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Smoke fish while on trail
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Helge Melbye
(st.helge) - F

Locale: Norway
Smoke fish while on trail on 04/06/2007 14:31:49 MDT Print View


This summer I hope to be hiking for somewhere between 2 and 3 months straight. It is possible for me to base quite a few dinners on trout caught on the hike. But after the n'th fried trout dinner you can easily get tired. So I got to thinking that I quite like smoked trout, but the smoke ovens I've seen weigh at least 1.5 kilos. Too heavy even for me, and I'm not that much of a UL hiker yet. Any good ideas on a lightweight option? Or do I have to make one myself? I would have to use either a small camp fire or my canister burner as a heat source.


Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Smoke fish while on trail on 04/06/2007 18:03:03 MDT Print View

Hi Helge,
I think you will find that smoking your trout while on the trail will require a lot of fuel and time, and will complicate your journey. If you are equipped to fry trout, you could also consider sauteeing them with reconstituted dehydrated vegetables and spices, or adding trout fillets to a soup or stew. Either, or both, of these techniques will allow you to add variety to your diet with a lot less time and fuel than smoking. I love smoked trout, by the way, so I understand your dilemma. Good luck!

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Smoke fish while on trail on 04/07/2007 13:30:01 MDT Print View

Hi Helge, thanks for your question!

I've not done this except next to a fire on a skewer, and it's easy to lose the fish that way. Technique helps. Pacific Northwest Indians stake filleted salmon next to an open fire, held flat with a cedar framework. Its a lot of work without a ready supply of cedar strips, but the results are wonderful (it's not a speedy cooking method). I've seen stovetop smokers for the home that are covered baking pans with a perforated divider. The meal rests on the divider and wood chips go underneath, and the whole thing goes over the stove burner. They work well, but you really can't use the pan for anything else, since it gets very smokey inside.

How about a section of stainless steel screen ("hardware cloth")? You could support it between a couple of rocks and place hot coals underneath. This is a pretty common camp cooking technique, and a lot more controllable than cooking directly over the fire. Depending on the size of the fish, you might cook the fish with skin on, wrapped in leaves, filleted, etc.

(I never catch enough fist to worry about this too much :-)

Helge Melbye
(st.helge) - F

Locale: Norway
Still smoking...! on 04/08/2007 08:11:47 MDT Print View

A few years back I found "smoke bags". Thin aluminium bags with chips held in place between two thicker layers in the bottom of the bag. Just put the fish, or meat, inside the bag, seal it up and place it on the ambers of a campfire. Worked pretty well, but only once. It was not possible to add more chips, since the "chip chamber" was sealed except for the small holes were the smoke came out. Haven't seen them for a few years now.

It was quite possible to carry a few of them for a shorter trip, but since I plan to be hinking for up to 3 months I can't carry enough of them to last me that long.

I have made make-shift smokers/ovens out of thin slabs of stone, and gotten a varation on the fried trout dinners that way. But most of the time I will be above the tree-line, so finding firewood is not that easy...


Edited to remove a few typo's!

Edited by st.helge on 04/08/2007 08:12:47 MDT.