Freezing fish before smoking

Started by dortman, June 24, 2010, 06:22:12 AM

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Wondering if I can get some input on everyone's on freezing fish prior to smoking.

Right now we are pulling lots of salmon out of the Great Lakes. With almost every free moment dedicated to fishing and keeping up the boat, time to smoke the fresh catch is very limited. What I want to do is start freezing fillets to smoke this fall when I have more time. The question is: How carefully do I have to package the fillets for freezing prior to smoking? After smoking I generally vacuum seal for long term storage, works great. But I hate to vacuum seal fish twice. Generally we put all of the fillets in fish bags to send home with other people. If I have a six or eight to a bag and work the air out, will they keep good enough till thawing and smoking?

How do you do it?



You should be fine putting them in a ziploc then wrapping in freezer paper. I get them from a friend of mine that way and I have no problems with the fillets after I thaw them out.
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You can send me some. ;D ;D ;D ;D


I freeze my Salmon when I get them home. When the Salmon are running I do not have time to smoke them. When fishing season slows down I thaw them out and start the smoker. I have had no problem with hot or cold smoked salmon after thawing out the fish.
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I don't think I could afford to send you any, shipping, ice, packaging, etc. But if you find yourself in Sheboygan during the summer, I'd gladly give you a cooler full!

Thanks all!


All my salmon/halibut/ling/etc gets vac sealed and frozen right away, (normally after "lounging" in the reefer in my "paper towel lasagna" for 2-3 days to harden pinbones for pulling). I cut all skinned slabs into 5" pieces, vac seal, and store in -15°F. Doing it this way gives me a piece of meat that I can use several different ways, (blackening, grilling being the most common), including cutting into bite sized pieces for smoking. This method has not failed me...I've even had a few stray pieces come out of cold storage after 2 years and still demonstrate the great taste/texture that I demand. Can't speak highly enough about vac sealing, even when it involves double vac seal sessions.

Just vac sealed about 80 each 1lb+/- bags of halibut caught this neighbor's four bag chamber sealer did it in about one beer!


Don't have Salmon down here, but I do freeze fish. I have been doing so years before I owned a Vac sealer. I simply submerge in water in a plastic bag suitable for freezing. Will stay good a long time and when thawed, you can prepare like fresh caught. I do deer meat the same way.
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Quick question, is it safe to cold smoke fresh caught salmon from the great lakes?


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