May 19, 2022

The Smokeshack

How to Smoke Fish: A Beginner’s Guide to Smoking Seafood

Smoked fish is a classic seafood dish that is beloved by many. The flaky texture of the fish flesh pairs perfectly with the smoky flavor of the burnt wood, making it a delicious option for many dishes. 

While there are many ways to smoke fish, the most important thing is ensuring that the fish is cooked correctly. This will help to prevent any foodborne illness and guarantee that the fish is safe to eat.

When smoking fish, it’s also essential to keep an eye on the temperature of the wood smokes. If the temperature gets too high, it can cause the fish to overcook and dry out

If you take care in smoking your fish, you’ll enjoy a delicious (and safely cooked) meal.

5 Steps to Hot Smoke Fish & Seafood

If you’re new to hot smoking fish or seafood, follow the 5 easy steps below.

1. Make the proper selection of fish. 

When it comes to smoking fish, there are a few things to remember to choose the right fish. First and foremost, it’s essential to choose a fresh fish. This will ensure that the fish has the best flavor. 

Additionally, fatty fish tend to work best for smoking. This is because the fat helps to impart plenty of flavor into the fish. Some good examples of fatty fish include salmon, trout, and mackerel. 

So the next time you’re at the store, look for these types of fish. With a little planning, you can ensure that your next smoked fish dish is delicious and full of flavor.

2. Prepare the fish. 

Before smoking or eating a fish you plan to smoke, you must prep it. If you’re working with a whole, fresh fish, the first step is to scrape off the scales using the dull back of the knife. Next, you’ll need to remove the head, fins, tails, and guts. You can do this by making a cut behind the head and then following the body all the way down to the tail.

Once the head and guts are removed, rinse the body over cold water to remove any remaining blood and guts. At this point, your fish is ready to be cooked or frozen for later use.

If your fish is storebought and already cleaned, simply rinse it well with cold water.

3. Pat dry.

Whether you choose to brine or not, it’s essential to dry your fish well before applying dry seasonings. This will help the spices and herbs adhere to the surface of the fish.

Simply pat the fish dry with paper towels. Then, sprinkle your favorite spices and seasonings onto both fish surfaces. Be sure to use a light hand so that the herb does not overpower the fish’s natural flavor. 

If you choose to wet brine, you’ll need to brine the fish for at least 8 – 12 hours prior to smoking.

4. Prepare the grill or smoker.

To hot smoke your fish, you’ll need to prepare the fuel and cooking element. You can hot smoke on either a grill or a smoker. Preheat the wood chips for 45 minutes if you use a grill, or, if you’re using a smoker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Once the wood chips are heated, they’ll be ready to use. Add them to your grill or smoker and cook your food as desired. 

5. Check for fully cooked fish.

When smoking fish, it’s essential to cook it all the way through to an internal temperature of 145°F. The best way to do this is to smoke the fish between 175°F and 200°F. 

Depending on the size of the fish, this will take about three hours. It’s essential to check the internal temperature of the fish regularly to ensure that it doesn’t overcook. Once the fish is cooked, it can be enjoyed immediately or stored for later.


                                                                                                                                                                  
So, there you have it: five steps to hot smoking your fish. It’s a fairly simple process, and the delicious smoked fish you get as a result is worth it. 

Check out our smoked seafood and order some of the best-smoked fish. You won’t regret it!

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