Prep 4 hrs
Cook 30 mins
Cameron Stovetop Smoker Method-this recipe is to be made using a stove top smoker. Use this catfish to make Smoked Catfish Pate (see related recipe)
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1⁄2 cup brown sugar
- 3 (12 ounce) canscold beer (such as Budweiser)
- 1 tablespoon fresh coarse ground black pepper
- 6 bay leaves, crumbled
- 4 large catfish fillets, about 3/4 pound each
- olive oil
- 1 tablespoon hickory or alder wood chips
- Dissolve salt and sugar in hot water.
- Add cold beer, pepper and bay leaves to make brine.
- Whisk well to remove carbonation.
- Add two medium-size bowls of ice cubes to cool brine and add more volume to the brine.
- Add more cold water if more liquid is necessary to cover all the fillets.
- Place fish in brine when the brine is cool to the touch.
- Brine fish 2-4 hours covered, in the refrigerator.
- Remove fish from brine, rinse in cold water and air dry for 10 minutes before smoking.
- When ready to smoke, set stovetop smoker up with 2 tablespoons of chips between the smoker and the drip pan.
- Replace cooking grate.
- Brush fish lightly with oil, place skin-side down on the cooking grate with about an inch between each fillet.
- Slide top of smoker into place.
- Place smoker on the stovetop and center it over the burner.
- Turn the burner on high.
- Smoke for 20-30 minutes.
- The fish will be a dark caramel color.
- (Alternatively you may smoke cook on an outdoor grill for 1 hour or until fish is cooked through, caramel colored and smoked.).
- Serve at warm or room temperature or make into a smoked catfish “pate” by adding cream cheese, sour cream, shallots, capers, garlic, Tabasco and a dash of pepper to taste.