First prepare all the necessary products. And you will need only two products - fresh herring and coarse salt. You will need wood shavings and natural twine. The ideal option is freshly caught herring, but usually you have to smoke frozen. And if you have it, put it in a bowl on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator until it is completely defrosted. In any case, do not defrost it in water or a microwave oven. In the first case, there will be a lot of water in it, in the other, just cook it before smoking.
The first step is to prepare the fish. To do this, wash and dry the herring. At the bottom of the dish, along the entire length of the fish, pour salt. Rub the herring with salt and put it in a form for salting. Sprinkle salt on top, cover with a lid or wrap with cling film and refrigerate. The salting time depends on the size and weight of the herring, as well as whether this fish has been frozen. For unfrozen medium-sized fish. 2-3 hours is quite enough. If the fish was frozen, it is better to leave this fish in the refrigerator for 12 hours. The salt will draw out the liquid and seal the meat.
After that, take out the head, open it, take out the insides and make sure there is a black film that gives bitterness. Quickly rinse and thoroughly dry the fish inside and out.
To keep the herring in shape and make it easier to remove, tie it with twine. It should be natural so that it does not pop up during cooking. Or without it at all.
Hang the herring on a string, from the tail side, in a shady, well-ventilated place, covered with insect gauze. Leave it on for 2-3 hours. The fish should be sluggish so that the excess liquid does not boil the fish during smoking.
Moisten wood chips for smoking, not too much, with water and put them on the bottom of the smokehouse in an even layer one centimeter thick. Wood chips from alder, cherry or apple trees are best suited. In no case do not take coniferous chips, the fish will turn out to be bitter because of the resin in these rocks. Install the first grid. Place a baking tray to collect the fat and liquid.
Put a second grate on which lay out the herring at some distance.
Close the smokehouse and put it on the grill with moderate heat. After the smoke comes out from under the lid, smoke the fish for 25-30 minutes. If you have a straight lid on the smokehouse, I recommend removing the lid after 10 minutes and washing off the carbon. It can start dripping on the fish, leaving a black trail and bitterness. After the time has elapsed, remove the smoker from the grill and remove the lid. Leave to infuse for another 5 minutes and remove. Place on a plate and cool.
You can serve immediately, but it is better if the fish lies in the refrigerator for several hours. Of course, by packing it in a bag so that the refrigerator and food don't smell like smoke.