Catfish is one of the popular fish consumed in Nigeria. They are fish without scales but have the presence of fins. They have wide heads and their skins are always slippery when fresh due to the oily nature they have. Catfish grill house and consumption.
Catfish are consumed all over the world either in their boiled form or dried form. They are consumed in America, Asia, Africa, and other parts of the world where Africans reside.
Over the years, the consumption of both fresh and dried catfish keeps increasing but there has been more preference for the dried catfish because of their long shelf life. The dried catfish takes time before getting spoilt and therefore they are preferred by a lot of people especially those who buy foodstuffs in bulk to store or those who are traveling far from where the fish can be gotten.
Also, catfish are known to be crunchy and have a very sweet taste that gives customers maximum satisfaction. All this has made a lot of people such as mothers, house wife’s, students, farmers, etc seek knowledge on catfish processing.
The process of drying Catfish involves cleaning, seasoning, and drying your catfish for a long period until it gets dried to your satisfaction.
The factors to consider before drying your catfish at home are:
- The purpose of drying the catfish.
- The heat source to be used.
The purpose of drying your catfish: Catfish can be fried for various purposes which will determine the methods to be used. They can be fried for personal consumption or they can be dried for commercial purposes i.e. to be sold for profit making.
For catfish that are dried for personal consumption, the processor may decide to use any available resources to process the fish but the catfish that are for commercial consumption must be properly processed. The processor must follow food processing requirements to give the consumers the best.
One of the things that must be considered and followed is the second point which will be explained below.
The process of drying catfish will require the presence of consistent heat from a good source over some time.
For Catfish processing, you will require heat for about 48 to 65 hours depending on how dry you want your catfish to be.
Looking at the length of time it takes catfish to get well-dried, it is good to make adequate provision for a sufficient supply of the heat required.
Four popular sources of heat are been used which are:
Charcoal: This is one of the cheap sources of heat available to dry your catfish. It is popularly used by those who have an oven for drying food items. It is also a safe source of heat because it does not have direct contact with the fish but it gives a very high level of consistent heat. Catfish grill house and consumption.
Firewood: This is a popular source of heat which appears to be the cheapest among the various heat sources available.
This heat source is known to not be too hygienic, unlike the other sources because of the pattern the processors adopt for the heat chamber setup.
Most times, processors make the fish get too close to the wood which makes the smell and color of the wood run off on the fish. Also, the fish may contain sand due to contact with the wood.
Electricity: This is one of the expensive sources of heat but it is known to be one of the hygienic or safe heat sources. It is used by those who have an electric Oven.
Gas: This is also one source of heat that is used to dry catfish in Oven. It may be expensive or cheap depending on the location but it is known to be a hygienic heat source.
Before embarking on the process of drying your catfish at home, you must take into consideration your purpose of drying the fish and the source of heat you will be using.
Choosing the source of heat can be due to several factors listed below.
Factors that determine the source of heat for drying your catfish:
- Types of available heat chambers.
Accessibility: The heat source to be used must be easily accessible. This will make it possible for you to be able to dry your fish any day you plan to.
Cost: If the purpose of drying the fish is to sell to consumers, then you may need to look out for a source of heat that is cheap, accessible, and hygienic. This will help to reduce the cost of production for your business.
Types of available heat chamber: The heat chamber facility that is available and accessible to you will determine the heat source you will go for.
For instance, you can only go for Gas if you have a Oven and you can go for firewood if you have a local iron drum or tank that has been shaped to dry food items like fish.
So far, we have covered a lot about catfish and its consumption such as the history, factors to consider before drying your catfish at home, and the factors that determine the source of heat for drying your catfish.
In the next chapter, I will take you on the practical steps on how to dry your catfish quickly at home like a professional. Catfish grill house and consumption.