A guide on smoking your fish at home, including information about home smokers in the UK, wood chips and also detailed instructions on how to smoke mackerel. Anybody can home smoke – it is really easy!
Smoking your own fish (or other things for that matter) is much easier than people imagine. On this page you will see in step by step detail exactly how to make your own delicious smoked mackerel fillet.
The method demonstrated can be used for any fish or other meat or vegetable. We have given some alternative ideas below but it really is just a question of experimenting.
The methods given for home smoking are not necessarily the only way or the correct way but they are what works for us.
Equipment needed for Home Smoking
There are different ways of smoking fish, both hot smoking and cold smoking. We are demonstrating the method of hot smoking which is far quicker.
We supply two types of hot smokers:
1) An outdoor smoker with it’s own independent burners. These are great for taking out and about.
2) A stove top home smoker that is suitable for gas, electric, induction or open fire including barbeque.
We also have a mini indoor or outdoor smoker (not pictured).
WOOD CHIPS / DUST
Different smoking chips produce different flavours. Some give a stronger flavour than others so it’s really down to personal preference. It’s good fun experimenting with the different smoking chips and dusts available. It is not advisable to make your own due to possibility of contamination, for example oil from a chain saw. Also some woods including many soft woods will give the food a resin taste which is unpleasant.
The important thing to remember when experimenting with different woods is not to use too much. It is a common mistake to tip lots of dust into the bottom of the smoker but all that is needed is approximately 1 – 1½ tablespoons of dust.
How to home smoke Mackerel Fillets
Preparing your mackerel fillets prior to smoking
As mackerel is an oily fish, it is advisable to soak your fillets in a saline solution for 20 minutes before smoking them as this helps to dry the fish out a little which helps the smoking process and improves the flavour of the fish. This is also true for other oily fish such as salmon. Non oily fish can simply be seasoned with a little salt before smoking.
Make a saline solution by mixing salt with water. This video demonstrates how to make a saline solution using the optimal quantities of salt and water.
When you have made your saline solution soak the mackerel fillets for about 20 minutes.
Smoking your mackerel fillets
This video gives full instructions on using a home smoking oven to smoke mackerel fillets.
Some more home smoking ideas
Chicken, duck, pigoen and pheasant breast are all delicious smoked. All you need to do to prepare the poultry breast for smoking is to make sure it is dry and add a little seasoning. Smoke the breasts whole and then slice them and serve! While it is important to make sure the breasts are cooked properly, be careful not to over-smoke them as they will become a little dry.
Mussels, scallops and other molluscs can be smoked. Scallops can be smoked from raw as they only take a small amount of time to cook and could become tough if cooked and then smoked. However, it is advisable to used cooked mussels for smoking.
Yes – eggs! Hard boiled eggs are lovely smoked. Again all you need is a little seasoning and pop them in the smoker whole.
Venison and beef can both be smoked. Simply use a little seasoning and smoke from raw then slice after smoking. Cooking times will depend on the size of the steak.
Any type of sausage can be enhanced by smoking. Again cook from raw. It is probably not necessary to season sausages prior to smoking as they are normally already seasoned.