Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/780

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escape of smoke and moisture. A slide damper controls the escape of smoke and as- sists in regulating the draft of the fire.

The house is finished on the inside with 2-in. square strips nailed to the sides near the top, and rabbeted cleats or plain strips are nailed to the sides some 4 to 6 in. apart. These strips should not be leveled. They should have a slope of 6 in. toward the front of the house. When trays holding the fish are placed on them this slope will enable the fish to drain while smoking.

Several removable wire trays should be made to slide on the rabbeted cleats. Fish not put on trays are hung from the horizontal rods of wood or iron which ex- tend across the house from side to side.

To insure successful smoking it is most im- portant that the smoke spreader be properly con- structed. This is a rect- angular iron box 1 ft. square and 2 ft. long. Holes % m - m diameter should be punched in the sides and ends at frequent intervals to induce the smoke to spread evenly throughout the house.

Dig a trench from the house 7 ft. long, 8 in. wide and 8 in. deep. Place in this trench three sections of ordinary stove- pipe, fitted at one end with an elbow. In the middle joint of the pipe place a stove- pipe damper. As the handle will be too short, fit it with an extension so the damper may be operated from above when the pipe is covered with earth. This damper is very important as it is the principal fire and smoke control. The pipe is lightly covered with earth. The elbow projects upward into the house under the smoke spreader extending about 2 in. above the surface of the ground.

The firebox, which is at the other end of the pipe, is sunken. It is 14 in. wide, 14 in. deep and 24 in. long. It should be built of brick and covered with a heavy piece of sheet metal, which in turn is covered with earth. Firing is made easier by having a sloping trench in front of the firebox. After the firebox and flue are completed and the house is set over the open end of the

��Popular Science Monthly

���To insure successful smoking it is important to have a properly constructed smoke spreader

��elbow, earth should be banked carefully all around the bottom of the house to pre- vent outside drafts.

Before smoking, fish should be split and the entrails removed. A fish having a dark abdominal lining should be scraped until the lining is removed. It is not necessary to do anything further with small fish before placing them in the brine. Large fish, however, if they are above 2 lb. in weight, should be split down the back from the inside, severing the ribs close to the backbone. They should be so split that they will lie flat. Very large fish should be cut in two or more lengths and split in the same way. This must be done to permit the salt to pene- trate and to make the fish smoke evenly.

Brine is prepared by dissolving common barrel salt in fresh water until it will float an egg. Place the fish in the brine, scale side down, and leave them over night. When taken from the brine they should be washed in fresh water and placed on sloping trays or hung up to dry. Fish should be dried for a short time before smok-


Some fish are so soft that they cannot be hung by wires to smoke. These should be placed on trays, skin side down. Firmer fish are hung in wire slings from the rods at the top of the smokehouse.

The best fuel for smoking is green hick- ory. It gives off a clear white smoke and colors the fish a rich, golden brown. The flavor imparted by hickory smoke is superior to that produced by any other wood . Next to hickory come corn cobs. While they give off dense smoke which darkens the product too much, they impart a flavor which is very fine. Dry oak dis- colors the fish a little too much and gives it a mild acid flavor. Soft and hard maple are used, but these burn too freely. How- ever, the maple has a flavor much liked by some people. Green ash gives off a light smoke and the flavor is similar to that pro- duced by hickory. Green willow is excel- lent used with other woods as it gives an abundance of smoke. Sawdust may be

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