View Full Version : Smoking Fish / Meats

14th Nov 2007, 11:38 AM
What is a good wood to use to smoke fish and or meat? Used to be able to get chunks of hickory from M10 but not now. I want cold smoke but am not sure of wehat local wood to use. I have all the info on how to prepare fish etc. but the info is all from the US.
I have been told that fruit wood is OK. I have access to apple wood and of course all other Tassie woods but am not sure what I need. Any good advice?:C

14th Nov 2007, 12:13 PM
Dare I say walnut.... also red gum, my old man uses mulberry and I believe sometimes he uses blackbutt if it is handy.

Wild Dingo
14th Nov 2007, 03:24 PM
Now wouldnt huon give fish a hell wonderful taste!! :2tsup: mmm must be some shavings an such around the mills go gather a whoppin great bag of it and go for it
mmmm smoked fish dddrrrrrooooooooolllllll :2tsup:... last time I had whole smoke fish was in Adelaide 25 years ago... small fish shop in Modbury if I recall rightly... might have been tea tree gully or elizabeth been a bloody good while now... but... mmmm oooooooohhh suckin the eyeballs was THE BEST!!! :2tsup: flesh wasnt to bad either :;

mind you I doubt they used Huon to smoke it though :roll:

14th Nov 2007, 05:37 PM
I have had smoked Emu and Roo and Barra all done with Aussie woods but it was done by a chef many years ago at a spiffy spot.

Do a search for Bush Tucker Foods they had some details on their web site

14th Nov 2007, 07:04 PM
I have all the info on how to prepare fish etc.

Well ernknot you can't make a statement like that without sharing. I'm looking forward to the recipe.


14th Nov 2007, 07:47 PM
Prozac just said it all - then we shall worry about which wood.


14th Nov 2007, 08:07 PM
most eucalips will work well. that is any australian hardwood.

14th Nov 2007, 09:20 PM
Thanks guys. Since my enquiry I found that all hard woods and fruit woods should be Ok. Most popular seems to be a mixture of hardwods. Favourites are river red gum, spotted gum and sheoak. I don't think huon pine would be any good because of its oil? content. I got some huon laying around the shed. Just finished the cold smoker today, waiting for the concrete for the fire box to set. Guess I'll have to chuck the net in tomorrow and get a few salmon and give it a workout. after that will have a go at sausages and bacon and then I will try beef jerky. Just love smoked bacon. I will post when I have some success.

14th Nov 2007, 09:38 PM
Just finished the cold smoker today,

You must show us your cold smoker - no time for the quickie smokers.


14th Nov 2007, 10:35 PM
One year I used dried grape vine prunings (very dry) and they worked a treat. We used to joke about it like " a chardonnay smoked snag" or " some Shiraz smoked trout".
Made no difference, they all tasted the same, but it was a hoot at the time.

15th Nov 2007, 01:27 PM
It is a bit hard because half of it is underground. I will see if I can sketch it up for you.

15th Nov 2007, 04:06 PM
I keep promising to build a cold smoker after using one that belonged to a friend many years ago. His consisted of a firebox connected by10 mtrs of pipe to an old 44gal drum with the ends cut of, thisis where he hung the goods to be smoked on stainless racks/hooks and covered the top of the drum with hessian.


15th Nov 2007, 05:20 PM
Not quite at the smoking standard, but I salted and dried some bonito some time back. I used the drying recipe out of Alice Doyles cookbook. Sort of ended up like a fish jerky. I tried it out on some Greek mates thinking that they would surely have had something similar. They all said no, that Greeks don't do dried fish, but thought the experience was ok. Great with a beer or 3!


16th Nov 2007, 08:47 PM
my tafe college lecturer a few years ago ( home butchering for broke farmers) said any wood thats red is ok for smoking ... i used the garden mulch redwood chips soaked in the dogs water trough then into the weber for smoking ham on the bone 20 minutes is usually enough ( make sure the ham is dry first)

17th Nov 2007, 02:33 PM
I keep promising to build a cold smoker after using one that belonged to a friend many years ago. His consisted of a firebox connected by10 mtrs of pipe to an old 44gal drum with the ends cut of, thisis where he hung the goods to be smoked on stainless racks/hooks and covered the top of the drum with hessian.

