Photo by Holly A. Heyser

I am a smoker. I admit it. Smoked foods are some of my favorites, and while the basic process for smoking is all very similar — salt cure, dry, smoke, eat, repeat — there is a lot of nuance and variation in exactly how you get to that point. Below are my recipes for all kinds of smoked meats and fish. All are designed for wild game or wild fish or shellfish, but you can almost always substitute store-bought meat and fish.

As for the smokers I prefer, I use a Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker. The Bradley is excellent for cooler temperature smoking, but you do need to buy the special bisquettes to use it. There are plenty of other great smokers out there, though, so use whatever you are comfortable with.

Keep in mind these are all recipes for hot-smoked products, and hot smoked meats and fish do not keep as long as cold smoked things, such as salami or salmon.

Smoked Meats

A whole smoked pheasant is a beautiful thing. Don’t you agree? This one’s glazed with maple syrup.

A very special recipe for a German smoked goose breast, from Pomerania in Northern Germany. One of the best things I’ve ever made.

Another awesome thing to do with goose breasts. This works best with Canada geese or domesticated geese.

Smoked Fish and Shellfish

My method for smoking salmon is very simple, but I’ve perfected it over many years. It’s a wet-brine with a maple glaze, although I prefer Alaskan birch syrup when I can get it.

Lake trout are similar to salmon, and you can use the recipe above for your lakers, but I like this recipe better. It reflects the cold, Northern lakes these fish swim in.

This method of smoking salmon uses a dry cure with lots of brown sugar. You also glaze the strips salmon with maple syrup to make this some of the best road food you’ll ever eat.

By far the best way to eat mussels, in my opinion. These freeze well and are great on their own with a little olive or squash seed oil, or tossed in salads or pasta.

Similar to my smoked mussels, only with pretty little oysters. Great mixed into pasta or soups.

A classic New York deli specialty, this is smoked black cod or sabelfish with a little glaze of honey and a light dusting of paprika.

Sturgeon is firmer and meatier than most fish, so I use a dry cure here. The result is mind-blowingly good.

This content was originally published here.