Catfish is a delicate type of meat that requires special handling. Wood chips used during smoking should be light in terms of smoky flavors and with a sweet aroma. Apple, cherry, or maple fit this description.
There are many recipes that you can follow to come up with a savory dish.
Fish should be smoked in moderation because it is a light meal and too much smoke can overshadow its original flavors. Another important factor to note is that brining is necessary to keep the catfish moist during smoking.
It also helps to enhance the flavor and texture. When choosing the spices to use in the brine or rub, go for those that are mild in terms of smell and taste.
Recipe for Smoked Catfish
- Apple or cherry wood chips
- Black pepper
- Cajun seasoning
- ½ cup hot sauce
- ½ cup water
- 6 catfish fillets
How to Smoke the Fish
- Take 2 medium-sized bowls and add water and salt to them.
- Stir the solution until the salt is dissolved.
- Dip the catfish fillets in the brine baths until they are fully immersed.
- Refrigerate the brined fish for about four hours.
- On your smoker, set a 200° F temperature and let it preheat. The temperature has to be set at the said degrees to allow the fish to suck in the smoke without cooking up too fast.
- Dry the dripping brine from the fillets using paper towels.
- Rub them with pepper, salt, cajun seasoning, and hot sauce.
- Place the wood chips inside the smoker box. Let them heat up until smoke is produced.
- Position the catfish on the grate and place the smoker’s top back in position.
- Minimize the vent’s opening up to ½ or ⅓ of its original size to lock in more smoke inside the smoker. Don’t lower or turn the smoker’s temperature throughout the process. Keep it constant.
- Set the timer at 2 hours before taking the fish off the smoker. Once you notice a change of color and texture to white and flaky, take the fish out because it’s smoked and ready.
- Wrap it up with aluminum foil and rest it on top of the grill with the burners turned off. This circulates the flavors and juices in all parts of the meats before it’s served. Leave it for 15 minutes before serving.
Also, check this amazing recipe and learn how to smoke Cod and make Killer Fish Tacos!
In conclusion, smoked catfish is a delicacy when the right recipe is followed. Avoid over smoking it or using wood that produces heavily flavored smoke. The idea is to retain the fillets’ normal taste with added smoky flavors.
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