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#414985 - 06/10/15 07:19 PM Pond Fish Dehydrated/Jerky
catmandoo Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5695
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
For those who have been around Pond Boss for a while, you may know me as enjoying many kinds of "gourmet" wildlife (including roadkill).

Last night I was given an old, but "new in box" 500 watt dehydrator with five drawers (NESCO FD-60 Snackmaster). The box had been opened, but it appears the plastic bag the dehydrator was in, and the bag with the manuals/warranty, etc., had never been opened. The box had obviously been subjected to some water damage, and had very obviously been invaded by mice and chipmunks/squirrels, etc, based on the acorns, turds, etc.

The box, the bags, and even the paperwork all went into my burn pit. I took the unit totally apart and soaked everything in hot soapy bleach water for a few hours last night, except for the motor and heater. I cleaned them manually with spray bleach and a sponge. The manual was available for download from the factory.

I've currently got 3 lbs. of venison jerky in it. Normally I'd do this in one of my smokers. I'll see how it turns out much later tonight.

The manual has several recipes for dried fish and fish jerky using non-fatty fish, like bluegill, crappie, bass, etc. It does not recommend fattier fish like catfish, trout, salmon, etc.

I'm just wondering if anyone has tried this, and how it has worked out. If so, have you used it for other wildlife snacks?


Thanks,
Ken
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#415004 - 06/10/15 10:59 PM Re: Pond Fish Dehydrated/Jerky [Re: catmandoo]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5866
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Stickem made some fish jerky a while back. He said it turned out very good. Maybe he will see this thread. I don't recall if he used a dehydrator. FWIW I use mine for mushrooms, herbs, etc and use a smoker for meat where I want to add that smoke flavor.
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#415024 - 06/11/15 06:56 AM Re: Pond Fish Dehydrated/Jerky [Re: catmandoo]
stickem' Offline


Registered: 08/10/14
Posts: 972
Loc: S.E. Texas, Polk Co.
Originally Posted By: catmandoo
For those who have been around Pond Boss for a while, you may know me as enjoying many kinds of "gourmet" wildlife (including roadkill).

Last night I was given an old, but "new in box" 500 watt dehydrator with five drawers (NESCO FD-60 Snackmaster). The box had been opened, but it appears the plastic bag the dehydrator was in, and the bag with the manuals/warranty, etc., had never been opened. The box had obviously been subjected to some water damage, and had very obviously been invaded by mice and chipmunks/squirrels, etc, based on the acorns, turds, etc.

The box, the bags, and even the paperwork all went into my burn pit. I took the unit totally apart and soaked everything in hot soapy bleach water for a few hours last night, except for the motor and heater. I cleaned them manually with spray bleach and a sponge. The manual was available for download from the factory.

I've currently got 3 lbs. of venison jerky in it. Normally I'd do this in one of my smokers. I'll see how it turns out much later tonight.

The manual has several recipes for dried fish and fish jerky using non-fatty fish, like bluegill, crappie, bass, etc. It does not recommend fattier fish like catfish, trout, salmon, etc.

I'm just wondering if anyone has tried this, and how it has worked out. If so, have you used it for other wildlife snacks?


Thanks,
Ken


Ken,
Yes...you are embarking on a fun endeavor. I will try to smoke or dry just about anything from goose / Pork link sausage to dried fish. A few months back I dried some red fish fillets, cut into strips. I used a dehydrator for the process. IIRC I dried the 1/2" thick fillets somewhere between 16-20 hours. I season the fillets with a creole seasoning after soaking a short period of time in a #2 cure solution. The cure (normally used in smoking sausage) will knock down any bacterial issue, should one arise. Dried fish is a high protein snack. It can be added to any soup or gravy as well...great flavor....and yes stay away from fatty fish. I have a propane fired smoker as well. It can also be used to dry foods without the sawdust medium. I have also dried venison back strap in the oven with the door ajar...best to do that in the winter...
Charlie
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#415378 - 06/13/15 06:39 PM Re: Pond Fish Dehydrated/Jerky [Re: catmandoo]
catmandoo Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5695
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
Charlie,

Thanks for the great note.

I don't have any Prague powder, but I've got Morton's TENDER QUICK, which basically includes the #2 cure, plus salt and sugar.

I culled a bunch of medium size bluegills this afternoon, which I filleted and skinned. I got 1 lb., 4 oz., of skin-free and bone-free pieces.

Based on the Morton's instructions, I added 1 tablespoon per per pound -- so, after through rinsing, drying, re-rinsing and a final cleaning, I added 1-1/4 tablespoons of TENDER QUICK. I also added a tablespoon of McCormick's "Condimento de Cayena" (Cajun seasoning, no MSG added). The fish pieces presently bathing in a very slightly wet solution of this mixture.

When I finish this note, I will rinse them one more time and I'll dry them in paper towels. The semi-dried pieces will then get tossed in more of the Cajon Seasoning before I start laying the pieces on the dehydrator shelves.

It is possible I could perish in ecstasy from the recipe.

If you don't hear from me for a few days, contact Lusk, or any of the moderators. They know how to get in touch with my wife.

I just hope the government search engines don't see this, leading to a raid thinking my ecstasy fish are some kind of illegal hallucinogen.

Ken
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#415396 - 06/13/15 10:32 PM Re: Pond Fish Dehydrated/Jerky [Re: catmandoo]
catmandoo Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5695
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
I just removed the top tray from the dehydrator.

I don't think anyone could ever guess these "chips" were fish. The top tray was filled with the thin parts cut from outside the rib cages of the bluegill.

I'm going to have a hard time staying away from them.

I did sprinkle each of the trays with some coarse ground pepper before activating the dehydrator.

I can't even begin to describe how good these things taste.

Ken
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#415402 - 06/13/15 11:55 PM Re: Pond Fish Dehydrated/Jerky [Re: catmandoo]
catmandoo Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5695
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
I just pulled out the last drying tray of my marinated and spiced bluegill fillets.

The BG fillets are very crispy and toasty. They are a little spicy. They are way too delicious. Bluegill shouldn't be like this.

I thought I may have put a little bit too much fresh-ground pepper on the last rack. But, they are incredible.

There is no way to describe how delicious these BG/HBG crispy fillets are, unless you dry/try some.

These go way beyond the old commercial for "Betcha can't eat just one."

If you don't have a dehydrator or smoker, I think they could be made in a a toaster oven set to its lowest temperature setting, with a regular oven set to the lowest temperature, and either with the oven door partially open.

Fish Breath Ken
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#415406 - 06/14/15 12:15 AM Re: Pond Fish Dehydrated/Jerky [Re: catmandoo]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24033
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Ken, convection ovens work great for making jerky. A ball of aluminum foil is easily adjusted to keep the door open the correct distance.
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#415412 - 06/14/15 06:46 AM Re: Pond Fish Dehydrated/Jerky [Re: catmandoo]
dale k Offline


Registered: 02/18/13
Posts: 99
Loc: Oklahoma
Wow I never thought of doing dehydrating fish. I will have to try it.
I finally started canning fish a few years ago. My mom canned fish and everything else but always ran us kids off away from the pressure canner. By the time I wanted to try it everyone was passed away. I always worry about food poisoning but after much research tried it and now I am comfortable.

Do you have any idea how long you could store dried fish or just freeze it.
I normally just catch enough bluegill for a mess once or twice a month.
sounds like a really neat idea.
Dale

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#435491 - 01/22/16 09:14 PM Re: Pond Fish Dehydrated/Jerky [Re: catmandoo]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5866
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Hey Ken,

You got enough fish jerky on hand to get through the big snow hitting you this weekend? smile
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