Smoked Trout in Apple Juice Brine
- I soaked the Lost Creek Rainbow Trout for about 6 hours in a mild
- brine solution that was made by adding a small amount of salt to
- apple juice. I feel the salt favor is necessary when smoking fish,
- but I did rinse the brine solution from the fish before placing
- them on the smoker, as too much salt detracts from the flavor. The
- apple flavor was mild but very pleasant. In my next attempt I would
- try for more apple flavor by adding more frozen apple juice
- concentrate and a bit less water to the brine mixture.
I smoked the fish for about 2.5 hours over oak chips (actually Jim Beam chipped oak whisky barrels) using my electric heating element. The fish were very moist as the left over brine solution, and some cheap red wine, that I put in the water bowl of the smoker had not evaporated. I placed the smaller trout just above the water bowl and the larger trout with some sweet potatoes on the upper grill; the upper grill typically is somewhat hotter(?). Perhaps the larger fish will have more of a smoky flavor, but I have only eaten the smaller fish so far. As suggested by a posting to the this newsgroup, I did not soak the wood chips. I think this make sense, especially with the electric heating element, as wet wood has to first dry out and then smolder, whereas dry wood smolders more quickly and thus provides more smoke, if you keep adding chips every 30 minutes or so. When using charcoals for heat it might make sense to soak some of the wood as you typically want to control (diminish) the heat of the charcoal, and the water in the soaked wood placed on the hot coals helps.