The fish is cleaned, headed and washed, then soaked in a warm brine (175 F / 80 C) for 1 hour. Then it is impaled on steel rods and hot-smoked:
- first at 85 F (30 C) for 45 to 60 minutes;
- then at 125 F (50 C) for about 30 minutes;
- then at 175 F (80 C) for 60 minutes or more until the fish is cooked.
The fish ends up a dark, golden-brown colour.
It is then cooled and packed in plastic bags or vacuum packs.
Buckling can be eaten room temperature or warmed up.
Though the name comes from the German word “Bückling”, it’s not completely the same meaning. In Germany, Buckling can be made from whole, uncleaned fish, or even just fillets.