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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do any of you fellas, dry your fish? It is a big thing here in Maine with white or light fleshed fish. I once built a nice frame from 2" x 4"s, positioned a plastic coated wire rack half way between top and bottom to hold the fillets. Nailed with thin lathes, a piece of window screening to the bottom. Made a hinged top and put window screening on that too. Air could flow up and down through it and on warm dry days, could dry fish in a couple of days and the screened in rack keeps the flies and hornets off of it. In Maine we call it Downeast chewing gum. Some guys will smoke the fillets or split fish over night and dry them afterwards for smoked dry fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Do any of you fellas, dry your fish? It is a big thing here in Maine with white or light fleshed fish. I once built a nice frame from 2" x 4"s, positioned a plastic coated wire rack half way between top and bottom to hold the fillets. Nailed with thin lathes, a piece of window screening to the bottom. Made a hinged top and put window screening on that too. Air could flow up and down through it and on warm dry days, could dry fish in a couple of days and the screened in rack keeps the flies and hornets off of it. In Maine we call it Downeast chewing gum. Some guys will smoke the fillets or split fish over night and dry them afterwards for smoked dry fish.
We just sprinkle a little salt and pepper on it before drying, to give it extra flavor. For you southern fellas that eat jalapenos like candy, I suppose some hot red pepper or hot sauce sprinkled on it might be tasty.
 

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We do dry some fish. If small whole fish we butterfly them or use fillets from larger fish. We use a brine first of vinegar, fresh garlic, salt and pepper. Usually brine overnight. Then dry on a rack similar to what you have described. I place the rack on the roof of the house usually dries in a day or two depending how hard you want them. We usually fry them after dry and eat with rice.
 

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Rex Kwan Do Dojo
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Heck no. I can see it in Maine but it would go bad here in Florida in a bad way...except maybe in winter. Any pics? I’ve smoked salmon, did a dry brine, then hit it with a fan but nothing like you’re talking about...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Kind of like making beef jerky, but with fish.
You could use one of those commercial dehydrators, but once you eat some, you will discover you can not make enough that way. I was bringing home 20-40lbs of fillets a day, one summer and we the family and crews and their families were eating it about as fast as my wife and I could dry it. Just be sure to keep some dental floss or toothpicks handy, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We do dry some fish. If small whole fish we butterfly them or use fillets from larger fish. We use a brine first of vinegar, fresh garlic, salt and pepper. Usually brine overnight. Then dry on a rack similar to what you have described. I place the rack on the roof of the house usually dries in a day or two depending how hard you want them. We usually fry them after dry and eat with rice.
My ex-wife's grand parents would dry it, store it in mason jars, then soak it to re hydrate it to cook for meals in the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
We do dry some fish. If small whole fish we butterfly them or use fillets from larger fish. We use a brine first of vinegar, fresh garlic, salt and pepper. Usually brine overnight. Then dry on a rack similar to what you have described. I place the rack on the roof of the house usually dries in a day or two depending how hard you want them. We usually fry them after dry and eat with rice.
We brine ours sometimes and sometimes we just sprinkle with salt. Depends on how much of a hurry we are in. Brining will definitely create a more uniform flavor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Heck no. I can see it in Maine but it would go bad here in Florida in a bad way...except maybe in winter. Any pics? I’ve smoked salmon, did a dry brine, then hit it with a fan but nothing like you’re talking about...
I don't think heat is an issue. It gets to be 90-100 here in Maine a few days a year. Some people place a canopy for shade over their dryers to keep the sun from sun burning the fish. Something as simple as a blue tarp, and some people use a screened in tent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Heck no. I can see it in Maine but it would go bad here in Florida in a bad way...except maybe in winter. Any pics? I’ve smoked salmon, did a dry brine, then hit it with a fan but nothing like you’re talking about...
I don't have any pictures, have not done it for quite a few years now. I have not had the ability to get large amounts of fish, like I did when I was commercial fishing. Around here, you can go in any grocery store and buy small amounts of it all dried. Maybe I can do a working drawing of a dryer after labor day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We do dry some fish. If small whole fish we butterfly them or use fillets from larger fish. We use a brine first of vinegar, fresh garlic, salt and pepper. Usually brine overnight. Then dry on a rack similar to what you have described. I place the rack on the roof of the house usually dries in a day or two depending how hard you want them. We usually fry them after dry and eat with rice.
Never tried vinegar, I bet that adds a nice flavor.
 

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Wow I’ve never heard of that. I’m here in souther California and I think it would definitely be possible to try fish in our dry heat. I just have a hard time understanding what dried fish would taste like. You just eat it plain or does it go into something else?
 

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Lowcountry Degen
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I don't think heat is an issue. It gets to be 90-100 here in Maine a few days a year. Some people place a canopy for shade over their dryers to keep the sun from sun burning the fish. Something as simple as a blue tarp, and some people use a screened in tent.
I think it's more about the humidity. I have wanted to try smoking and dehydrating/drying fish for a while, but never got around to experimenting with it.
 

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I've had smoked trout at restaurants but never made it myself. The restaurants were all in the great lakes region. I order it anytime I see it on the menu.
 

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I’ve smoked trout before. Rainbows and have eaten smoked mackerel and barracuda but have never dried it like you’re talking about. Would love to try it sometime though. I’m in the same position here in South Georgia though as far as heat and humidity goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wow I’ve never heard of that. I’m here in souther California and I think it would definitely be possible to try fish in our dry heat. I just have a hard time understanding what dried fish would taste like. You just eat it plain or does it go into something else?
Tastes like chicken......just kidding. It is usually salty, the fish flavor more concentrated. Just something to chew on like beef jerky. Occupy your time while fishing. It is really tough almost like leather. Let it soak a bit in your mouth to soften it, chew it up. Has to be better for you than tobacco, yet almost as addictive. Goes good with a good cold beer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Tastes like chicken......just kidding. It is usually salty, the fish flavor more concentrated. Just something to chew on like beef jerky. Occupy your time while fishing. It is really tough almost like leather. Let it soak a bit in your mouth to soften it, chew it up. Has to be better for you than tobacco, yet almost as addictive. Goes good with a good cold beer.
Even PBR tastes good with a good piece of dry fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think it's more about the humidity. I have wanted to try smoking and dehydrating/drying fish for a while, but never got around to experimenting with it.
We have high humidity here too. Lot's of fog. Guys will hang it out in the fog and eventually it will dry. I think that is why we salt it to keep the fish from spoiling while it dries. The pepper is to help keep the flies off it. I prefer a screened box to keep the flies away.
 
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