That's about right. Tried to attach the sketch but can't work out how to do it. Sorry.:cool::(

17th Nov 2007, 05:16 PM
Would cedar work?

19th Nov 2007, 09:30 PM
red cedar only.

red cedar is ok for hot smoking but make sure it is solid wood and has no rot or bark as these will taint the food.

20th Nov 2007, 11:13 AM
Thanks weisyboy.

What about Vegemite?

20th Nov 2007, 05:57 PM
some of the best meat I ever ate, was smoked in a webber with western red cedar

21st Nov 2007, 12:26 AM
mesquite? sp? is a timber is used a lot in the US and you can buy it in bags at big BBQ shops. Aparently it is a weed in Australia though I am told turners like it.

21st Nov 2007, 10:23 AM
I.ve heard of mesquite re smoking.

I think that we are all looking for ways to use up our shavings. BTW how fine/coarse should shavings be? Should it just be dust in a tray with heat under it?

2nd Dec 2007, 11:04 PM
I.ve heard of mesquite re smoking.

I think that we are all looking for ways to use up our shavings. BTW how fine/coarse should shavings be? Should it just be dust in a tray with heat under it?
prozac, shavings are ok as long as you can choke the fire to the point where it only smokes. I have just recently had my first try with my cold smoker. worked like a dram. I smoked some salmon using mostly apple wood mixed with some tassie oak. These were shavings. The apple wood i put through the thicknesser. No problems. Smoked the fish for 12 hours and it tastes real good. I soaked it in a brine solution of salt and brown sugar for 12 hours, gave it a good rinse in fresh water, rubbed on some olive oil and sprinkle of dill, back in the fridge overnight and into the smoker. Had some tonight with a mix of soy sauce and wasabe - beeeeutiful! What is not eaten can be vacuum packed and frozen. Keeps for a long time. Mybe I'll have a go asmoking the xmas ham? bacon? sausages? No! i have been orderd to get the other 6 salmon in the freezer smoked. Bl22dy hell, I will have to buy another thicknessesr just for the smoker.

12th Dec 2007, 10:46 PM
in the webber cook book it shows how to smoke cheese and tastes bloody good too. used jarrah to smoke it. :2tsup::cool:

13th Dec 2007, 06:42 AM
Cold smoking? I wonder if my tips would work thereabouts. It's not "fast food", though :).

We usually cold smoke sea salmons and sea trouts. Those are species having a bit more fat in their flesh, making them very suitable for cold smoking. Normal catch-size salmon is about 3-7 kg (up to 25kg or so).

For cold smoking, salmon is at first cut and boned lengthwise into two fillets and wiped dry. The fillets are rubbed with a mixture of about 50g sea salt and 20g of white sugar per kilo of fish. The fillets are then put into fridge for overnight (at least 8 hours anyway).

The cold smoking gear we use is basically a full size fridge, fully operational and running during cold smoking. It is adjusted at "warmest" in our case, taking temp inside around 10-12 Celsius degrees. The fridge is not particulary designed to cold smoking, only designated :). Otherwise it's a common fridge.

Smoke generator device is basically a electrical heating resistor (I wonder if the term is correct in english) of 12V/30W power, like the one in the picture.

It is set on the fireproof brick, connected with a power source and a 4-5 cm thick cross cutted slice of alder is put on top of it. The resistor produces enough surface heat to make the wood to smoke.

Some guys have used 40W soldering iron for this. Suitable holes are drilled in the piece of wood and the soldering iron is stuck in one of them. Should be smoke soon, and it works allright.

( There is some really high tech homemade cold smoking systems. Some of the devices them guys have wired up will send an alarm to you mobile phone if the temp rises too close to 30 deg C. Yes, it's a damn nokialand :p . )

Fish fillet surfaces are dried (wipe them dry with a knife edge) and then hanged freely by a thread in the upper part of the fridge, and the smoker is on the bottom of the fridge. Those kind of fish fillets will take about 12-24 hours of smoking, depends on temp and if more smoke aroma is wished. It's good to occasionally check out the wood and replace it time to time.

