Smoke Your Catch

Pellet smoker with filets on the grill
Smoking your fish is the best way to enjoy your catch IMHO


Wet brine ingredients on a counter top
Wet Brine Ingredients
  • Brown Sugar
  • Canning Salt
  • Balsamic Vinegar/Worchestershire Sauce (optional)
  • Cajun Seasoning (optional)
fish soaking in wet brine in a big plastic tupperware
Mix salt, brown sugar and seasoning together with water.

Mix it up

  • Mix 4 parts brown sugar to 1 part salt. Add other seasonings to taste as you prefer
  • Make sure the liquid covers the fillets
  • Put in the fridge overnight
  • Take out in the morning and rinse your filets off with cold water
rinsed off fish drying on a rack to form the sticky pellicle that the smoke will stick to
Place filets on a drying rack for 1-2 hours. I use a fan to speed up the process. This forms a sticky substance called a “pellicle” which allows the smoke to stick to the meat.

Pellicle Time

Once the pellicle has formed, add black pepper, salt, dill, tarragon, brown sugar, or whatever you want the fish to taste like. I typically do crushed black peppercorn, cajun mix, and tarragon. Now it’s time to smoke your catch.

trager pellet grill in closed position

Preset your smoker to 160 degrees.

  • Once it is preheated, add your filets and start smoking your fish!
  • If you have a “supersmoke” option on your smoker like I do on the Traeger, use it now
  • Smoke for 2 hours, then brush with maple syrup
  • Brush again at hour 3 and crank the heat to 175
  • Brush again at hour 4 and crank to 190 to finish
  • Internal temp should be 145 degrees
finished product wrapped in aluminum foil in the fridge
Remove fish from smoker once internal temp hits 145 degrees
  • Wrap fish in foil and put in the fridge for a few hours to rest
  • Fish will last about a week in the fridge
Vacuum sealer and labelling your bag with date and type of fish
If you plan to freeze it, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND using a vacuum sealer to best preserve it.
Label packages with date and eat within 1 year for best taste.

Also check out COOK YOUR CATCH for other ideas on how to enjoy your fish (that is, if you don’t like to smoke your fish)

Another recipe from Hank Shaw HERE, who is one of my favorites when it comes to recipes.