A study was made to determine the most acceptable procedure to prepare smoked channel catfish Effects of storage time before brining, fish weight, brining times and formulae, smoking times and temperatures, and storage time after processing on final product quality were evaluated. Use of freshly dressed catfish yielded a smoked product indistinguishable from that prepared from frozen catfish. Catfish averaging 10.5 oz (dressed) and brined for 24 hr at 40 F in a mixture prepared by dissolving 9 lb sugar (sucrose), 9 lb sodium chloride, 0.23 oz potassium nitrate, and 0.23 oz sodium nitrite in 72 lb water were highly acceptable. A gradual increase of internal flesh temperature from 90 to 140 F over a .22-hr smoking period, followed by an increase to 180 F over 4 hr with an additional 30 min at 180 F was judged as optimal for producing smoked catfish. Sensory panel evaluations on the finished product showed that smoked catfish were equally acceptable when compared with smoked haddock and chubs.

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