An Easy Brine Recipe for Smoked Fish

If you're making smoked fish for the first time, you'll want to prepare a brine recipe for smoked fish before you place it on your grill or smoker. While your choice of wood chips will make a huge difference in the flavor of your smoked fish, you'll find the brine will also make a noticeable difference. It is especially helpful when you are smoking non-oily fish, which tends to dry out too much while being smoked. However, it also works well on oily fish since it will add valuable flavor.

Brining is a popular way to infuse moisture and flavor into fish without adding fat or excessive amounts of seasoning. It provides a subtle, pervasive flavoring of the fish and can make a dry fish fillet juicy and flavorful. It's a simple process that requires little experience and prep time, yet can transform your smoked fish from boring and dry to plump, flavorful and moist.

A basic brine recipe for smoked fish is salt and water, but that's just for beginners. Different fish respond differently to different brining solutions. Some brines are mixtures of salt and sugar, while others use maple syrup, corn syrup or even artificial sweeteners. You can brine a fillet of fish in wine or apple cider and salt or add such flavorings as pepper, herbs, spices, citrus peels, fresh berries, cinnamon sticks, cloves or garlic. What type of brine you use will determine what flavors your smoked fish will assume.

You will always want to brine your fish in the refrigerator at a temperature of 40 degrees or lower (use bags of ice to keep temperature low if needed) so you do not risk the growth of bacteria. Invest in a large pot and move the shelves of your refrigerator so that you can place the pot of fish and brining solution in the refrigerator until you are ready to drain and cook it.

Try this smoked fish brine recipe and see if it doesn't make a fabulous smoked fish. You can also use this recipe on any other kind of fish you wish to smoke.

Smoked Fish Brine Recipe

Ingredients You Will Need:
½ cup sugar
¼ cup non-iodized salt
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1 cup white wine
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Combine all ingredients listed above in large pot. Submerge fish in brine solution and let sit in refrigerator for six to eight hours. Drain and smoke immediately over flavored/scented wood chips. Enjoy!

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