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Smoking smaller fish


Meat Mopper
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined May 3, 2009
Hi Guys. I've never smoked smaller fish that we've caught with the grandsons. Perch, sunfish, crappies, etc. I don't want to eat fish from bigger waters here in WNY, as they're restrictions on consumption amounts, due to pollutants. Anybody can give me advice or help on how to smoke the smaller fish from clean ponds, lakes, etc. and any recipes amounts would be greatly appreciated, especially smoke times, temps, etc. Thanks in advance.


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Mar 21, 2010
I have gone to dry brining smaller fish. start with 1 part salt and 4 parts brown sugar to see how you like it. you can add pepper, garlic and onion powder, old bay or whatever later but go simple with the first batch. put a layer of dry ingredients in a bowl, layer of fish, layer if dry ingredients, fish,repeat, and in fridge It only takes about 4hrs for a slurry to form as it draws the moisture out of the meat. Smoke at 180-200 until you get the texture you want. I go towards the rubbery jerky end of the spectrum for snacking. It only takes a few hours to smoke. Alder is a good choice of wood.

Good Luck!



Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Sep 15, 2012
I use a wet brine with fish. Gallon of water, 2 cups of kosher salt, 1 cup dark brown sugar, one lemon squeezed(then plop the rind into the water), pinch of ground pepper, and finally a dash garlic and onion powder. Mix well - put the fish into the bowl and place a dinner plate on top of the fish to keep it underwater. Seal with plastic wrap and let it brine for 4 hours or more. Make sure you use a plastic or glass bowl. Cook indirect on my grill at 250* until done.


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