Fish smoking workshop offered in Kodiak

08/02/2013

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NR: SG-2013/NR250

fish smoking class A fish smoking workshop in the Kodiak small pilot plant. Click image for larger version [1920 x 1080 px; 488 KB].

Kodiak, Alaska—Smoking fish is a fun and tasty way to preserve the fresh-caught fish in your freezer. You can learn how to smoke your own fish in a three-day, hands-on workshop Aug. 28–30 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center. The workshop will be taught by School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences faculty members.

“We are teaching the basics,” said Brennan Smith, one of four workshop instructors. “Smoking seafood safely and effectively, as well as learning the key factors that influence what makes a palatable seafood product, are the emphasis.”

The workshop will cover a variety of topics, from food safety and microbiology to principles of smoking and measuring salt content.

“After a half-day of classroom time there will be two-and-a-half days of handling, brining and smoking fish. We coach them but participants do the work,” said Smith. Both hot- and cold-smoking techniques will be taught along with making ikura, a light-smoked sockeye salmon roe, and making salmon sausage. Fish will be provided.

The information is basic enough to be relevant to any type of fish. Past participants have come from as far away as North Carolina, where a couple applied what they learned to farm-raised sturgeon. “People in rural Alaska using traditional methods of smoking can also benefit from the curriculum, in learning about technologies and the science for making safe brines,” Smith said.

“The first step in smoked fish safety is the salt content to prevent listeria and botulism. Beyond that, there are thousands of methods to make smoked fish; those being taught include types of wood, amount of smoke and fish oil content. The higher the oil content the easier it is for the smoke to get in.”

The workshop will be taught in the Kodiak center small pilot plant using both professional equipment and home smokers. The course is for people who want to smoke fish at home as well as those who want to take the next step toward marketing their smoked fish.

“We live in a seafood-based community. Alaskans are just interested in doing more with their products,” said Smith. “And they will leave with a fair amount of smoked fish.”

Sign up for the August 28–30 session by visiting the smoked fish workshop web page. The same content will be taught at a September 4–6 workshop on smoking fish, but that workshop is already full. This workshop is sponsored by the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program.

Alaska Sea Grant is a statewide marine research, education, and extension program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. The Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program provides outreach and technical assistance to help Alaskans wisely use, conserve, and enjoy marine and coastal resources. Alaska Sea Grant is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and by the University of Alaska Fairbanks with state funds, in partnership with private industry.