Smoked Swordfish & Grilled Swordfish! (Double the fun)!

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leah elisheva

Master of the Pit
Original poster
Sep 19, 2013
Seacoast of New Hampshire
Happy New Year and SNOW DAY, for those of us Northeast!

I smoked some simple swordfish today, and also grilled a piece, as to compare the taste side by side...

Now before you panic, and think the sword cuts above were spoiled, or "bad," my lighting doesn't show it well, but they are starting or almost now "pumpkin swordfish" pieces.

(Where the fish eat shrimp and such, and then about once a year we get a delivery from South Carolina, where the fish are therefore ORANGE, and like a yam, due to their diet - lending to fabulous flavor - yet these were "semi-pumpkin" and on their way orange, versus the white regular or bright vibrant "full pumpkin" sword)...

I nuked a red garnet yam part way, to "start" it in the micro (for just 6 minutes) and then cut it in half, wrapped one piece in grapeseed oil and then tinfoil, (for the grill) and sliced the other half and mopped the pieces in grapeseed oil, for the smoker...

The smoked version went on my little mini gas smoker (I mopped the fish through grapeseed oil first too) with hickory chips on high heat - about 400 - for 20 minutes. It should have only been 15, but now I know! Smiles.

And I have no idea who in God's name that is, out in the mild snowfall (but that is nothing, as I love to grill/smoke all year, and it is pelting down right now as I do type)...

OK, so then the grilled piece, mopped through grapeseed oil, went onto the little grill with old fashioned charcoal, and the wrapped yam, and for 6 minutes a side which ended up being WAY too long. (High heat - 420-ish). That should have been 4 minutes a side MAX, but then again, this is how we learn, right? Next time I'll know! 

So a pretty day to cook about, as my appointments got canceled due to crummy roads/weather...

The grilled...

And smoked... 

With salad, and cayenne and olive oil...

 Were really wonderful (but for the overcooking) and flavorful too!

My ultimate vote is that the SMOKED does indeed lend more flavor and moisture and is better. EVEN with me messing up the timing on both this go around, the smoked STILL was better fish wise. Yam speaking, both versions are so good. That mushy middle of the grilled, in tandem with some char on it's outer skin, is really nice. Conversely, the smoked potato is really pretty fabulous too.

Decisions, decisions.

In any event, a healthful, and simple (just the way I like it) kind of snowy day meal. I hope everyone is inside and cozy and well!!!! Cheers!!!!!! - Leah
Interesting project Leah, and nice work on the plated pictures... looked great!
Appearance-wise from my end I liked the grilled. If you agree on appearance of grilled maybe next time try cold smoking and then finishing on a grill? Experience the best of both methods!
Thank you so much MossyMo!

I'd LOVE to cold smoke, but haven't any idea HOW, and via using just what I have.

Everyone talks about pellet smokers and all such things, but I have this mini gas smoker and a charcoal little grill. And my good attitude. That's it! Smiles.

And so, if someone can tell me, step by step, (take the swordfish as an example and kindly walk me through it), how to "cold smoke" a piece of fish like that, from start to finish, and with only what I have, then I would LOVE to do it!!!

Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Nonetheless, Sweet MossyMo, thanks for the nice comments! And happy New Year to you! It's nice to know that someone enjoyed the pictures and shared taste. Indeed.

It's so beautiful here right now - snowy and snowy - and from the gal who loves fish, fish, fish, and then FISH! CHEERS!!!!!!! - Leah
Good Morn'n Leah.........greetings from the gold country of Northern CA..........63 degrees and blue skies.......(sorry....had to do it)

I cold smoke salmon a lot during season (and hot smoke). I soak my salmon in a seasoned brine with a bit of Tender Quick for safety. Then into my smoker with my AMNPS 5x8 and Pitmaster's Choice pellets. I have to say I have not tried the sword fish yet but it does work with tuna.

WARM wishes......

Another great meal and I felt right at home looking at the snow. As a Mountain inhabitant, I would recommend a couple of more layers if you are going to be cooking in the snow. However, the wine will help.

Hey thank you Brad! And it sounds like clear weather out there indeed! Fantastic stuff!

We're mid-storm right now, but then we "bring our own sunshine" in this great world, right?

Hey, that system sounds fabulous (your fish) although I haven't any "Amazing Pellet Smoker" or any pellets or any pellet machine etc...

How does one "cold smoke" a piece of fish, using just what I've got? Or does that not make sense? JJ?

And thank you so much Disco! Here's to we colder climate folk indeed! I think your layer tip is a good one. Although it's only 5 degrees above zero right now here, (which is 15 below zero, for any "Celsius" dwelling folk who may be reading this), and so it's still not really so cold yet. But soon!

Happy 2014 to all!!!!!!!! Such a fantastic new year already!!!!!! Cheers!!!!! - Leah
I LOVE slow grilled swordfish. I'll have to take your advice and try it smoked. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much! (Millerk0486 and Trikefreak)!

Despite both versions being overcooked a tad; they still were juicy and delicious! Next time I'll pay more attention to the grill and smoker and CLOCK, (smiles), and grab those off a little sooner.

But great stuff! Glad I could plant the seed of suggestion then!

Happy New Year!

Cheers! - Leah
That is absolutely awesome looking!  I love swordfish.

I got some Marlin right from the water.  I had a roast that was about 20# and put it in the freezer and used it little by little.  kabobs, steaks, etc.

