There are fish smokers and there are fish smokers, and then there is the Bradley Smoker.
I’d heard about these great smokers from a mate who keeps one aboard his personal mothership, and I’d tried a variety of different smoked fish fillets that he’d dished up. All of them were mouth watering, and he hadn’t done much to them except to chuck them in and let the Bradley do its job. Doing the rounds of the Australian Fishing Tackle Trade Show last year, I found myself drawn to the Gourmet Innovations stand which had on display a range of Bradley Smokers. It was great talking to people who know their stuff, and to fully appreciate what these units can do.
Not long after, I ordered the Bradley Digital Smoker with four racks. Now my mate is a bit of a bull at the gate, and simply charged in, throwing some fish fillets on the racks, and firing up the Bradley to do its job. As I wrote, his system works fine. But I’d spoken to the experts at the tackle show, I’d read the instructions and I’d checked out Bradley’s most-informative website. Actually, you’ll get a great start simply by watching the video clip presented by NZ fishing television’s Nicky Sinden, who is joined by Bradley’s Trish Thodey in a demonstration of how best to use the Bradley to smoke New Zealand kingfish.
Check this link out: http://youtu.be/sqFBdzyIQxI
I reckon there’s no better fish to smoke than Spanish mackerel, so I started with a mackerel I’d caught just a couple of days before the Bradley turned up. Following the instructions in the Owner’s Manual, I seasoned the smoker first. This is to remove the impartial smells and flavours before putting it to work with a rack or four fish and meats. Then I prepared my fish into dissected fillets, and also prepared for smoking a thigh of chicken and some thick buffalo sausages. I was getting serious!
After observing Trish Thodey’s demonstration, I made a slurry of the Bradley Organic Maple Syrup and the Bradley Maple Flavour Cure. I had ordered these with the unit. I brushed my food items to be smoked with the concoction, and then placed them on two racks. Into the oven they went, with temperature and time preset with the digital controls.
The fish took about four hours and the meat a couple of hours longer, and the whole process was sure worth it. I was actually quite happy with myself for taking on the smoking challenge. The meat was delicious and the fish was to die for. Just ask the staff in the office the next day when, for morning smoko, I turned up with a plate of Bradley smoked mackerel, some tartare sauce, sliced lemon and crackers. It’s something I’ve had to do on a regular basis ever since, but do you reckon I mind?