Credit: Magd Al-Bawaab (Egypt)
Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)
Hot smoked eels in Holland are popular and are eaten as a delicacy and so eel smoking is a big business whether in processing or trade. The photos here are taken in a smoking operation in Holland.
Eels of about 350 – 700 g are preferred for hot smoking. Much smaller eels are not commercially accepted while much heavier eels require longer brining time. Typically, clean eels are immersed in 80° brine for 10 minutes prepared by dissolving 275-g salt per liter of water.
Brined eels are impaled on a metal shaft to keep them straight throughout the smoking. Typically, the smoker burns willow or other popular wood. The smoking lasts about two and half hours. In some smoking operations,gradual increase in temperature is done as follows: 1 hour at 35°C, 30 min at 49°C and finally for 1 hour at 77°C. This heating protocol permits reasonably uniform drying throughout the thickness of the fish. Often, a 100 kg of fresh, whole eels yield about 60 kg of hot-smoked eels.