Fishing Reports

How to make Rockfish Jerky

Several years ago, a frequent customer on the Miss Brooke pulled out a bag of jerky and started handing out pieces to everyone on the charter boat. Delicious. Dried to perfection, nice salty and smoky taste, a texture almost identical to beef jerky. The rockfish jerky was a hit, and has become a favorite way to enjoy rockfish long after a fishing trip.

Ralph Trigo, on the right, shared his Rock Cod Jerky recipe with us. Ralph has been a frequent customer of Brookings Fishing Charters.

Ralph Trigo, a longtime member of the Middle Rogue Steelheaders in Grants Pass, Oregon, shared his tasty rockfish jerky recipe with us. It can be made from fresh or frozen rockfish. While a Little Chief or Big Chief electric smoker with wood chips is ideal for making rockfish jerky, it also can be made in a food dehydrator with a few teaspoons of liquid smoke added to the brine.

One of the keys to perfect rockfish jerky is making the long, horizontal slices of the fillets. Each fillet should yield four to eight strips, depending how thin you are able to slice them. The brine is simple and similar to other meat brines. For best results, smoke with just a couple of full pans of chips, and then leave in smoker for several more hours without additional smoke.

Rockfish Jerky

4 to 8 rockfish fillets, cut into thin strips

1 1/2 cups soy sauce

1 1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup salt

pinch of garlic powder

(for added flavor, add paprika, red pepper flake, onion powder to taste)

Cut the rockfish into long, thin strips and place in a large bowl.

Add brine, place in refrigerator for 12 hours, stirring occasionally.

Rinse lightly, pat dry with paper towels.

Smoke for 8 hours, using two pan fulls of chips and then continue drying in smoker for remaining 8 hours. Check often.

Rockfish Jerky can be made from fresh or frozen rockfish fillets.
Cut rockfish fillets into thin, long strips.
After brining for 12 hours, rinse lightly and pat dry.
Smoke for up to 8 hours.
The rockfish jerky midway through the smoking process.
The finished product – smoky, salty and delicious.

To catch a limit of rockfish to make delicious rockfish jerky, visit or call our charter boat office, (541) 813-1082.

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