We got two beautiful chars from our favourite fishmonger and brined (see below) them over night. Then they were “hot smoked” – a fast and delicious cooking method, but not suitable for long-term preservation.
Hot smoke for about 30++ minutes (depending on the size of your fish) at up to 90°C/195 °F and until golden on the outside. Add your favourite smoking wood after 10 minutes for a nice aroma. They’re done when you can pull out the back fin very easily and can be served for example with toasted bread, salad and horseradish. They’ll keep in the fridge for max. 2-3 days.
Hot Smoking Brine Solution (for 1.5 l water):
Combine all brine ingredients and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Wash your fish thoroughly and brine in the fridge for at least 4 hrs., ideally 6 – 7 hrs. Before smoking, remove from the brine and pat dry with kitchen towel, then dry in the open air (or in the oven at minimum heat) until completely dry on all surfaces (this is crucial).