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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Boyo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jul 2015 at 11:43am
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Thanks Al and Steps for your comments. I am a bit of a newbie when it comes to smoking but I hate buying crappy gear - "nobody ever regretted buying quality". I am now leaning towards a Gasmate as a starting point and as my experience increases and if required, I'll move on to something else bought or built.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Catchelot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jul 2015 at 11:59am
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Perhaps think of a Gasmate V's Digital Bradley like a manual to automatic gearbox with built in cruise control. By that it means it isn't set and forget and as foolproof as the electric models, just means abit of experimenting with temps to get it smoking and then turn it down to tick slowly over around 70-80 degs and not opening the door every five minutes either.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Catchelot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jul 2015 at 12:32pm
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A few pics of a Broadbill I did a few months ago, big job, three day marinade and three smokes of about 5 hours each. Was premo.






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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Boyo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jul 2015 at 6:54pm
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Looks very nice!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Steps Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 2015 at 9:43am
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By that it means it isn't set and forget and as foolproof as the electric models, just means abit of experimenting with temps to get it smoking and then turn it down to tick slowly over around 70-80 degs and not opening the door every five minutes either.
That pretty well nails it
I marinate muscles over night...they go in the smoker next morning as they only take around 2 to 3 hrs...and need a turn.. open the door
While they are smoking away, the fish fillets.. are marinated for 1 1/2 to 2 hrs, then dried, and sugared up...
by this time the muscles are near ready and make room for further stuff
If I dont have enough heads/ filets etc to fill up the smoker (rare) I have a couple racks made up of chicken legs and/ or jerky .. these go in the  same time as muscles as these take far longer 6 to 8 hrs....the fish .. smaller fillets replace the muscles
So u see the times gets up around 7/ 8 hrs... a top up when muscles come out, another when the fish come out.
That way the door stays shut unless absolutely necessary
And the need for the cake tin.
Catchalot smokes at higher temps than we do... thu when it comes to jerky/ chicken, at the end we give it a 'cook' between 75 and 90 degs
Its about a little experimenting, find what works for u, your family.
Once u get to 'know' your smoker, u dont have to be there all the time...I often go out for upto 4 to 5 hrs... so yes there is a a set and forget on the gasmate/ elcheapo cabinet types... if one thinks things thru just a little.

So go back over older posts for how tos, recipes and try stuff...mine have moddified a little...one  reads a snipt here and there, espec Catchalot marinates, and results usually improve the product quite a bit.. or a worst, " prefer the last lot better" but never a yuk heard.
One snippet I have adopted from recipes here is using a little olive oil in the muscle/ shellfish marinate  .. basically for 30 to 40 large muscles (160/ 175mm shells) a generous tsp olive oil, mix in a good gulp of sauce (smoky bbq, or say a sweet chilli) in a sandwich bag.. throw the muscles in over night.. turn once in the smoker.. smoke in shells or small trays so smoke circulates around well.
Result a moist juicy smoked muscle, rather than a leathery/ dryish product.

We dont vaccuum pack thu.. it all gets used up well before the next trip out fishing....got to have a break from fish and smoked fish, chicken for a good steak etc Wink... same as we dont freeze fish... it just takes up space and eventually goes in the burly mulcher.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Boyo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2015 at 10:09pm
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Hi Catchalot.
Couldn't help but notice you cover the whole tray in your smoker with foil. How does this effect the flow of smoke around the fish. I would have thought you would need plenty of smoke flow around the trays.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Steps Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2015 at 8:36am
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yeah thats a thought...I give the racks wipe with oil and lay fillets, meat whatever directly on them.
I have noticed a huge difference when smoking muscles...using small Ally dishes with the sides cut right down to a small lip (6 or 7 large muscles), as against larger area...

Hint for cleaning trays... while still hot, I give a spray with oven cleaner in the tub...let soak while clean up and pack everything else  and then hit with the water blaster...thu a scrub in the tub works well to.

Do u guys ever  clean up the build up on the cabinet walls?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Catchelot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2015 at 12:29pm
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Originally posted by Boyo Boyo wrote:

Hi Catchalot.
Couldn't help but notice you cover the whole tray in your smoker with foil. How does this effect the flow of smoke around the fish. I would have thought you would need plenty of smoke flow around the trays.
 

The reason I cover in tin foil is when I have delicate fish like the broadbill above and don't want it to stick to the grates so that it becomes a mission getting them off without ripping the fish. I haven't found it to restrict the smoke flow, if anything I find it helps keep the temperature down a smidgen and constant also.

Plus it helps stop all the moisture and juices dripping down below onto the fish on the lower racks.

I must try Steps method of oiling the racks.

And as to cleaning the inside of the cabinet, sometimes I might blast it down with a hose and then dry it off with heat and no smoke.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Catchelot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Sep 2015 at 3:05pm
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Trying some mussels in the new Bradley bench top this arvo with maple bisquettes.

What do you reckon is best, smoke in one half of the shell or out of the shell after a thorough basting on both sides with the preferred oils and spices?



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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Steps Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Sep 2015 at 3:57pm
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Did a bit of messing around with different methods.. If tide is right we bring back nice size muscles between 160mm to 175mm.. not the tiny 'shop' ones
1st  put the only just cooked/ shelled  muscles in plastic zip bags.. about 1 doz per sandwich bag with a good teaspoon oilve oil and a suace  (sweet chilly  or smoked bbq or crushed garlic.. ) over night.
Then a quick drain rather than  a 'dry'
 large trays... did not smoke as well as small trays   no more than 6 muscle size which came out all similar to smaller trays or shells.
I did approx 3 hrs at around 35/ 40 deg  and turned them just after 1/2 way thru

Being only just open when cooked, the olive oil and turning resulted in nice moist muscles rather than the dry leather things one gets in the shops

I 'define' just cooked.. when u pull them out of the shell the big round white bit stays stuck to the shell... if comes off .. over cooked.

