Brined and Smoked Smelt

Total Time:
3 hr 50 min
Prep:
20 min
Inactive:
30 min
Cook:
3 hr

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 24 smelt, cleaned with head and tails left on
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries
  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 pound ice
Directions
  • Rinse the smelt in cool running water. Set aside.

  • Place all of the remaining ingredients, except the ice, into the electric kettle. Bring to a boil. Add the ice and stir until the mixture is cooled. Transfer the liquid to a 1-gallon ziptop bag along with the smelt. Seal and place in a container so that all of the fish are in the brine. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

  • Remove the smelt from the brine, rinse and pat dry. Place them onto a paper towel lined sheet pan, layering with paper towels in between if they won't fit in one layer. Allow to dry in the refrigerator overnight.

  • The next day, place the smelt onto racks, belly side down, separating them by at least 1/4-inch and place into a smoker. Turn the smoker on so that it maintains a temperature of 150 to 160 degrees F. Adjust heat as needed and cook for approximately 3 hours or until desired level of doneness.


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    Brined and Smoked Smelts

    Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown