Reminiscent of your favorite canned fish, this recipe is a nice smokey bite to add to so many meals, its even great for fishing out for a snack.
Soak thawed (if frozen) fish in a brine of 3/4 water & 1/4 apple cider vinegar, garlic, salt, and honey to taste, for ~3 hours in the fridge. (Generally for a quart it’ll be a tablespoon salt and a teaspoon of honey with 1 smashed garlic clove.)
A nice trick is to get together the salt, honey, and garlic and add enough piping hot water for it to dissolve, then finish topping it off with cold water so the brine is ready immediately.
Strain and pat the fish with a towel and leave uncovered to dry in the fridge for a couple hours. The smoke sticks best to things tacky to the touch.
Smoke the smelt for ~30 minutes at 175 degrees, or until done. Be careful to not overcook or they will dry out quickly.
In a jar add garlic clove, herbs like thyme, a piece of dried hot pepper, a slice of lemon, and whatever else strikes you. Pack in the smoked fish and cover with olive oil.
Store in the fridge and enjoy on bread with kraut and cream cheese.