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deerdragger

Tulibee smoking tips?

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I stumbled into a decent Tulibee bite last night, managed to put 8 fish on the ice (16-17 inchers). I've had them smoked in the past by a butcher shop near Detroit Lakes - I'm looking to smoke these myself. I have a smoker that I converted from charcoal to gas (one of those round/tall ones), but I've never used it.

Any tips as to the brine/marinade prior to smoking? Any suggestions as to the smoking time, or indicators as to when the fish is done?

Thanks in advance for any replies.

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Nobody with any tips for a novice smoker? Heck, I don't even know which end of the fish to light.

Hmph.

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I hate to offer advice when I don't really have any experience with smoking tulibees specifically. I'd just start out with a basic salt, brown sugar, and water brine. Maybe add a little black pepper(??), or something sweet (??)

I've really only done salmon. If you have a way to keep the tulibees whole and hang them instead of laying them on racks - I might be tempted to try that??

As far as temperatures - I'd shoot for about 170 in the smoker, and monitor the internal temperature of the thickest part of the biggest fish. Should be done when you hit 160 - 165 (??)

I'm curious what others have to say.

~T

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pretty much any fish will smoke about the same, but tullibee are closely related to trout and salmon and pretty much smoke up about the same way. Just make a brine with canning salt and sugar (about 1 cup each in a gallon of water) and soak for 6 to 8 hours. Smoke at low to medium heat (125 to 170 F.) for as long as it takes for the skin to easily peel away and the meat to pull away from the bones at the thickest part. This will be variable, but generally a few hours at lower heat. You really don't want to "cook" the fish-you are more or less drying them. In saying that, you should take pains to make sure they are not raw, but the method of the bone pulling away from the meat is a pretty much sure fire way of telling. As far as the smoke goes, any fruit or nut bearing wood is good. I use maple and oak quite a bit, as I have a lot of it on my land and I kind of like the feeling I get by using what is available readily to me, plus it has a darn nice flavor. I like to soak my chunks for about a day so they smolder without flaming out. I generally use chunks about the size of half a beer can. It don't take much smoke to get a good flavor either. Most of the smoke is absorbed at the beginning of the process, and too much will just darken the skin and give it a bitter taste. A nice deep rich golden brown color is what you will want the finished product to look like. You will undoubtedly have some interesting if not bad results the first few times of smoking; it is an art that needs to be mastered by failure and success. Take notes on the whole process as you go. If you do run into undercooked meat, you can cheat at the end by nuking whatever you have smoked to be sure it isn't raw. Also, there are many a thread on this forum about smoking if you dig into the archives. Good luck and have a blast!

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Canning salt, brown sugar in a 1:2 cup ratio, tablespoon garlic salt, tablespoon onion powder and 1/2 gallon water 1/2 gallon apple cider, shake well Brine overnight in a chilled area occassionally agitating the fish, take them out, pat them dry with a paper towel and smoke at 160 degrees untill done. I like to run 3 pans of smoke in the first hour and then just let them cook. Should be done in 3-5 hours depending how well the temp is maintained.

Hope this helps, Tunrevir~

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time for smoking is cut by taking the fillets off of the backbone. Some like them whole, some only fillets. I think they are good both ways. In my opinion, it's easier to smoke them fillets only. skin side down on rack. Whole I prefer to hang them. Any of the brines mentioned are good. By sticking to the 1cup salt and 1cup brown sugar to one gallon water,or similar, you can vary your soak time of your fish without tooo much worry about getting too salty. Generally speaking your fish will take the taste of the brine so once you find one you like, It's easy to duplicate. Have a great time, Good luck smoking, Brent

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I liked the Hi Mountain Fish Brine. Very good flavor and got a good color to it also.

My first time smoking tulibee's was a couple of years ago, and when I had some friends taste it, they asked me where I bought it? That made me feel pretty good.

My only advice, is to make sure it is compeltely smoked/cooked, not good when you run into a half cooked chuck of meat.

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I use 1 cup canning(non iodized)salt to 1 gallon water. To that I add 3/4 teaspoon sodium nitrate. Soak overnight. Rinse well and dry. I have two smokers and they don't smoke the same. Heat locations and vents will make a difference on time. 165-190 degrees. What ever you do don't dry out the fish. Knowing when to pull it out of the smoker is critical in order to have good smoked fish. What looks a hair undercooked while hot will be dried out when its cooled down. The skin should peal away easily and the meat should pull away from the rib bones cleanly. Best way to check for doneness if your not sure is take a section fish out of the smoker and cool it down in the fridge. The oils will have firmed up but the meat should be moist but firm and like I said the meat should pull away from the entire skeleton.

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Frank's got it - the rinsing part is important unless you like the fish on the salty side. I would split the fish down the backbone but don't cut through the skin - leave the skin intact between the two halves. Lay them skin side down on your racks. I like to smoke on the cool side with plenty of smoke for 4 to 5 hours - the fish will turn a nice golden brown if they are done right - then I turn the heat up for the last 10 - 15 minutes just to make sure they are cooked. You can usually tell when they are done when the liquid stops oozing up through the flesh, but it really takes a little practice, so if the first batch doesn't turn out, take note of what you didn't like about the first batch and try it again - good luck.

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Thanks for all the tips. I ended up soaking the fish in a brine solution of water, tender-quick, brown sugar, woersh. sauce and soy. Smoked 8 fish on Saturday and could not have been happier with the results, though I'm anxious to try some different brines. I'd like a sweeter taste.

The tullibee bite continues, I managed to nab 8 more nice fish as the sun rose on Saturday morning.

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I'm with 1tofish. I use high mountain brine for smoking salmon and other fish. It is very tasty and everyone that tries it likes it. You won't be dissatisfied either.

Where are you getting these tullibee anyway because I would love to smoke some myself.

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I'm catching them on Pokegama, Windigo Arm (down by Trooptown), in about 30 feet of water. They come through about 15-20 feet below the ice. A guy needs to be willing to move around as the schools really travel.

I'm getting most fish on a traditional tullibee rig (daredevil spoon tied on upside-down - treble removed - with about 14 inches of mono tied to the end, a small ice jig tipped w/ a waxie on the end). Jig the heck out of it.

I'm usually a little more guarded in sharing a good fishing spot, but it seems that so few people target these fish.

Good luck!

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is there a preferred type of wood chunks too use when smoking tullibees?

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