Um, try adding some apple cider vinegar to your grape seed oil and some onion, garlic, salt and pepper, then the grill or smoker.  If you smoke a piece low and slow with a salt crust or brine, it will be absolutely incredible.  I used to have the fresh yellowtail done that way before shipping it home after a good fishing trip.  I tried some Marlin he had and it was incredible.  Swordfish is very similar.  You have a wonderful fish monger.  I wish we could get good seafood here in Utah.  Albertson's has some every now an then, but not often.

Here's a good one for you.  Get some yellowtail fillets with the skin on.  Bonito or other tuna should work as well, but yellowtail is the best.  Pat them dry.  Season heavily with onion, garlic, salt (lightly) pepper, and chili powder.  Let sit while you make the rest.  In a sauce pan melt a cube of butter (not margarine), squeeze one lemon, lime, orange and put the rinds, seeds, and all in the pan.  Slice an onion and put the slices in the pan, minced garlic is called for as well.  Add to taste.  Add the same seasonings that were applied to the fish in the pan.  Simmer until the onions are translucent.  From the time you left the fish to sit with seasonings on it until you are done with the basting sauce should be about 1/2 hour.  Place the fish on the grill skin side down on a medium high heat.  Here is the hard part.  Stand there and brush the entire contents of the sauce pan over the fish as it cooks.  the citrus rinds can be discarded before basting.  When you are done with the sauce and the fish is done, (do not turn the fish) serve with avocado, cucumber, radish slices, steamed corn tortillas and black beans seasoned with chili powder, onion and garlic and maybe some spanish rice.  It is not as healthy as your posted swordfish, but so tasty!  A guilty pleasure of fish!  I serve it whole and use pieces of the tortilla to rip out fish for little fish tacos.  Oh, I forgot the shredded cabbage.  Now if I could just find some fresh skin on yellowtail.

Oh, don't eat the dark meat if you don't like real strong fish flavor.

I have eaten way too much today and am hungry just reading your posts!  Your food looks so great!!!!

We have swordfish in common ,its a great fish,any way you cook it. I like it Sicilian with basil,capers,garlic,cherry tomatoes. 

Yours looks great as usual.

I am just sticking this photo in here to save reposting over in Wino;s .

This a great winery,made great wines for many years.Western Victoria but source grapes from other Victorian regions.

Their neighbour Best's ,have a bit land they call the nursery block,where vines that came in the 1840s from France still grow.

This Chalambar Shiraz made since 1952 if you see a bottle in your 'hood climb all over it.

Stay warm.

The "Artist" did it again !

Ingredients looking great , garden looks great (I miss snow).

The dishes... well :


The cook-artist looks yummie as well !

Aloha Leah,

Looks great and tasty!!! I may try smoking some Fish Steaks one day the only one's I do is Salmon. The Marlin and Ahi is usually done in strips like the pic I sent you. And I do reef fish as sausage just a little trial and error has turned out pretty good surprised myself with that one. One of my very good friends is a manager at the Auction Block he was a fish cutter for over 20 years. I usually get some good fish from him need to call him after seeing this LOL!

Need to take pics of the He'e next time I catch some and smoke it.

Keep up the good smokin' and grillin'


Thank you so much Brian!!!! Here's to healthful food and this new and very wonderful year!

And Mel, your recipes and suggestions are so fun! Thanks tons for sharing!!!!! And for nice words too! That's very kind.

Mick, that wine sounds great! It's terrific to learn of the good picks from your land that we don't hear of so often! And thanks for nice words about my sword! Delicious stuff!

FrankBe, how sweet of you! Thanks indeed! And I'll go romp around in the snow for you today and thus send you a vicarious dose! It's pretty beautiful!

Dom, thank you! YOUR fish access is so incredible and it must be a treat and a half, just to have the fresh stuff you dive and catch! So wonderful!

Happy Friday to all!!! It's a simple cold mussel salad day over here - love it, love it, love it!

Make today delicious! Cheers! - Leah
Hi Leah, I've watched your posts since I've joined.. nice work.

You ask:
How does one "cold smoke" a piece of fish, using just what I've got?
I don't think you can; you need to get to about 80 or 90 degrees inside your smoker.

Usually a cold smoker has a separate fire box, then some ducting for the smoke

and a small amount of heat to the main smoke box.

BTW, on the smelts, you gut them and eat them whole?

I've only had them whole when fried to a crisp.

Hi Mark!

Thanks so much!

And that makes sense on cold smoking/my smoker etc..

As for smelts, YES, I eat them whole and prefer them GRILLED, as they then taste like the fried ones albeit without all the flour and junk. (Yesterday I grilled smelts for my lunch actually - photo attached here - and as you can see they crisp up and take on that "fried" mystique and they're fantastic)!

Unfortunately, I can only get the ones with heads still ON seldom here (those are the best, and then I of course just munch right through, eat the head and the whole thing all grilled up and it's so wonderful) but yesterday's were headless when I bought them, and yet they still have a nice body/tail and so forth.

Anyway, Happy Friday!!!!!!!!!! Cheers! - Leah

Leah, in your smoker or gas grill try a throw away tin pan with soaked chips or dry pellets and a 25 watt soldering iron. Put the iron in the chips and turn it on. It will generate some smoke and not much heat. I've never done it with pellets just heard of it working. I did some cheese before I got my AMNPS. You have to keep an eye out and shut it off when it gets too hot so the plastic handle doesn't melt.


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