Smoked mackerel

Smoked mackerel

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Ingredients for Cooking Smoked Mackerel

  1. Mackerel as needed
  2. Coarse salt (without iodine) for each carcass 1 tablespoon or to taste
  • Main ingredients Mackerel
  • Serving 1 serving
  • World Cuisine


Deep bowl, Refrigerator, Cutting board, Knife, Paper kitchen towels, Scissors, Oiled twine or thick thread, Deep plate, Tablespoon, Stainless steel tray - 2 pieces, Plastic wrap, Rope, Wood smokehouse with metal poles, Firewood , Alder sawdust - 2 handfuls

Cooking smoked mackerel:

Step 1: clean the fish.

The initial preparation of mackerel depends on what kind of fish you bought, if it is frozen, then the carcasses must be thawed naturally, that is, just lay them in a deep bowl and put in a cool place or in the refrigerator 1 - 2 hours during this time, the fish will completely melt. In no case do not try to defrost the fish in warm water, this can spoil the whole mackerel, its meat will become soft and move away from the bones. After the fish has thawed, we place each carcass on a cutting board one by one, cut off their heads, gutted from the insides, wash them under a stream of cold running water and dry the mackerel with paper kitchen towels to prevent excess moisture. Now, using a sharp, thin knife, we alternately make one small longitudinal section with an approximate length in the tail of the carcasses in 1 centimeter. We take a dense thread or oiled twine, cut it with scissors into lengths up to 20 centimeters and put 1 rope into the cuts on the tails. After we connect the ends of each twine with a tight knot so that a loop is obtained. Pour salt into a deep plate, the first preparation is finished, it is time to start salting.

Step 2: salting out the fish.

We put a couple of stainless steel trays on the kitchen table. We pick up one fish carcass and start rubbing salt into the mackerel, first inside on all the costal bones. Then outside into the skin of the fish. We don’t make much zeal, the fish will salt in any case, and with increased friction, the skin may come off, it will make the finished product not very aesthetically high-quality. Light unobtrusive salting from all sides and inside is enough, but we do not regret salt at the same time, about 1 tablespoon for each carcass. We put the salted carcasses of mackerel into trays, tighten the containers with plastic wrap so that there are no gaps, and put in the refrigerator for 7-8 hours, and best of all at night.

Step 3: Dry the fish.

After the required time, remove the fish trays from the refrigerator and remove the plastic film from each. We transfer the fish to the sink and wash the carcasses under cold running water from excess salt. After drying the mackerel with paper kitchen towels and letting it dry a little more. For example, we pull the rope in a convenient place, put carcasses on it and let them hang in this form at least 1 hour. If you have a heater it’s even better, just put it next to the hanging mackerel and turn it on to medium temperature, in 30 minutes the fish will be dry. We also prepare alder sawdust, if they are dry, put them in a deep bowl and pour a small amount of water, 2 handfuls about sawdust 4 to 5 tablespoons ordinary running water. Sawdust should not be dry, but should not be completely wet. In the first case, if they are very dry, they will start to burn, as a result, the fish will burn, and if the sawdust is very wet, then they may stop giving smoke and the fish will be smoked poorly, which can lead to poisoning.

Step 4: prepare a smokehouse and smoke fish.

Now it all depends on the type of your smokehouse in my version. This is a regular old machine with primitive appliances, so smoking will be a little primitive. Smoke at the bottom of the smokehouse in 1 centimeter we spread alder sawdust dipped in water. We put a smokehouse on fire. If it’s gas for you, then turn on the gas, if the usual one, we kindle a small fire from firewood in the lower compartment. Fire should always be medium! We put dried mackerel carcasses on metal poles so that there is a small distance between them, it’s enough 5 - 6 centimeters free space and set them on the smokehouse that began to puff. Cover the car with a lid and smoke the mackerel for 15 minutes, after we remove the lid and release smoke from the smokehouse, this will save the fish from bitterness. Then again we cover the "hot car" with a lid and we still fish 25-30 minutes until ready. After we remove the lid from the smokehouse, remove the poles with fish from it and transfer the carcasses back to the trays. Let it cool slightly, put it back on the rope and dry it in a cool place from 3 to 8 hours. After the required time has passed, we transfer the fish back to the trays and remove the oiled twine from each. Then we wrap each carcass in a plastic wrap in order to keep the mackerel from drying out, re-arrange the fish in trays and put the containers in the refrigerator. Store such a fish only in a cool place at a temperature from -2 to +3 degrees preferably no more 3 to 4 days. With longer storage, fatty tissue is oxidized, the taste and smell of the fish deteriorate. So if you have cooked a very large portion, share hot smoked mackerel with loved ones and enjoy a great fish!

Step 5: serve the smoked mackerel.

Hot smoked mackerel is delicious both hot and cold. It makes excellent salads, fish pastes, flavorful slices for sandwiches and an excellent snack for light or strong aperitifs. Some gourmets make wonderful casseroles, pies and crispy pizza from such a fish. Mackerel prepared according to this recipe is tender, the connective tissue of the fish is soft with a pronounced smoked aroma. Cook and relish with pleasure! Enjoy your meal!

Recipe Tips:

- - Mackerel can be smoked on low heat, but for 2 hours.

- - If you have a small home electric smokehouse, then you need to set the temperature to 100 degrees Celsius in it and smoke the prepared fish for 1.5 hours.

- - In addition to alder sawdust, you can use sawdust of such trees as apple, plum, cherry, oak, beech, aspen, walnut, birch. Sawdust should be without bark, it contains tar, which during smoking can give the fish a bitter taste. For smoking on the barbecue, corn cobs, poplar sawdust and nutshells are sometimes used.

- - At will, in the salt you can add spices such as red ground pepper, black ground pepper, chopped lemongrass or any other spices that are suitable for smoking.