A handy bit of equipment to have when you go caravan and camping where fishing is involved, is a fish smoker. The one we have is a Wanderer brand, stainless steel two burner smoker and is very easy to operate. A fish smoker is a great way to cook fish without having to fillet them, simply scale, gut, clean and leave whole.
These freshly caught salmon trout came out a treat using the following method:
First brine the fish before smoking, this improves the flavour and retains moisture during smoking. In a plastic container with a lid add 2 cups of water, ¼ cup of brown sugar and ¼ cup of salt and mix until dissolved and combined. Other flavourings like garlic and herbs can be added if you want. The fish then goes into the brine completely covered and put in the fridge for at least a couple of hours or even overnight.
In preparation for smoking take the fish from the brine solution, drain and pat dry on paper towel and arrange on the smoking rack. Fill the burners with methylated spirits and put inside the smoking box on a heatproof surface outdoors and light. On the bottom of the smoking pan put in a blend of wood chips, these are available from wherever smokers are sold including fishing and camping stores, then cover with the drip tray and wait for them to begin smoking. When ready put the rack of fish on top, cover with the lid and leave them to smoke away.
The amount of time it will take to cook depends on the thickness of the fish so after at least 15 minutes check to see how the fish are looking, making sure they are cooked through. These took less than half an hour to be smoked. If you don’t eat them straight away they can also be cryovac packaged (another useful machine) and then frozen or refrigerated for later use.
I find the smoke flavour can be pretty strong so a good way to eat the smoked fish is a recipe I found that would make a great happy hour snack to share. Slice and toast or grill a baguette or sour dough, top with a mix of blended horseradish cream, sour cream, lemon juice and chives then top with some of the flaked smoked fish.