Smoked Mullet (or any other fish for that matter)
Thanks to George "Grif" Griffin, I have a couple of great mullet recipes to share with you. For 80 more of these wonderful taste treats you need to purchase his book; "The Mostly Mullet Cookbook". Just click on the Amazon.com logo and buy it now.
From "The Mostly Mullet Cookbook" Maximo Point Smoked Mullet
You can use a regular charcoal grill with a cover, or there are special "smoker grills" that produce real bragging results.
6 dressed mullet of medium size, butterfly cut or spinal split if possible
3/4 cup salt
1 package prepared crab boil
1 gallon water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound hickory chips, soaked in 2 quarts of water overnight
The traditional way of preparing the whole mullet is to remove the head just above where the collarbone would be if fish had collarbones and cut along the backbone almost to the tail so that the mullet lies flat in one piece. Wash the fillets until clean. Add salt and crab boil to the water and stir until dissolved. Pour this seasoned brine over the mullet and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove from brine and rinse in cold water; then dry.
If using a cooker designed specifically for smoking, then follow the manufacturer's instructions for use. if you are using a smoker with shelves and a water pan, arrange the fish on the lowest shelves in the smoker. The water pan should be filled about half full with leftover water from the hickory chips. Close the smoker's lid and open the vent slightly to keep smoke and air circulating. Estimated time is 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
If you are using charcoal or wood fire in a traditional barbecue grill with cover or hood, here are professional smoker's tips: Let the fire burn down to a low, glowing, even heat. Cover with wet (over-night soaked then drained and partially dried) hickory chips. The chips make the smoke. Place the fish on a well oiled grill, skin side down, about 4 too 6 inches from the smoking coals. Baste fish well with oil at the beginning and occasionally during cooking. Covert and smoke for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until the mullet flake easily when tested with a fork. Add remaining chips as necessary to keep the fire smoking. DO NOT put the fire out with too many chips, and do not open the cooker too often, venting the smoke and heat. Small twigs of red bay and bay leaves added during the last twenty minutes of smoking will add pleasant flavoring. what we're describing here obviously is what well could be called a delicate balance!
If you're using mullet fillets instead of the traditional spinal cut, shorten the cooking time to 45 minutes, or even less if fish readily passes the flake test. With smoking, however, a little over-cooking usually is better then under-cooking.
(Editor's note: this smoking recipe works well with kingfish, Spanish mackerel, cobia, barracuda, and any other oily fish that you may want to smoke.) Thank you Grif, this is a good one!Capt. Charlie