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How to Smoke Fish
From your Barbecues & Grilling Guide

Smoking fish can be easy if you follow some basic steps. All you need is a smoker, fuel and some fish.

Difficulty Level: Average    Time Required: 4 to 6 hours

Here's How:
  1. Use only fresh fish or fish that was quickly frozen.
  2. Clean fish, removing the head, tail, fins, etc.. Also remove any bruised or damaged flesh.
  3. Wash in clean water.
  4. Prepare a salt-water brine of 2 1/2 tablespoons plain salt to 1 cup of water. You need 1 quart of brine for 1 pound of fish.
  5. Place fish in brine for 15 minutes per 1/2-inch thickness of the fish.
  6. Prepare smoker. Plan on smoking for 3 hours plus 30 minutes per pound of fish.
  7. Remove fish from brine and rinse with cold water.
  8. Place fish, skin side down on oiled smoker rack.
  9. Keep the temperature low, around 150
  10. Increase heat after the first 2 hours to around 200
  11. Continue smoking until fish is flaky and cooked through.
  12. Serve immediately or refrigerate. If you don't plan on eating the fish in a couple of days, wrap it tightly and put it in the freezer.


  1. To reduce the fishy smell, add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice per cup of brine.
  2. If this is your first try at smoking fish, I recommend not using an expensive fish. Try it out with the couple of cheaper fish until you get the hang of it.

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