Home Sportsman's Kitchen

Fake-smoked fish dip?

jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,343 Moderator
OK, here's one to get the creative juices flowing: I want to make smoked kingfish dip, but I have no smoker. Can I do an approximation on my grill with wood chips in a pan, or by cooking the fish on a wooden plank at a low temp for a long period?

Creative thoughts welcomed.
Hobie Kayak angler for life!

Replies

  • NSB PhotogNSB Photog Posts: 541 Officer
    Gas grill? How many burners?
  • SHELLFISHSHELLFISH Posts: 108 Deckhand
    How about a little liquid smoke? Just saying.
    You could probably make do with a couple of twigs or shavings of a stronger tasting wood like Hickory in a pan in your grille
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,343 Moderator
    NSB Photog wrote: »
    Gas grill? How many burners?
    Gas Grill, 3 burners.
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,343 Moderator
    SHELLFISH wrote: »
    How about a little liquid smoke? Just saying.
    You could probably make do with a couple of twigs or shavings of a stronger tasting wood like Hickory in a pan in your grille
    Yeah, I was thinking about this. Do they sell liquid smoke at the supermarket or is that a specialty item?
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • NSB PhotogNSB Photog Posts: 541 Officer
    Soak a couple of chunks of hickory or mesquite in water for awhile.

    If your grill has an upper rack, remove the grill grate.

    Light the far right burner (or the far left, your choice.) and place it on low. Put a chunk as close to the burner as you can (right on the flavor bar, rocks, whatever your grill has hovering above the burner, etc.)

    Place fish on opposite side of grill, and close lid.

    Drink beer, smell the smoke, and wait til fish is flaky.
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,343 Moderator
    NSB Photog wrote: »
    Soak a couple of chunks of hickory or mesquite in water for awhile.

    If your grill has an upper rack, remove the grill grate.

    Light the far right burner (or the far left, your choice.) and place it on low. Put a chunk as close to the burner as you can (right on the flavor bar, rocks, whatever your grill has hovering above the burner, etc.)

    Place fish on opposite side of grill, and close lid.

    Drink beer, smell the smoke, and wait til fish is flaky.

    Awesome advice, thanks! :beer
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,343 Moderator
    I forgot to ask, how much time are we talking about roughly? 2 hrs?

    EDIT: google says roughly 2-2.5hrs, so I'll start with that.
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • RexLanRexLan Posts: 868 Officer
    Liquid smoke is bitter and will not work at all.

    Problem w/gas grill will be temperature. If you "cook" the fish it will not be smoked. If you have the grill hot enough to get the wood "chunks" to burn/smoke the grill will way to hot.

    If you buy the fine chips or dust is better, light it in a small can with a torch then put it in your grill with the fish and one burner as low as possible. Keep the temperature under the hood at less than 250° which will likely require having it cracked open as well. You can buy pellets and crush them in a stout bag with a hammer. You need a very good draft through the BBQ to keep them going also ... that why they make smokers.

    It will take 1.5 - 2.5 hours and you can guage it by color and sample. If you get it too dry it becomes dog food.

    Report back your success.
    Port Charlotte, Florida
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,343 Moderator
    It's working pretty well guys! The small apple wood chips I got are smoking and the smoke is circulating fairly well in the grill. There are some vent holes in my grill that are making everything work just right. I have had to move the chips around due to some burning out faster than others, but not so often that its a problem. Pics in approximately 30 minutes!
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,343 Moderator
    Oh, and Rexlan, the side with the wood chips is around 450 degrees but the side with the fish is hovering just under 250 degrees. The color isn't as dark as some slow smoked fish I've had in the past, but its not bad.
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • RexLanRexLan Posts: 868 Officer
    jcanracer wrote: »
    It's working pretty well guys! The small apple wood chips I got are smoking and the smoke is circulating fairly well in the grill. There are some vent holes in my grill that are making everything work just right. I have had to move the chips around due to some burning out faster than others, but not so often that its a problem. Pics in approximately 30 minutes!

    Sounds good ... small chips work. You can also put them in a foil pouch close to the heat and they will light nicely. Just have a few holes in the pouch. FWIW .. I never soak the chips. Actually makes little difference on burn time. I also collect a few oak tree chunks and use a hatchet to cut off very long thin pieces. They smoke nicely and Oak is one of my favorite woods.
    Port Charlotte, Florida
  • fsu11fsu11 Posts: 2,116 Captain
    My buddy makes amazing fish dip but he uses fish and shrimp in it and doesnt smoke the fish he bakes it and uses smoke paprika
  • FlashFlash Posts: 11,658 AG
    Can't beat a smoker though.



    Smoked more at 200-210 for 3 1/2 hours. Smoked fish needs a little extra time to dry it out a bit.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Never seem more learned than the people you are with. Wear your learning like a pocket watch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked. --- Lord Chesterfield
  • 4WARD4WARD Cross Creek,FLPosts: 2,595 Captain
    I have smoked in a large cardboard box, inverted over an electric hot plate. Cast iron skillet filled with fine chips or dust.
    Run some wood dowels through the box to hang or support a grill grate. Cover box with an old blanket or tarp. Works good in a pinch.
    "I hate graveyards and old pawn shops
    For they always bring me tears
    I can't forgive the way they rob me
    Of my childhood souvenirs"... John Prine
  • 4WARD4WARD Cross Creek,FLPosts: 2,595 Captain
    Only done fish and jerky this way, may not work well for something larger.
    "I hate graveyards and old pawn shops
    For they always bring me tears
    I can't forgive the way they rob me
    Of my childhood souvenirs"... John Prine
  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 10,602 Moderator
    Well ..
    "You'll get your weather"
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,343 Moderator
    This was the final result.
    Proof enough that it's do-able on the grill, but also kind of shows the lack of smoky coloring/flavor that a real smoker would impart.
    This method will do just fine until I can afford a smoker.
    The smoked fish dip, while not very smoky in flavor, was a big hit at the memorial day party I went to.
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,343 Moderator
    Flash wrote: »
    Can't beat a smoker though.



    Smoked more at 200-210 for 3 1/2 hours. Smoked fish needs a little extra time to dry it out a bit.

    The coloring of the smoked fish in your example... that's more than just smoke effect, you had some sort of dry rub on them?
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • quatinquatin Posts: 599 Officer
    A $30 trash can smoker is all you need for fish. You don't need the heavy insulated ones, because it doesn't get that cold in S.Florida and you're not smoking past 5 hours anyways.
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,343 Moderator
    Update:
    I think I've got the hang of this now. For one, the foil layer made cleanup so much easier even if it delayed the ignition of the wood chips a bit. Secondly, cutting the kingfish into smaller pieces before brine allowed more surface area to absorb smoky flavor.



    Some of the same people who tried my first attempt also got to try this one and they unanimously said the smoky flavor was better and more pronounced.
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 10,602 Moderator
    Looks pretty good . Nice job !
    "You'll get your weather"
  • FlashFlash Posts: 11,658 AG
    jcanracer wrote: »
    The coloring of the smoked fish in your example... that's more than just smoke effect, you had some sort of dry rub on them?

    Always have black pepper, garlic powder, red pepper, cayenne, lemon pepper and more black pepper. I do spritz with some lemon juice/canola oil
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Never seem more learned than the people you are with. Wear your learning like a pocket watch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked. --- Lord Chesterfield
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