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Salty Halibut

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My wife has been asking for some smoked fish so I thought I would give it a try this weekend. I cured about 5lbs of (what I think was) halibut for 4 days in Tender Quick and water. I then hot smoked the fillets for 4 hours between 200-250* over a water pan separating two smoldering maple fires. I seasoned both sides with a grill creations lemon seasoning.

Anyhow, I ended up throwing all except 1/2 pound of the fish away because it was too salty to eat. I've used the grill creations seasoning many times before so I don't think that was the problem. In one of my books it says I should have rinsed the fillets before smoking -- I'm guessing that added to the problem. Then I'm also wondering if the extended cure time was the biggest culprit. Anyhow, I don't want to ruin any again so any input is appreciated.

The only reason I don't know what the fish was is a friend brought it home from Alaska with a bunch of salmon and I just can't remember what the white fish he gave us was. Halibut is the only thing that comes to mind.

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When I smoke fish I always rinse it, that may be part of it. The other part may be you over cured it. When I am curing fish for smoking such as whitefish and trout, I typically cure it for half maybe less than half the time I would typically do trout for.

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Length of brine should depend on thickness of the fish you are smoking IMO. Fish thickness 1" or less- max soak of 24hrs. 4 days way too long unless fish was mega thick. I have never used tender quick for smoking, just canning and pickling salt. Rinsing definitely cuts down the saltiness, but I don't think it would be the culprit.

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Thanks guys. I'm sure it's just a combo of not rinsing and over curing. Slabs were under 1-1/2" thick. It was still a fun day smoking.

Do you guys cold or hot smoke? I don't have a good cold setup and probably coulda just skipped the cure.

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