Smoking fish is a game-changer. Suddenly, Morwong, Surgeonfish, Blackfish, and more become saliva-causing treats for the whole family. I’m not exaggerating in the slightest!
You can use smoked fish hot in a sandwich or cold in a salad, in pasta, pate, by itself, in tacos, you name it, smoked fish makes me crazy. Writing this is making me hungry.
Here is my super quick and dirty guide to smoking fish.
- Go to Bunnings or similar and buy a smoker like this (<$70) and a smokebox like this
- Buy wood chips like these or these
- Buy a chimney and charcoal
- Buy paper towel, brown sugar (500g) and salt
- Smoker $70
- Smoke Box $10
- Wood Chips $12
- Chimney $30
- Charcoal and starters $30
- Paper Towel, Brown Sugar and Salt $15
Total Cost: $160 or so
1. Fillet your fish OR scale and remove gill rakers.
2. Dry fillets/whole fish with a paper towel (I like to dry-age the fish for a day).
3. Salt the fillets/whole fish with approx 2 tsps of salt per 500g of fish and leave the fillets to cool in the fridge while you complete the next step.
4. Fill your chimney with charcoal (⅔ is enough) and light 4-5 starters underneath the chimney. These will take about 10-15 to burn off and get the charcoal nice and hot.
5. When the charcoal is ready and the starters have all burned off, pour the charcoal into the bottom of the smoker.
¾ fill the smoke box with wood chips (don’t wet them down, they don't need it). 6. Set this to the side while you get the fish.
7. Remove the fillets from the fridge and lather them liberally in brown sugar (I use about 2-4 tablespoons per 500g of the fillet. Place the fillets on the top rack in the smoker.
8. Place the smoke box on top of the charcoals and close the smoker.
9. Here is where a mandatory beer is in order. The work is done BUT your partner must be convinced that you are there ‘monitoring’ the smoker. I don't look at the temperature gauge unless someone is watching me. Basically I try to get a nice steady stream of smoke going for at least 40 minutes. This is where experience plays in though so experimentation is advised.
10. Take the lid of the smoker after 60 minutes (or more), taking care to avoid the rising heat. Remove the fish carefully and enjoy.
11. The $160 investment will pay for itself by your 3rd or 4th session smashing down hot smoked Spanish Mackerel. The whole family will have a new appreciation for your spearing efforts and who knows, you might even be allowed to go more!
Let us know how you go in the comments.
Watch the video below for more info.