You can’t just throw any old fish on the pellet smoker. Some varieties are much better suited than others.
But not to worry, we’ve tracked down the best options so you don’t have to. You’ll be smoking up some delicious, tasty fish in no time!
Table of contents
Fatty Fish Are Best to Smoke
Fish with high-fat contents tend to smoke better as they absorb the smoke. We recommend avoiding leaner fish like cod or grouper.
Depending on the fat content, type of smoker, and meat that you’re using cooking times will vary.
Salmon is easily one of the most common types of fish meats to choose from. When it comes to the cooking process salmon can be grilled, smoked, or seared.
Searching for something cheap, easy, and tasty?
Tuna is a classic for a reason, with plenty of natural flavors. Tuna needs little to no seasoning, minimal brining, and a quick cooking time.
Along with salmon, sea bass is also one of the more expensive options out there. But fish has less of a fishy flavor and smell. It’s a great white fish to smoke and has a mild sweet fish taste.
For an especially healthy option hit up some swordfish. Swordfish is jam-packed and full of omega-3 fatty acids. Smoke swordfish low and slow for nice and juicy meat.
Amberjack is a great fish to smoke, it has a high fat content, this keeps it moist as well as soaks up the smoky flavors.
Herring, like swordfish, has tons of omega-3 fatty acids. It also comes with a unique smoky flavor that is different from other varieties.
For those looking to experiment with flavors or up their smoking game, give herring a try.
Mackerel is one of the most versatile fish that you can get. Fresh, canned, or frozen are all great options. For a cheaper option opt for frozen fish, you’ll still get delicious results!
Mullet fish have thick skin and large scales. This makes them an ideal fish for smoking and results in rich buttery meat.
When smoked, mullet can also result in a nutty flavor that is unique and delicious.
Anchovies typically come in cans or jars. While they’re not as popular for cooking on a pellet smoker, you can make great dishes and seasonings out of them.
We recommend making smoked butter out of your anchovies.
Sablefish also known as butterfish is a meat with a delicate texture.
It is a white fish filet that turns yellow when it’s smoked. Sablefish has a high-fat content so it’s perfect for smoking on your pellet smoker.
Carp may not be the most popular fish around, but it works well when smoked. Be sure to prepare the fresh fish properly, to avoid an overpowering flavor.
Carp is also one of the oiler types of fish you can purchase, so the smoking process can be longer.
This freshwater fish is perfect if you’re after a more subtle flavor. My smoked trout recipe doesn’t need much seasoning, but try just some lemon to finish it off
Sardines may be small but they have epic flavor!
The most commonly come in cans but they can be grilled, fried, or smoked. These small oily fish are full of strong flavor and can be a great appetizer.
This saltwater fish has a high-fat content and can easily be smoked.
It is also a member of the herring family, so has a similar flavor to other varieties. Make sure to properly debone shad, otherwise smoking (and eating) can be difficult.
When it comes to smoking fish on your pellet smoker, there are plenty of options!
For cheaper options go for fish like tuna or mackerel. For more expensive options with extra flavor go for a piece of salmon or sea bass.
Using a pellet smoker with fish is a great idea and can result in a variety of flavors and dishes.
Be sure to keep an eye on the internal temperature of the meat, because smoking times will vary.
What type of fish do you smoke with on your pellet smoker?
Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)
You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!
You can read more on our About Us page.
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