• Digital Magazine
        • Single Issues
        • Annual
  • Insider

Hook & Barrel
A Lifestyle Magazine for Modern Outdoorsmen

smoker series

Ditch The Fryer, Learn How To Smoke Fish With This Helpful Guide

Smoked salmon is one of the most ordered dishes throughout the world, and for good reason. It is fantastic, but few people ever consider smoking other types of fish. I love cooking outside the box, and I am going to share my recipe for white fish that is definitely out of the norm to smoke—but it delivers epic results. Oh, and it’s “kid-approved” as my daughter says. This recipe can be applied to any other white fish you prefer. 

how to smoke fish

I am a passionate outdoorsman, and I love to catch fish – especially crappie (also known as papermouths, speckled perch, calico bass, and sac-a-lait), and I love a plate full of fried game fish just like any self-respecting outdoorsman living in the Southern states. However, I also now love to smoke it, and it’s so easy with little-to-no cleanup afterward. 

For all the fried crappie purists out there about to have a frontal lobe conniption, don’t knock smoking it before you try it. Smoked crappie is nothing short of amazing for street tacos or by itself, and the flavor profiles you can create with it are endless. Plus, it is another excuse to fire up your beloved smoker. I smoked some crappie and white bass filets from a recent catching trip here in Oklahoma for the pictures for this article. Catching is always much more fun than fishing. 

You Will Need: 

  1. Digital meat thermometer. 
  1. Disposable gloves. 
  1. Fuel source for your smoker. I recommend adding pecan wood, too. 
  1. Grill/Smoker. 
  1. Cedar Grilling Plank(s) or aluminum foil. 


  1. Crappie filets or other white fish of your choice. 
  1. Kosher or sea salt, brown cane sugar, and granulated garlic for brine. 
  1. BBQ rub(s) of your choice. 
  1. Either duck fat spray, or avocado olive oil spray. I do not recommend vegetable oil. 
  1. Brine. 

Brine For 8-10 Filets:

  1.  1/2 cup of brown cane sugar. 
  1. 1-2 TBSP of sea salt. 
  1. 1 TBSP of granulated garlic. 
  1. 2-3 cups of distilled water (or filtered). 

Mix ingredients in a mixing bowl large enough to fit filets and brine. Add filets. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. 


  1. If using cedar planks, soak them for 30 minutes in water in the sink. 
  1. Preheat smoker to 225°F to 250°F. 
  1. Add pecan wood chunks for medium to heavy smoke. 
  1. Rinse fish filets and pat dry with paper towels. 
  1. Place filets on cedar planks. 
  1. Spray both sides with duck fat or oil. 
  1. Sprinkle your favorite BBQ seasoning(s) on one side of the filets. 

Place filets on the planks in the smoker, and cook to an internal temperature of 145°F. This should only take 8-10 minutes. Regardless of time, ALWAYS cook meat to internal temperature, and always use a digital meat thermometer for optimum results. 

The smoky flavor is simply fantastic. Now make some street tacos, eat the fish by itself or with whatever else you want to pair with it. An ice-cold Mexican beer is a perfect pairing with smoked crappie street tacos. Regardless, I am confident that once you try this recipe you will be amazed at how delicious and easy it is to smoke game fish or any white fish. Enjoy! It’s dang good! 

Did you enjoy this story? SUBSCRIBE today to get more like this!

Leave a Comment

Trending articles

Related articles

Shopping Cart

You’ll hear from us one time per week!

The Latest Content
Hook & Barrel INSIDER
Sneak Previews of  Upcoming Issues
Exclusive Discounts & Special Offers