All of the above is from and combo of what others have suggested in these forums over the yrs.. and the bit of  olive oil thing would be the best suggestion of all.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Catchelot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Sep 2015 at 4:31pm
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And here is the results yeah damn good for first attempt... 1.5hrs at 82 deg.

I bought about half a litre of water to boil to steam mussels for about 2 mins and then drained instantly and let cool. 

On the left Whatuwhiwhi olive oil, a wee bit of sesame oil, piripiri, ground black pepper, garlic on the right the oil from the same with chilli garlic sauce (red Thai)

But I must try an overnight marinade like Steps suggests to try for a more moist mussel meat.



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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Kandrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Sep 2015 at 8:40pm
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What about I you shell the from fresh instead of boiling them. I poke a knife in between the shell where bead is and cut the mussel that holds the 2 shells together. You can then scrape the mussel out.

If you want to try something real life tasty, dip them in flour and pan fry them in butter until golden brown.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Steps Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Sep 2015 at 10:33am
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I tried that with 1/2 doz rather messy, and tended to squish up in the bags and handling... and flavour was not quite the same...and lot more work to.

I find using a pot with a glass lid by far the best to cook up in .. and leave enough room so the lid stays 'sealed' doesnt lift when the muscles open...That little extra pressure, retaining the steam more gives a a far better constant cook top to bottom.
Oh I also throw about 1/2 to 1 " of  sea water in the bottom of the pot from the bucket the muscles came home in in the boat... and bring that to the boil then stack the muscles in to cook.
OH yeah.. throwing in a a good spoon full of crushed garlic  or sweet chilli sauce.. whatever u want tro try....makes those few  muscles u 'tax' while shucking rather nice.

Muscles still in shells

The smaller cut down foil trays used.... but have found some better easier to use, clean ceramic dishes at a $2 shop over the weekend.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Kandrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Sep 2015 at 7:07pm
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Try a couple of seconds in the microwave opens them up quickly as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Steps Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2015 at 9:48am
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Cool never thought about that..
I did freeze some then defrost.. basically same result as fresh shucking.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote fish i Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2015 at 2:47pm
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Shuck the kutai with an old bone handle bread and butter flexy knife. Smoke in half shell raw. That way you won't over do them. They'll be moist, tender and sweet, not all shriveled up and chewy.  
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Boyo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2015 at 9:13pm
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Originally posted by Catchelot Catchelot wrote:

Perhaps think of a Gasmate V's Digital Bradley like a manual to automatic gearbox with built in cruise control. By that it means it isn't set and forget and as foolproof as the electric models, just means abit of experimenting with temps to get it smoking and then turn it down to tick slowly over around 70-80 degs and not opening the door every five minutes either.
 
I have finally started to get the hang of my Gasmate smoker. Did these small Kahawai last night and managed to keep the temperature at around 70 degrees. I placed a plate over the top vent as well to keep the smoke from venting too quickly. Had them for tea tonight and they were bloody good - even if I say so myself.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Steps Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 2015 at 10:03am
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Hmm thats shiny clean insideWink

Use the vent to control temps rather than smoke.
Temps are a little higher near the top than bottom
Smoke 'collects' better at the top than bottom
'Sucking ' moisture out by salting brining (whatever prefered) and then dry off before adding any sugar .....lower moisture in the fish the better the colour and flavour
A full smoker tends to smoke better I have found....so fill up with a few bangers...maybe a pork belly or pork belly strips....a few marinated chicken legs from the supermarket.. a tray of salt or spices
take the opportunity to experiment  and have a play
Throw away manuka if using.. apple, hickory, pohutukawa cherry type woods dont have that hash 'edge' of manuka... which till u try other woods will not notice.
I use soaked chips.. with a little pile dry chips in the centre to get the smoulder going
Always use a water tray... oils drip into it and reduce fire risk  and maintains and enables lower temp control far better
Spray the racks with  aerosol kitchen  non stick canola oil .. makes cleaning so much easier and stuff easier to lift off trays... oh and lift off trays when still hot, and cool on bench before chilling
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Boyo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 2015 at 12:08pm
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Thanks for your input Steps.
I brine for 24hrs before smoking but I add brown sugar at the same time however on this occasion I didn't have time to leave in the fridge uncovered after patting dry with a paper towel. After patting dry I brushed a slurry of brown sugar on before placing in the smoker. On this occasion I used Maple chips and soaked in water for 2-3 hrs before use and I always use a water tray.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Steps Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 2015 at 6:01pm
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Suggestion  1/2 cup salt  1/2 cup malt brown sugar  a good glug of sweet sour or whatever u may like in 1 L water soak up skined fillets for 1 1/2 t 2 hours.. pat dry almost squeeze (we use fluffy type tea towels  soak up a lot more faster )
Sprinkle as little malt sugar on as possible t rub evenly all over....as little as possible  grind pepper even over.
Then in the smoker
From there increase degree the salt  sugar maybe throw a bottle um essence in or 1/4 cup rum... just play experiment ....bit at a time...
There is no 'secret ' receipy or method  just different individual preferences to the end product... or should say  wifes preferecesWink
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