Smoke-Cook Your Catch by Tiffany Haugen
Ever crave the robust flavor of smoky fish but don’t have time to slow-smoke your catch?
Or perhaps you feel like cooking outside but don’t want to have to tend to the grill in blustery weather? Less messy than grilling, smoke-cooking is an easy, tasty solution.
Smoke-cooking can be accomplished in many ways. Unless you have a stovetop smoker, safe for using indoors, smoke-cooking must be done outdoors.
A smoker, gas or charcoal grill, will all get the job done. I find smoke-cooking easiest and most efficient in my Camp Chef Smoke Vault. Propane smokers are nice for smoke-cooking because most will easily reach 300º-325º and stay consistent.
A gas or charcoal grill will also work, just be sure to get the chips smoking (either in a smoker box or foil pouch with vent holes) before putting the fish in and keep the temperature as close to 300º as possible.
When smoke-cooking, I like to use an internal thermometer so I never have to open the smoker or grill. This maximizes the smoke flavor of the fish, ensures perfect doneness and keeps cooking worry-free. Suggested woods for smoke-cooking fish include maple, alder, apple or cherry.
Simple Citrus Salmon
1 fillet salmon or steelhead (3-6 servings)
1 orange & zest
1 tablespoon fresh fennel or dill
1-2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Place fillet skin-side down in a shallow dish or a double-foil tray.
Salt and pepper fish to taste.
Using a fine grater or microplane, zest about 1/2 tablespoon of the orange.
Squeeze orange over salmon, covering with juice.
Let sit 15 minutes at room temperature.
Sprinkle zest and fennel or dill over top of salmon and drizzle with olive oil.
Place in a preheated 300º-325º smoker 20-30 minutes or until fish flakes in large chunks or reaches an internal temperature of 140º. Parsley, basil or scallions can be substituted for fennel or dill and lemons and/or limes can be used instead of an orange.
Maple Smoked Honey Halibut
2 pounds halibut steaks, 1” thick
Honey Maple Marinade
1/3 cup raspberry or white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 cloves garlic, pureed
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Here’s one for bottom fish lovers, and it also works on salmon and steelhead.
In a medium bowl, mix marinade ingredients.
Add halibut and marinate 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.
Let fish sit at room temperature 20 minutes prior to smoking.
Preheat smoker to 300º-325º.
Discard marinade and place fish in a shallow dish or a double-foil tray.
Cook 25-40 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 140º.
Top with Herbed Honey Butter if desired.
Herbed Honey Butter
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, parsley, basil and/or chives, chopped
1 teaspoon honey
Salt to taste
In a small bowl, mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined.
- written by Tiffany Haugen
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