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Filleting fish...

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by 84gmcjimmy, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. 84gmcjimmy

    84gmcjimmy 1 ton status

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    I want to fillet a fish, but I don't know how.
    Long story short...I want to smoke some salmon in my dads food smoker. I finally found some instructions online (lost the oringinal ones) and i want to smoke them. BUT, I don't know how to fillet a fish...
    How hard is it? How do I know where to cut? How do I know if I cut above the bones so there are no bones in the fillet?
    I found some sites online that explained it, sort of. But I still don't totally understand...
    http://www.fishingcairns.com.au/page17-1.html

    http://www.toptrout.co.uk/acatalog/Toptrout_How_to_fillet_a_fish_25.html

    Any help? No hurry, I won't be doing this until I am un-sick. :crazy:
     
  2. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

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    Can Can, get on it!
     
  3. gjk5

    gjk5 3/4 ton status

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    Well for starters, if you're gonna smoke it, don't fillet it. I prefer to gut it, de-head it, and prop open the body cavity with a toothpick during the smoking process. You can do it with fillets, but not small ones as they will dry out. Besides, it just looks cooler this way:grin:


    I have done some good sized trout and salmon (kokanee, so nothing like what you get up there) this way and it worked well. This of course is hot smoked not cold smoked, so you have to eat it sooner.

    At any rate whatever cut you use should be rubbed down, I like a little brown sugar/salt/pepper/cayenne mix. I usually leave it like this in the fridge for a few hours. Start a fire, soak some wood (if you're using charcoal) and when the fire is ready just make sure the salmon is not directly over the heat, a foot a way if you can, and a seperate firebox is preferable. Ad soaked wood chips periodically and keep an eye on it. Cooking times can vary a lot depending on your fire and the thickness of the fish.


    Hope that helps. Let me know if I forgot anything.
     
  4. odoa3

    odoa3 1/2 ton status

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    With the fish laying on it's side make a cut from top to bottom right where the tail fin ends and before the the body broadens out again. Cut through the skin along the backbone on either side- then just use the ribcage as a guide. Don't pull the fillet as you cut - it will tear. If you get bones- no big deal as once the fillet is off you can just cut them out.

    I hate filleting fish. When we go out subsistence fishing we will get like 250 red salmon in the gill net- then you have to spend hours filleting them out. Luckily we have a fish processing room at our fishing lodge so that makes it nicer.

    Good luck
     
  5. eds77k5

    eds77k5 1/2 ton status

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    :cool1: if you dont want any bones at all in your filets you will have to deal with the pin bones once you get your sides done. you can feel them if you rub your hand along the side (the inside part) you will have to use a pair of needle nose pliers to get them out. not hard to do just tedious work. good luck and good eating
     
  6. 84gmcjimmy

    84gmcjimmy 1 ton status

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    Okay I think I have a good idea of what to do. I guess I can't really say I don't understand until I try.
    The smoker I am using is electric, so I put the dish of wood chips on the element and then that heats it.
    My dad always used fillets, and they never dried out, he just had to rotate top-bottom because the bottom were getting more smoker than the top.
    I will post some pics if anyone wants.
     
  7. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    OK, here's how I do it and you can't be worried about a small amount of waste.

    Slice the head off buy putting the fish on it's back and placing your blade just under the lower two fins. Cut at a slight angle towards the top of the head/back so you don't loose that meat. Then, hold the tail and cut up towards the head area keeping your blade flat and even. You will be following the spine up as you cut which will keep your blade straight. Flip it over and repeat it for the other side. Then take your blade and cut out the lining of the stomach which willinclude most if not all of the rest of the bones with it. Put the filet with the skin down and starting at the tail, slice it right against the skin. You will need to hold on to the skin as you do this and it should just peel along. If you are going to smoke the filets you might just want to keep the skin on and keep it down on the grill to protect the meat. You can just about burn the skin with out hurting the meat it you leave it on.
    This is tough if you have small fish but with a good size fish, no bones, no skin just good stuff. DAM I'm hungry for some grouper now. See ya, I'm heading to FL. .............J?K.:D
    I can even tell you how to cook it in a microwave and have it come out killer.
    I love fish... ummmm
     
  8. 84gmcjimmy

    84gmcjimmy 1 ton status

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    Thanks!
    Fish is awesome! I love fish!
    'Thanks for the help stormtrooper!
     
  9. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Hope it made some sence...

    I find it much easier when there 20+ lbs. ;)
     
  10. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I can't describe it much better than has already been done, but I will add two points:

    1. VERY IMPORTANT!!!! Make sure to use anextremely sharp knife. If you're serious about filleting fish, buy yourself a good quality filet kife- it's worth every penny.

    2. Storm Trooper already mentioned size. I don't bother filleting anything under about 2 lbs. Small fish have to much wasted meat and you need about 10 small fillets minimum to feed a family of four.

    My 2 cents
     
  11. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    BTW, I learned to filet fish from my uncles in Canada (lake of the woods near Kenora) when I was a kid. The best smoked fish I ever had was up there. You could smell the smoke house from a mile away.:rolleyes:
     
  12. 84gmcjimmy

    84gmcjimmy 1 ton status

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    Paul, for now, I will just use a sharp knife. I'm not sure, but we might even have a filleting knife...I just don't know what they look like.
    Thanks!
     
  13. gjk5

    gjk5 3/4 ton status

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    something like this:


    [​IMG]
     
  14. 84gmcjimmy

    84gmcjimmy 1 ton status

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    okay nevermind. I don't have a filleting knife. I will just sharpen a thin knife up.
    thanks
     
  15. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

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    Fillet knifes are cheap, even Cold Steel ones

    I'll buy you a cold steel one if you take pics of the fish, then you send it in, win the prize, and I'll buy me a Oyabun
     
  16. 84gmcjimmy

    84gmcjimmy 1 ton status

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    what do I have to take pics of? where do I send it? what do you win?
     
  17. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

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  18. 84gmcjimmy

    84gmcjimmy 1 ton status

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    I don't have a cold steel knife though, what if i don't win:confused:
     
  19. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

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    I'll get you one

    If you dont win they come to your house and beat you up
     
  20. 84gmcjimmy

    84gmcjimmy 1 ton status

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    okay...but it won't be here for 2 weeks...so I will have to make more fish to fillet.
     

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