Smoked seafood workshop on tap at Kodiak

Alaska Sea Grant’s annual smoked seafood workshop is set for Oct. 17-18 in Kodiak, with a focus on safe processing of locally caught chum and coho salmon and black cod.

The course, which is popular with individuals and commercial operators alike, costs $310, and is limited to 20 participants.

Instruction and hands-on classes include filleting sockeye salmon for curing and cold smoking to hot-smoking chum, coho and block cod plus brining, and preparation of fish sausage.

The workshop is a cooperative effort between Alaska Sea Grant and the Manufacturing Alaska Extension Partnership, part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology national network.

The classes, which fill up quickly, include an equal mix of individuals wanting to know how to safely smoke their own catch and entrepreneurs in the business of selling smoked seafood, said Chris Sannito, a seafood technology specialist with Sea Grant’s Marine Advisory Program at the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center. Sannito conducts the course annually, with retired seafood microbiologist Brian Himmelbloom, of Kodiak, and John Springer of Enviropak, a manufacturer of thermal processing ovens.

Classes are limited in size to allow each participant to actively engage in every hands-on activity at the KSMSC pilot plant.

A major objective of the workshop is food safety. Most safety issues involve contamination during the post processing period, Sannito said. A lot of times cross contamination can occur between packaging and how they handle the fish afterward, he said.

Instruction includes steps in determining whether the seafood to be processed is healthy to begin with.

“We talk about how you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear,” he said. “We always stress that quality going in is quality going out.”

Further information on the course and for registration is online alaskaseagrant.org/event/smoked-seafood-school-2019 or contact Sannito at csannito@alaska.edu.