Best Fish to Smoke: A Guide to Delicious and Healthy Sustainable Seafood

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Smoking fish is a delicious way to preserve its freshness and enhance its flavor. However, not all fish are created equal when it comes to smoking. In this article, we will explore the best fish to smoke and why they are great choices for a tasty and healthy meal.

Top Fish to Smoke

Here are some of the best fish to smoke for a mouth-watering meal:


Salmon is the most popular fish to smoke, and for good reason. It has a high-fat content that is perfect for smoking, resulting in a rich, flavorful taste. Not only that, but salmon is also packed with omega-3 fatty acids, making it a healthy and sustainable choice.


Trout is another great fish to smoke, with a delicate and mild flavor that pairs well with smoky flavors. It also has a firm texture that holds up well during smoking, making it a popular choice for both home cooks and professional chefs.


Mackerel is a lesser-known fish that is perfect for smoking. It has a strong flavor that stands up well to smoking, and a high-fat content that makes it an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Plus, mackerel is a sustainable fish that is often overlooked by consumers, even though it is readily available and affordable.

How to Smoke Fish

Smoking fish is a relatively simple process that requires just a few basic steps. Here’s how to smoke fish at home:

Step 1: Brine the Fish

Brining the fish before smoking helps to ensure that it stays moist and flavorful during the smoking process. Simply mix salt, sugar, and any other desired seasonings in a bowl of water, and submerge the fish in the brine for several hours.

Step 2: Prepare the Smoker

Preheat the smoker to the desired temperature, usually between 165 – 185°F. Add wood chips or chunks to the smoker box, such as hickory, mesquite, or applewood.

Step 3: Smoke the Fish

Remove the fish from the brine, pat it dry, and place it on the smoker rack. Smoke the fish for 1-2 hours, until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of wood are best for smoking fish?

Some of the best types of wood for smoking fish include alder, applewood, cherry, hickory, mesquite, and oak. Each type of wood imparts a different flavor profile, so experiment with different woods to find your favorite.

Is smoking fish healthy?

Smoking fish is a healthy option, especially when using sustainable fish like salmon, trout, and mackerel. These fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for heart health and brain function.


Smoking fish is a delicious and healthy way to enjoy sustainable seafood. By choosing the right fish and using proper smoking techniques, you can create a flavorful meal that is sure to impress. So grab your smoker and favorite wood chips, and get ready to indulge in some of the best fish that nature has to offer.


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