One of my very first experiments when learning how to use a smoker was King Mackeral.
My husband proudly presented me with a humongous fish that he had just reeled in from the Gulf of Mexico. YIKES! What to do? Well, since that day, I have become quite proficient in not only using my electric smoker in actually smoking the fish, but my smoked fish dip has made me quite popular with the neighbors!
Preparation is the key in how to use a smoker with success and I start out by brining the fish fillets:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sea salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 quarts of water
Mix sugar, salt, garlic, lemon and water. Soak fish in
mixture for four hours, turning every half-hour or so. Remove the
fish and rinse gently. Allow it to dry on a rack until a glaze forms.
Next soak your wood chips .... I like to use hickory and I soak it in a water and beer mix.
The smoking usually takes between 4-6 hours at about 250F. I start checking for doneness after 4 hours....the fish should be a dark rich color and flake when you break it.
As for my special recipe for dip? I got it out of Florida Sportsman Hook to Table Book many years ago:
1 cup smoked kingfish
3/4 cup equal portions of sour cream and yogurt
2 tbsp finely minced celery
2 tbsp sweet pickle relish
1/2 small sweet onion finely diced
Squeeze of lemon juice
Dash of garlic powder
S & P to taste
Combine all ingredients and chill for a few hours in the fridge to let the flavors mingle and marry. Serve with your favorite crackers and cold beer. How to use a smoker ..... does it get better than this?