A smoked dish is considered a delicious appetizer that diversifies the usual menu. It is not always possible to buy a quality delicacy in a store. Therefore, it is important to know the recipe for cold smoked mackerel in a smokehouse. Properly cooked fish on the festive table will always delight guests.
Selection and preparation of fish
Before you smoke mackerel in a cold smoked smokehouse, you need to choose fresh fish and properly prepare it for the procedure.
It is recommended to smoke freshly caught mackerel or chilled. When choosing fish, you should pay attention to the following points:
- carcasses without a sticky, matte coating;
- pupils without clouding, and eyes without film;
- the gills should not be slippery;
- there is no mucus on the gills;
- the product is free of foreign odors.
If it is not possible to purchase fresh fish, you can take frozen one. The ice layer should not be large. A small test after defrosting will indicate the correct storage of such a product - when you press the fish meat, the cavity that has arisen should disappear immediately.
Preparing mackerel for smoking:
- If frozen carcasses are taken for cooking, it is recommended to defrost them gradually, without using a microwave oven. To do this, the fish can be placed in a bowl of water and left overnight on the table to thaw.
- Fresh or melted fish is washed well with water, the head is removed, the entrails are taken out and the black film that is in its belly is cleaned.
- If you plan to smoke the whole product, you do not need to remove the tail and fins.
There are many ways to add salt to mackerel before cooking. Whichever option is chosen, the finished dish will turn out to be tender, juicy and aromatic.
The nuances of dry salting of mackerel:
- The carcasses must be rubbed with salt from the tail to the head. It is also recommended to put it in the belly and under the gills. For 1 kg of fish, you need to take about 120 g of salt.
- You can also mix garlic, onion, ground pepper, laurel, cloves and salt to taste. For the tenderness of mackerel, it is advised to add 25 g of sugar to the mixture.
- Salt or a ready-made salting mixture is poured into a bowl in a layer. Then the carcasses should be laid out tightly with their belly up. Sprinkle each layer of fish with salt. From above it is recommended to press down with something heavy.
Prepared fish is sent to the refrigerator for 1-2 days. It is important not to forget to turn it over every 6 hours.
Dry mix for smoking mackerel will help make it fragrant, tasty and beautiful
You can make cold smoked mackerel in a smokehouse using a liquid marinade. The brine is prepared as follows:
- 50 g of salt and spices to taste are added to water heated to 80 degrees.
- The mixture is thoroughly mixed until smooth.
Pour the prepared marinade over the fish and put in a cool place. With the help of marinating, the degree of salting of carcasses is controlled. To obtain lightly salted smoked meat, mackerel is pre-soaked in chilled clean water.
Marinade helps control the salinity of future smoked mackerel
After marinating, it is recommended to rinse the fish well to remove excess salt. Then it should be dried with paper towels and hung out in the fresh air for at least 12 hours. It is imperative to insert wooden spacers into the abdomens for better drying and further smoking.
It is important to ensure that the fish are not exposed to direct sunlight or attacked by insects.
Advice! In order for cold smoked mackerel to be really tasty in a smokehouse, it must be dried and dried, otherwise the smoke will stick to the skin, which will lead to a bitter fish taste and an unpleasant odor.
How to cook cold smoked mackerel in a smokehouse
Before starting to smoke fish, it is important to choose the right wood chips and prepare the device for the procedure. Carcasses must be hung in a smoking cabinet and cooked according to a special scheme.
Choosing wood chips and preparing the smokehouse
For a homemade delicacy to be of high quality and tasty, it is important to choose the right wood. When smoked with dry wood, the fish will have a rich color and tart smell. Damp knots will give it a golden color and delicate taste.
Chip preparation rules:
- firewood must be cleaned of bark, inside of which there is resin, it can cause the formation of burning, which will ruin the finished product and the walls of the smokehouse;
- to avoid bitterness in the finished product, do not take needles for smoking;
- chips must be free of rotten or moldy areas;
- all chips should be approximately the same size, since if you smoke both small and large fractions at the same time, you can provoke a fire and spoil the fish.
For smoking mackerel, it is recommended to use a homemade smokehouse, which consists of a cooking chamber, firebox and chimney.
Making a smokehouse:
- A hole is dug in the ground, in which there will be a fire.
- It is necessary to lay a trench from the pit to the smoking chamber through which the smoke will flow. The dug moat must be covered with boards on top and covered with earth.
- As a camera, you can take a large metal barrel without a bottom. It needs to be covered with a film. If you plan to make fish often, the smokehouse must be planked or covered with bricks.
You can also carry out cold smoking of mackerel in the smokehouse from a cylinder. Empty containers can be used to create such a device.
You can't do with a homemade smokehouse for cooking food in an apartment. Since the equipment must not smoke for safety reasons, complete tightness is important. For cold smoking in an apartment, it is recommended to buy a smoke generator that runs on electricity. It also consists of a cooking chamber and a container for chips, which are connected to each other with a special hose.
The scheme will help you make a homemade smokehouse
It does not matter which smoking option is chosen, in the end, positive reviews will be received about the smokehouse for cold smoking mackerel - the finished product will have an exquisite, delicate, aromatic taste.
Smoking mackerel in a cold smoked smokehouse
Cold smoked mackerel in a home smokehouse is prepared as follows:
- The prepared carcasses are placed in a suspended form in the smokehouse so that they do not touch each other - the smoke should envelop them from all sides.
- Light a fire (in a homemade smokehouse) or wood chips (in a smoke generator). It is important to ensure that the smoke temperature does not exceed 30 degrees.
- For the first 12 hours, the smoke should penetrate to the fish smoothly. Then you can take short breaks in the cooking process.
At the end of the smoking procedure, it is important to hang the fish out for airing and only then send it to the table or store it in a cool place.
How much to smoke mackerel in a cold smoked smokehouse
On average, smoked meats are cooked in a smokehouse for 1-2 days. The processing time depends on its quality and the conditions for carrying out this procedure.
The finished smoked product is packed in film or foil and stored in the refrigerator for 10 days.
Smoked mackerel can also be frozen. It is allowed to store it in the freezer for no longer than three months. It is recommended to defrost the finished product in a microwave oven.
Smoked fish can be stored longer than cooked otherwise
Cold smoked mackerel recipe in a smokehouse will help you prepare a delicious and high-quality delicacy on your own. Such fish consists of nutrients that have a positive effect on human well-being. If you follow the smoking technology correctly, you can get not only a delicious homemade product, but also a healthy one.