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Smoking fish and ham - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
- Another thread will be posted for the live AMA. Registered users who are logged in during the live session can interact with the host by asking questions and receiving responses.
- The live thread will remain in the AMA forum to view after the session.

We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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Smoking fish and ham

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  • Smoking fish and ham

    I made a small fire in the oven and kept it going for a bit.

    I boiled a gammon joint in its forming netting for 45-60 minutes (put it into cold water) in about 2l of water (to cover the meat) with added 0.3l of cider vinegar and a handful of dark brown sugar. Amounts are not critical and depend on the size of the gammon. So does time. If you want, put a meat thermometer in and boil to 60C internal. Boiling removes some salt and nitrites from the meat, and the vinegar and sugar add to the flavour. Do not over-cook, or it will go dry and tasteless.

    I rubbed two trout with salt and pepper, sprinkled with lemon juice, stuffed with garden herbs and waited for the oven to get to the temperature.

    When the oven was above 200C (measured with a laser pyrometer) with some glowing charcoals I put the trout on aluminium foil "boats", which went on a grill standing inside the oven. I timed this so that the ham was just ready.

    Ham went on a little rack over a baking sheet (not to soak the oven floor with pork fat). Sometimes I also put the ham on a bed of rough-chopped onions in roasting dish. The roasting dish or baking sheet goes on a little grid, to keep it off the oven floor. Make sure you take the netting off the meat before putting it in the oven.

    I covered the ham loosely with a piece of aluminium foil on top and put an electronic meat thermometer sensor in, I set it for 74C (internal).

    I then added some seasoned medium-sized pieces of cherry-wood, waited a minute or so for them to catch fire and I closed the oven door. The fire went out swiftly.

    You need to check the fish for doneness every 5-10 minutes. Do not overcook it, even though the skin is a bit of a safeguard. Of course it smoke-cooks faster than the ham - 10-20 minutes, depending on size, should be enough but it is not an exact science. It does come out delicious though.

    I do not time the ham, there are far too many variables. I keep it in until the thermometer beeps. It comes out quite incredible. If you make it with onions, they are excellent - smoky, caramellised, go well with burgers or sausages (also grilled in the oven), will also keep for a while in a jar in the fridge.

    We smoked salmon in this way too. Just takes a bit longer than trout.

    Have fun :-)

    W.
    "Carpe diem." - Fish of the Day (The Uxbridge English Dictionary)
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