There should be no open fire of course, and generally the temperature is kept at max 20-25 degrees of Celsius. If the temp gets over 32 deg C, the albumin (? not much any biochemist ) starts to coagulate, and result is really no good.

There is two schools in cold smoking this way, others say that you should ventilate the fridge to remove the excess smoke, and others say that keep the fridge closed. Tried both ways, there is some kind of difference but can' t really say. Cold smoked fish is good anyway :2tsup:.

I haven't tried to prepare cold smoked meat, but I have heard the same gear works there. There is usually darker meat treated this way, like game. Also you should be able to use higher temperatures up to 40-50 C. It should resemble preparing stuff like smoked ham or similar. Some barbecue guys put the steaks there for a few hours before cooking.

Some pics on very similar system as ours. This is a commercial manufacturer. Sorry, in finnish only. http://www.savusampo.fi/index_tiedostot/Jaakaappi_kylmasavustimena.htm



18th Dec 2007, 08:31 PM
Thanks sumu, hadn't thought of using an actual fridge. Brilliant, as your use of an element. Looks like you guys are right into this cold smoking.

19th Dec 2007, 06:45 PM
Oh, it's nothing :).

"Hot" smoked fish is a bit more common hereabouts. A lot simpler gear, just a some mild steel bin over the fire, suitable wood chips on the bottom to make smoke and fish set on the broiling grill or just stringed up to the lid bottom. But it really is an art, too. Both my dad and my father-in-law are complete jedi masters in smoking foodstuff, both hot and cold.

About fishes good for smoking, the common ones are salmon, trout, whitefish and very common is baltic herring, sometimes bream. Anyway, fish species with a bit more fat in their flesh. They won't dry up too much during the process.

I'd like to hear more about food smoking thereabouts. We use generally only salt/sugar mixtures for spicing the fish before smoking. I wonder if you guys use any herbs or other spices to apply on fish before smoking?



19th Dec 2007, 07:13 PM
sumu, after the fish have been in the sugar/salt mixture and rinsed clean, I sprinkle the fillet with some drie dill and rub in some virgin olive oil. then it goes in the fridge over night and then into the cold smoker for about 12 hours. Tastes real good. You can use any herb or spice to your liking. Have a go and see what you think.

20th Dec 2007, 06:31 AM
Hello Ernknot,

Yes, dill both dried and fresh is known hereabouts' too. Olive oil must make the difference here. Because it is essentially fat it undoubtly takes really good smoke aroma and smoothens sometimes sharp edges of herbs. I have tried out dill alone, and just alone that way it made a bit too "metallic" (? I lack descriptive vocabularity) nuance in the smoked fish.

Ernknot, Thanks for that olive oil tip :2tsup:, should have figured out that by myself :-.

By the way, have you ever tasted the salted fish before going to smoking? In Scandinavia and Finland it's frequently eaten like that. Salt, sugar, (fresh) dill, maybe some white and black pepper and a few drops of lemon, keep overnight in the fridge, take it out and wipe dry. Then cut some thin slices on the buttered (dark) bread. Not actually sushi, but kinda raw spiced or rawpickled. I would eat that all the time :p. Salmon, trout and whitefish is generally prepared in this raw spicing way.



20th Dec 2007, 09:19 PM
that would work for me because i love sashimi dipped in a sauce made from wasabi and soy.

29th Dec 2007, 03:39 PM
By the way, have you ever tasted the salted fish before going to smoking?


Sumu, i suppose that would be similar to rollmop (herring)? Delicious.
Did you see my post above re salting and drying the fish? Skin and cut into cubes. Rub salt all over and place in fridge for 24 hrs. Rinse off salt and pat dry. Dry in sun with mesh cover over to keep out flies, or on very low heat in an open oven or similar. Sumu, you could probably use the smoking fridge for this with the temp up a bit.

When the fish is dry it is chewy like jerky. Great with beer.