Fishing in British Columbia > The Fish Kitchen

Cold Smoking Tuna

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Bit of a lengthy and picky process, but the end result is well worth the effort IMHO!

Partially thaw said Tuna: - it is easier to loin when it is still fairly stiff deep inside:

Rip the hide, and yes, Rum Required for this entire process!

Loin & remove brown meat:

Mix well 4 parts demerara sugar with 3 parts coarse salt (I like Sea Salt for this) and layer around 1/2 inch deep in bottom of tote. Toss in loins:

Smother loins with mix:

Cold enough outside this next step likely wasn't necessary, but I tossed bags of ice on each tote after they were stuffed into the big stainless smoker (no room for such in our fridge):

Shut the doors and let sit overnight.

This thread will be continued as the process develops...


Took overnight and then some to get to this desirable stage.
The dry brine is "dry" no more, and it is easy to see just how much moisture it has sucked out of the loins.
The loins themselves have changed both in color and consistency.

Next up: the Wet Brine process...

Awesome, keep the updates coming! :D

Wet Brine:

3 gallons (Canadian thank you very much) of water
4 cups Sea Salt
5 cups demerara sugar
2.5 cups real maple syrup
1 bag peppercorns
A decent handful of chopped dill.

Should mix this a fair bit before you need. it so it can settle.
Test run by dropping a fresh raw egg into the mix:

She floats, all good- Carry on...
If not, a smidgen more salt, whip into a frenzy, and re-try until it does.

Toss the loins in - no need to rinse.

Now about as fascinating as watching paint dry.
Stir occasionally through the eve.
Let percolate.

Tomorrow desalination, onto prepped grills, and begin the glaze process (if all goes well...)


They came out of the wet brine earlier today.
Big changes in both color and consistency! They swelled back up quite a bit!

So, onto one of the most fussy and critical steps - Desalination.
I prefer to have a LOT of water surrounding the loins at this point, and to keep a slow but steady flow of fresh water into their domain:

If you take your drain cap off your cooler, you can replace it with a large soft drink cap.
Drill a small hole in the center of that so you have flow both top and bottom:

Having too much Tuna is never an issue if you know how to deal with it.
And I don't see a lot of point in repeating the process when one good run will do...

The ones on the uphill side will freshen just a tad sooner than those on the downhill.
Move the latter into the bigger tank while you pat dry the first lot and get ready for the grills.
By the time you've accomplished that, the other should be ready.

Move the loins around in the fresh water every 10 minutes or so, and keep a damn careful eye on them!
Too little, the salt will be overbearing.
Too much, and they become non-recoverable mush!!

I do the double taste test - nip a little off a couple differing loins (should slice very thinly with a sharp knife).
Taste. You will know it when you realize what you are looking for...

This lot is now off to the grills, glaze and fans.
Back atcha when able...



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