outside nice and firm and moist on the inside. You want them done but not dry.

Smaller pieces were eaten before before it make it to the container!!

I smoke mine skinless though in about 1-2 inch thick pieces about 6-10 strips.

I have been doing it this way for a long time and find most people love it. It will only last 1 day as a bag will go in the drift boat in the morning.
 

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Well that all depends on the size of your cuts, I would say pieces that are 1 inch thick would go for about 6-8 hours with out insulation (only in this cold windy weather). If your using the box as a insulator make sure you have plenty of holes at the top for that smoke to escape or else your finish product well be too smoky, using a box should take around 4-5 hours.
If your really pressed for time you can always smoke for a few hours and finish off in a 225 degree oven.
 

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I did a batch in my Smokey Mountain last weekend. Took six hours at 160 degrees. It rained the whole time and the outside temperature was around 50 degrees. The propane heat seems to dry fish faster than the electric heat from a Big Chief (which I also use on occasion).
 

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What matters is temperature, not how long you smoke it. The temperature in a Big or Little Chief changes a lot depending on exposure to wind, sun and outdoor temperature. Stick an instant read thermometer into your smoker so you can monitor what's going on in your smoker. 6 hours or 5 pans at 220ºF and you'll have jerky. 12 hours at 75ºF and it won't be done. There are lots of discussions about brining and smoking on the recipe board, below.
 

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The air temp will play a big part of the smoking time in your Big Chief. In the cooler weather I do insulate my Big Chief, I have found it speeds things up. I use 3-4 pans of chips and about 6-8 hours in the Chief, if it is not done I will finish it in big cake pans in the oven for a little while at 325 degrees. It is kind of a baby sitting job for me :cheers:
 

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I did a batch in my Little Chief a couple of weeks ago!

I had it in the smoker for almost 24 hours - but only 3 pans. Steelhead. Pieces about 1/2 inch thick. I checked it before I was going to do the fourth pan - thought it looked pretty good.

In hindsight - I wished I did the oven thing. The fish was smoked - not sure a fourth pan would have made a difference, but the fish was underdone. Not bad mind you - but a bit undercooked. Part of that might have been the fish - this was a summer steelhead that was not that firm going into the brine.

My point - finishing off the fish in the oven is probably the way to go under these conditions - not sure a Little Chief can keep the temps up in these conditions. Warning - if you do use the oven, make sure all in your family love the smell of smoked fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
24 hours in the smoker! Sounds like your smoker is bad.
I'm shooting for 4 to 5 hours then 20 to 30 in oven with a honey glaze.
So far so good, running about 220 degrees.
Then it's "honey I need a :cheers: and some napkins."
 

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I'd be checking the plug/cord or element on the Little Chief... it just should not take that long. I usually do mine with a pan of apple followed by two pans of hickory. A full load takes about 8-9 hours depending on the outside temps.
 

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140ºF for 5 to 6 hours will finish thick hunks of salmon ... 220º or 365º or 12 hours will leave you with pemikan! Use a thermometer to monitor what you're doing. Remember, too, the chips are for flavor, not a source of heat. Once the fish has a mantle it isn't going to absorb much more smoke flavor.
 

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2 pans...in first 2 1/2hrs...remove pan and finish DRYING!!

summer..4hrs with box insulator, days like today...about 10hrs, with box insulator.

Like Pete says..smoke is for flavor...after 2 pans it is sealed and your only cooking it after that, if you continue to use smoke. added pans just means added layers of creasote.

:cheers:
 
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