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Smoked fish is a delicacy loved and adored by a great number of people all over the world, including me! After all, it is easy to cook and has a great number of nutrients and omega fatty acids. If you have never tried it before, this is a sign to up your culinary skills and learn how to cook this nutritious meal.
Read on to know more about smoking a fish on an electric smoker!
Benefits of Smoking Fish On An Electric Smoker
An electric smoker is useful in many ways as it can save you time and money.
When using it, you skip over a lot of processes that are traditionally involved in smoking meat like lighting up the wood, balancing out the temperature, and following safety measures.
Some additional benefits of smoking fish on an electric smoker include:
No Unnecessary Wood Purchase
Most electric smokers are designed to not require wood for the smoking process. Everything is automated by the machine and there is no need for wood to get the perfect smoked texture.
Now, if you prefer the natural flavors brought in by the wood, electric smokers are usually designed to have a separate section that gives you the option of adding it! You save a lot of money on buying wood from just a one-time purchase of an electric smoker.
The source of natural wood is also not always known, and the smoke generated in an electric smoker is machine-automated, meaning that the smoke is clean. Your fish will be comparatively much more hygienic.
Self-Assisted Temperature Control
According to me, finding and maintaining the ideal temperature can get complex for beginners.
With automated settings, you skip the hassle of lighting up a fire, waiting for the smoker based on time to reach a certain temperature, and the difficulty of maintaining a certain temperature. You can increase or decrease it according to what the recipe asks for, which can save you a lot of hard work.
An electric smoker is beginner friendly and can be used by anyone who knows how to control a microwave. Smoking meat is a difficult process with a lot of dangerous hazards that might get difficult for first-timers.
Also, looking over the fish while it smokes is a crucial part of smoking it. You have to make sure that the flames don’t rise and end up burning your fish. Since an electric smoker is always at the desired temperature, there is no need to babysit your food.
Eco-Friendly And Clean
An electric smoker is eco-friendly as it is designed to work with minimal power and exert the minimum amount of smoke. It does not pollute the air the same way a traditional process of smoking fish would have. You can also avoid buying wood, so this one-time purchase can do a lot for the environment.
They are also easy to clean as the racks are separable from the burner, making cleaning very easy. Even the place to add wood will be safe from ashes that would have been left behind if you cooked using a natural smoker.
How to Smoke Fish On An Electric Smoker?
You can smoke fish using different methods. These days, an electric smoker is preferable, since the procedure would be quick and easy.
The first thing to do would be to prepare the fish for smoking by brining it so that it retains moisture and lets it cook well. Or, I recommend making a marinade instead by simply mixing vinegar with herbs and spices.
After you are done making the brine, soak your fish in it for at least 4-6 hours, or overnight if you have the time. Next, go through the following methods to smoke your fish on an electric smoker.
- Step 1: After marinating your fish, let it rest at room temperature for around 30 minutes.
- Step 2: In the meantime, preheat your electric smoker starting at 150 Degrees Fahrenheit while your fish is drying out. Add a tray covered in aluminum foil at the bottom to catch any dripping marinade.
- Step 3: Once the air-drying time is over, place your fish in the smoker at the same temperature of 150 Degrees Fahrenheit and let it smoke for 30 – 45 minutes. It will start to dry and you will see the outer layer turning golden brown.
- Step 4: Once your fish has smoked for the time assigned, raise the temperature to 225 Degrees Fahrenheit for the rest of the cooking process.
- Step 5: The time you keep the fish in the smoker entirely depends on the size of your fish. For a full-size trout (around 10 – 12 kgs) which is the average size of fish, the smoking time is at least 2 – 3 hours.
A well-done trout will have opaque skin, with a slight, flaky texture.
If you are unsure about whether the fish has cooked well, use a cooking thermometer and push it into the thickest part of the meat. If the internal temperature is around 145 Degrees Fahrenheit, then the smoked fish is safe to eat!
Additional Tips for Smoking Fish on an Electric Smoker
Smoking meat is difficult for everyone. So if you are a beginner, here are a few things you can keep in mind to make the process easier.
- Get a digital thermometer as it is very handy for checking if the fish is well-cooked. Smoked fish is perfect to serve when the internal temperature is 145 Degrees Fahrenheit.
- Though wood or wood chips aren’t required when using an electric smoker, you can add them to the lower rack. Believe me, this will give your fish crust the musky flavor that so many chefs want to go for!
- If you are confused about what fish to smoke, the best options are fatty ones like salmon, bass, or trout. Lean fish tend to be drier and harder, so going for bigger fish is a better choice.
Which Is Better for Smoking Fish – Electric Smoker or Charcoal Smoker?
In terms of eco-friendliness and handiness, electric smokers are much better than charcoal ones. However, if you desire the extra-smoky flavor, and enjoy the process of traditional cooking, then charcoal cookers are the way to go. Let’s discuss this in detail.
Compared to a charcoal smoker, an electric one is a much more handy tool when it comes to smoking fish. It gives you a clean smoke that is much lesser and thinner in amount than the one let out by a traditional smoker. The process is shorter, easier, and has a better result.
Charcoal smokers do not give you the option of fixing a mistake if it has gone wrong somewhere. A heightened temperature sometimes results in a cooked outer crust but raw insides, which you cannot go back from.
On the other hand, an electric smoker allows the fish to smoke slowly so that it is well done everywhere.
In an electric smoker, there is hardly any risk of a fire hazard. So you can let the fish stay in it for the desired amount of time to let the insides cook.
One difference that depends on personal preference is the smokiness of the fish. Some people prefer the traditional taste, which is much smokier than fish cooked in an electric smoker.
What Is The Best Fish To Smoke In Electric Smoker?
The best fish that smokes well on an electric smoker includes fatty ones like sea bass, sailfish, or tuna.
How Do You Keep Fish Moist When Smoking?
Fish can be kept moist when smoking by brining it first as smoke drains moisture. You can also try to place the fish in a smokehouse at a temperature of 80 – 90 Degrees Fahrenheit with the doors open to make sure it remains moist on the inside.
When smoked on an electric smoker, fish gains a soft and moist texture that is unlike any other. It is compatible with all kinds of herbs, spices, and seasonings and makes for a lovely dinner at home.
Now that you know how to go about the process, make sure to try out this appetizing recipe for yourself.