How to Smoke Mackerel

Barbecue smoked mackerel cooked low and slow over oak wood. Rich in fishy flavor and matched with an easy dry brine, this is as good as smoked fish comes. Find out everything you need to know with our hot smoked mackerel recipe.

homamde barbecue smoked mackerel recipe

Smoked mackerel is unlike any other type of fish. Unlike white fish like haddock or smoked tilapia, it’s an oily fish that is packed full of moisture and flavor. This makes it perfect for hot smoking. Best of all, it couldn’t be easier to do at home!

In our simple recipe, we prepare the fish in a dry brine consisting of just salt, before smoking each mackerel fillet for a couple of hours over low heat.

You can season them with black pepper and mustard, or just the fillets alone! The fish oil does wonders at locking in moisture and natural smokey flavors from your grill’s coals, and is a cut above any store-bought mackerel.

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homemade barbecue smoked mackerel recipe
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4.79 from 14 votes

Smoked Mackerel

Barbecue smoked mackerel cooked low and slow over oak wood. Rich in fishy flavor and matched with an easy dry brine, this is as good as smoked fish comes.
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, BBQ
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 6

Equipment

  • Oak wood chips
  • Water Pan

Ingredients

  • 6 mackerel gutted and cleaned
  • ½ cup kosher salt

Instructions

  • Apply the kosher salt to the mackerel, sprinkling both sides on each fillet. Leave fish to dry brine for 45-60 minutes.
  • Rinse mackerel with tap water and pat dry with paper towels. Place on a cooling rack to dry completely.
  • Heat up smoker or charcoal grill to 275°F (135°C). If you are using a charcoal grill, set up for indirect grilling with your coals placed up at one end of the grill chamber.
  • When your smoker is at cooking temperature, place mackerel on grates and cook for two hours. The fish will be done when it has developed a golden brown color and flakes when touched with a fork or prongs.
  • Remove from smoker or grill. Either carve into smaller pieces or enjoy whole.

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