No Flies and no Smell: A Proven Way to Dry Fish in the Apartment in Winter

Freshly caught or purchased fish can be dried, providing you with a delicious snack. Even a beginner can do it if you find the right instructions and follow them correctly.

How to prepare fish for drying – important steps

Before you start drying fish, you need to carry out preparatory procedures – to salt and soak the product, and then dry it. Salting is a process that has its own nuances:

  • use only coarse salt;
  • Make sure to take out the insides;
  • Do not peel off the scales.

Many craftsmen recommend salting only small and medium-sized fish, but if you want to go against the system, it is worth understanding how to dry large fish. To do this, you need to make a cut along the spine of the fish from head to tail, otherwise, the product will eventually remain raw.

It is necessary to take out the insides – if you do not do this, they will be bitter. In addition, without the guts, the fish will dry out faster. In this case, it is worth taking into account an important point – the head and tail do not need to be removed, as well as the scales.

After taking out all the giblets, the fish should be rinsed under water and put on a paper towel – it should absorb all the moisture. Then pour salt on the bottom of the basin and put the fish in the first layer. Then alternate the salt and fish until the second layer runs out, but put each subsequent layer of fish perpendicular to the first one.

Useful tip hook: in order to understand how to dry fish – getting rid of flies at the same time, you need to sprinkle the product with vinegar. Its smell does not like the insects – the fish will no longer be attractive to them.

The last stage of preparation is the installation of a burden. You can put a large plate on the fish, on top of it – a jar filled with water. In this form, put the fish in the refrigerator for 3 days and wait.

After the fish is salted, you need to soak it. To do this, take the basin out of the refrigerator, wash under running water, put it in another basin, pour water again, and leave it for 3 hours, during this period change the water 2-3 times. This is an approximate time – be guided by the fish itself, at the end of the soaking its tails will begin to float.

How to dry fish in the apartment in winter and autumn – options

In the cold season, it is better to dry fish in the bathroom or on a warm balcony. If you choose the second option you should make sure the temperature does not drop below 0°C. Put a heater on the balcony and do not let the fish get cold.

The principle of drying fish in the bathtub or on the balcony is simple: you need to stretch a rope, put the toothpicks into the belly of the fish to open it, and into the head or tail to insert the hooks, for which you will hang the fish. You can additionally cover the fish with gauze to protect it from dust and dirt.

How you hang the fish is your choice:

  • By the tail – all the moisture goes to the head and the fish dries evenly;
  • the head – the meat absorbs all the fat and the fish will have a peculiar aroma.

Drying time depends on weather conditions. At the right temperature and regular air circulation (which is provided by a fan on the balcony), the fish will dry in a week. As for the bathroom, there is usually a high level of humidity, so the fish will dry longer, in addition, the bathroom can be saturated with fish smell.

How to dry fish in the oven – tips

As an alternative to the balcony, in winter you can dry fish in an electric dryer or in the oven. Of course, there is a nuance – a specific aroma will spread throughout the kitchen, but this method is faster than all others.

Answering the question about whether you can dry fish in the oven, we tell you how to do it:

  • Clean the fish from the insides, salt it, soak it;
  • Cover a baking tray with foil;
  • Put the fish on top and put it in the oven heated to 40°C.

The door should be left open and the fish should be allowed to dry for about 6-7 hours. As a result of such drying the fish will be almost ready – you will only have to thread it and additionally dry it in the fresh air or on the balcony.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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