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Smoked Fish Business by knowledge(m): 04:03pm On 4 Apr
SMOKE FISH BUZ
One of the easiest and cheapest cottage agric
businesses you can start without stress is a catfish
smoking business. There are several catfish farmers
in Nigeria today, so getting catfish to smoke is not a
problem. All you need to start this business is skill
and determination. You don’t have to be a catfish farmer, you might not even have an idea of how fish
grows but you can make big money smoking fish for
fish farmers. This is a business for both fish farmers
and non-fish farmers. Smoking fish can be easy if
you follow some basic steps. The four basic steps in
smoking fish are cleaning, curing, smoking and drying. Tips on smoking catfish
The first step in your fish smoking business is to
obtain some fresh fish. If it doesn’t look FRESH or
smell FRESH or feel FRESH, it probably isn’t, and it
will make your finished product taste bad. Use fresh
fish. Smoking will not hide old fish. The quality will be reflected.Catfish harvest is categorize into two
namely melange (unit weight between 300g-600g)
and table size (600g-above),the price/kg of melange
is between N350-N400 and N450-N500 for table size
as at today. The pocket size of your target audience
will determine the type in terms of size of fish to smoke. After harvesting (as a farmer) or purchasing (as a
non farmer) your fresh catfish, put them in a
container and add a reasonable amount of cooking
salt and cover the container with a lid and place a
heavy object on the lid to prevent the fish from
getting out of the container.Leave for about 30 minutes after which all the fish must have been dead
then you can start the steps mentioned above. CLEANING
• clean fish, removing the gills and intestine.
• Wash in clean water. BRINE AND CURE
what is brine? Basically, brine is salt and water.
Soaking the fish in brine will achieve a few things:
• It will firm up the flesh to be less mushy.
• It will draw out any old blood, which will improve
the taste. • It will add some saltiness to the fish in the right
amounts; this is desired.
• It will add some additional flavoring to the fish.
• The cure will ensure that we are protected from the
deadly botulism bacteria, especially since this is a
relatively low temperature cooking environment. (Brine recipe • 1/2 gallon good clean spring water •
3/4 cup kosher salt (or plain salt, but not iodized salt) SMOKING AND DRYING
• Prepare smoker. Too much smoke will cause the
fish to taste bitter. Use just enough wood to
maintain a steady smoke (Read my next post for
types of oven and there advantages)
• Remove fish from brine and rinse with cold water. • Place fish, skin side down on oiled smoker rack.
• Keep the fire low, for the first two hours.
• Increase heat after the first two hours. The length
of time will depend on the thickness of the fish, and
on your preference for dry or moist smoked fish.
• . Continue smoking until fish is flaky and cooked through. NB:Avoid smoking fish with firewood and sawdust,
this is because these two generates a lot of smoke
which contains high PAH that is very toxic to human
health. Read the next post titled "types of oven" for
information's on this There are many advantages for smoking fish. It
prolongs the “shelf life” of the fish once it has been
smoked. Many people believe it enhances the flavor
when used in sauces and soup. If you harvest a
number of fish at a time, you can decide to smoke
some to increase your income. A kilo of smoked fish is between N2500 – N3000. You can pack them in
bags per kilo by sealing with low oxygen or even sell
as fish hampers.
A smoked catfish can be stored in the freezer for
sixty days.
Last but not least, smoked fish is a great way to get omega-3 fatty acids. There are numerous studies
showing positive effects of these acids on the
prevention of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

In other to smoke your fish and preserve it for as
long as 12-16 weeks without the fish growing mould
or getting spoilt then you have extract between
75-80% moisture and oil from the fish. i.e if you
smoke a fish that weighs 1kg after smoking the
weight should be between 200-250 grams. this can be easilly archieved by weighing your fish before
smoking if possible on the rack of the oven

How lucrative is the business? i am sure someone is
asking that question which indeed is one of the most
important question to ask before venturing into the
business of fish smoking either for local market or
the international market which is exportation (we will
talk more on that in the future) Yes i have said it before, the business is lucrative and
this is how: In fish smoking business, you either
smoke your own farmed fish or buy from fish
farmers, either way you will surely make your profit
but i usally advise people to smoke their own farmed
fish as the profit margin on that is very high but its most easy for people who are full time fish farmers.
Lets start with the example of someone that wants
to buy from a fish farmer, basically the rampant type
of fish that are been smoked are refer to as melunch
which ranges from any fish that can be folded
through fishes that weigh 400g (i.e fish that weigh 400g and below while fishes that weighs 400g and
above are refered to as table size). The melunch
presently sells for about 400/kg while the table sizes
sales for 500-550/kg. If you buy 100kg of melunch at 400/kg that means
you are to pay N40,000 for the 100kg of fish. follow
the steps stated above to smoke, remember you will
lose about 70-75% of the weight after smoking for
longer preservation which means you will be left with
about 25kg of smoked fish after the process. let us assume you made use of 2000 worth of gas or
charcoal as power source depending on your type of
smoking kiln (2000 naira is way too much for gas or
charcoal for 100kg fish though) then you would have
spent 42,000 + 3000 for miscelaneous then the
total should be around 45,000. The present market value for smoked fish is 3000/kg
(thats why an average 1000pack of smoke fish
weighs about 330g-350g) there your 25kg will fetch
you 25 multiply by 3000 which will give you 75,000. 75,000-45,000 = 30,000 profit. Remember the man that sells melunch to you is also
making profit, so what if you are the farmer that
farmed the melunch?
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