Help with Fish

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Feb 13, 2019
Hey Everyone

I'm thinking about diving into grilling and smoking fish, however I hardly have any experience with it at all. I'm a beef lover through and through and I do eat fish but generally sushi or ceviche which we just dice it up and throw it in some lime juice for a couple hours.

I know that i'm not a fan of cooked salmon (hardly a fan of it raw either). Aside from that, what are the best fish to use for grilling?



Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
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May 13, 2013
Little Elm, TX
We love grouper, Mahi Mahi, Halibut, Cod, and Snapper grilled. We started doing it on a salt block about a year ago an have been very impressed. It does require a hot cook and we use alder wood chips in smoke tube for the light smoke flavor.
As for smoking fish, I like Salmon and Trout the best. Lot of help and ideas here in SMF forums.

Smoke ON!



Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Jan 14, 2014
Northeast pa
although I usually do bluegill, bass, and perch, I have to do them on tinfoil though, i've had sword fish and tuna which are excellent.

chef jimmyj

Gone but not forgotten. RIP
OTBS Member
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May 12, 2011
With the exception of Halibut, any Round Fish is firm enough to Grill. Flounder, Fluke Sole are all too delicate. Steaks and Whole Fish, in the 1-2 pound range, are better able to stand the handling than thin Fillets. My fav, Chilean Sea Bass brushed with Teriyaki...JJ


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Sep 15, 2012
Trout is a favorite here along with salmon.



Smoking Fanatic
Oct 9, 2018
For grilling; pompano.
For hot smoking; mackerel
Some fish are essay to overcook (tuna, whaoo), other are more forgiving (salmon, mahi).

If possible, find a source of local fresh fish.
There's nothing in a bigger rush than a dead fish.

If anyone is on the space coast, Seafood Atlantic is worth a visit:


Smoking Guru
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Dec 30, 2016
Wow eliminating salmon from the grill is a major option, but to each their own. The 'ol lady never liked salmon until I started grilling it for her :)

The fish I would recommend grilling now would be Tuna (Ahi), and Swordfish.

For the Tuna get the grill stupid hot, rub some oil on the fish, season, and then throw on and sear on each side for a min or so.

Swordfish doesn't need to be as hot or cooked as quickly. ENjoy :)


Master of the Pit
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Aug 16, 2016
Creswell OR
Its no wonder many Americans don't eat more fish. It can be so intimidating to cook, and it is so rare to have it prepared correctly when you go out. I mean, if you judge whether you like this fish or that by what you get at Red Lobster or most any other restaurant... and there are soo many myths and opinions about fish and seafood out there!

I'd like to make a couple of important distinctions that may help you. First is to focus on the type of cook you want to do. For example "smoked" vs "grilled" are two very different approaches. Secondary, is the kind of fish it is, and would smoke or grill differently depending seafood item it is. The advise already given about finding sources that you can trust and what you can get locally is also imperative.

If you are really apprehensive in the fish department, I would suggest just skewering up some shrimp as a starting point. They are pretty versatile with whatever flavor profile you want, and so quick and easy.

As for many other details... skin on/off, whole vs steaks or fillets. Freshwater or saltwater fish. Bottom dweller or pelagic? Country of origin, farmed/wild, sustainable sourced,(sigh)…


Smoking Fanatic
Jan 18, 2019
Hartford. S/W Michigan
In my humble opinion, any salmonoid is great smoked. Whether you use slab, chunk or steaks, I like a wet brine over nite but each to his own. When grilling I'll break out a couple of slabs of spring caught Silver Salmon aka Coho. Damn it, now I'm hunger.


Master of the Pit
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Jun 23, 2012
SF Bay Area, CA
I grill or smoke what we catch which is mainly Rock & Ling Cod & and a lot of Salmon. Halibut as well when we do some bay fishing. Since the wife and I catch, smoke and consume a lot of Salmon as a finger food, when I cook it for an entree, I will grill it using different marinades but don't bother adding smoke. Like the change.
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