Descaling a Pink Salmon.

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by jsuyes, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. jsuyes

    jsuyes FFF-CCI

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Messages:
    153
    Media:
    22
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Kent, Wa
    I am smoking pink salmon for the first time. I ran into a problem where i couldn't do a decent job descaling the fish by scraping the skin with my fillet knife against the grain of the scales. Is there a better method? Do you even worry about it? In other words, do you smoke the salmon with the scales left on the skin?

    John
     
  2. Mike T

    Mike T Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2006
    Messages:
    867
    Likes Received:
    61
    Location:
    Gig Harbor, WA
    I found the same thing and just smoke them as is. I've not found it to be as much a problem as I anticipated.
     
  3. ibn

    ibn Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2002
    Messages:
    1,885
    Media:
    513
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Federal Way
    Home Page:
    Smoke it with the scales on, it's no issue.
     
  4. Randy Lindahl

    Randy Lindahl Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    :P
    ...and if your really hungry and just need to remove those darn scales...the neighbor boy (with the help of grandpa) was selling these wonderful items. They work great!
    Randy
     
  5. 2506

    2506 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    it shouldn't be an issue, but if you have OCD the best cure is to go to ACE hardware and buy the scaler they carry. Cheap aluminum thing runs about $5. It's the best tool I've found for that purpose yet.
    Also, scale the fish at the river, not at your house.
     
  6. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Messages:
    3,866
    Media:
    192
    Likes Received:
    1,271
    Location:
    Pipers Creek
    Leave the scales on. They help your fish stick less to your smoker racks.
     
  7. Dylan D

    Dylan D Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    323
    Media:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    West Seattle
    Not sure about Pinks, but to get scales off of silvers & kings we use a hose with a high powered stream nozzle. Lay the fish down on the grass, and starting from the tail end, spray the water up under the scales to dislodge them, working up to the front. Flip the fish over, repeat, and you're done. Plus your lawn gets a shiny spot.

    Can't see why it wouldn't work for pinks too.
     
  8. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Messages:
    3,223
    Media:
    39
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Eagle River, Alaska
    smoke them then skin them
     
  9. Caveman

    Caveman Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Messages:
    721
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    N/A
    Turn the fish around and hose the scales off from tail to nose.

    Adam
     
  10. steeli

    steeli Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2002
    Messages:
    375
    Media:
    32
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    For presentation grilling, I take off the scales. Some people actually eat the skin when grilled well..less scales the better. For smoking, I wouldn't worry about taking them off. The more oils left in the fish, I think the better for smoking. For descaling, any cheap wire brush has always worked for me.
     
  11. Kim Hampton

    Kim Hampton Not Politically Correct

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
    Messages:
    276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Tacoma, Wa
    iagree
    Garden hose with a nozzle. Spray against the grain. Easy.:)
     
  12. Lately, I've been too lazy to take the skin off and most ppl end up tossing it anyhow as they pick through the smoked salmon. I do scale fish, when I am planning on grilling it as I enjoy eating the salmon skin, crispy in olive oil and good in sushi rolls. Some of the hardest fish to de-scale are rockfish. Man, what a pain in the arse! Definitely would do all the scaling, cleaning on the beach, it will make for much easier cleanup.
     
  13. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Messages:
    3,223
    Media:
    39
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Eagle River, Alaska
    seriously though people descale salmon?
     
  14. Salmo_Gairdneri

    Salmo_Gairdneri Another Fly Fisher

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Snohomish, WA
    100% of the time if possible.

    Less slime, Better flavor.

    Just take a 5" piece of 2"x2" board, screw 5 bottle caps to one edge. Works like an absolute thing of beauty.

    Slime is gone.

    -t
     
  15. gearhead

    gearhead Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Messages:
    667
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    Renton, wa
    Like Caveman said, hold the tail and hose 'em off, if you have to scale. also, why not just skin them. me and my three buddies, have caught maybe 250-300 in the last week, bringing back only our limit of course, and smoking them skinless, shorter brine time and cooking period.
    best of luck!
     
  16. TC

    TC I live with wind knots

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    iagree

    Been eating salmon, and salmon jerky since I was 3 years old. Aint never scaled a salmon in my life. Never saw the need for it once I got older. Still don't
     
  17. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
    Messages:
    4,126
    Media:
    203
    Likes Received:
    594
    Location:
    Near the Fjord
    iagree

    Yup! It's a piece of cake! Takes seconds!
     
  18. Jay Allyn

    Jay Allyn The Poor-Student Fly Fisher

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    Messages:
    852
    Media:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bellingham/Puyallup, WA
    Yep second the piece of wood with bottle caps nailed to it. Scrapes the scales off in no time.
     
  19. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Messages:
    3,223
    Media:
    39
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Eagle River, Alaska
    I have never until now once heard of anyone removing scales from a salmon... Except removing skin to make chowder or can the fish.

    And Up here in Alaska we are salmon snobs... Crazy, waste of time if you ask me, if you don't like the slime, rinse the fish in water before you cook it, pat it down with a paper towel before you vaccum pack it. Fish skin is slimy scales or no scales. I can't believe anyone would go though the trouble of removing salmon scales, incredible.

    But hey what do I know I won't eat salmon unless I am on a beach looking at the water I pulled it out of.
     
  20. Finspot

    Finspot New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    West of Cascades, WA
    Home Page:
    No need to de-scale. As Stonefish said, an added bonus is the fillets won't stick to the smoker rack so easily. Plus, since you're dealing with smaller fish=thinner fillets, you want that added protection to keep meat from drying out while smoking.
     

Share This Page