Smoked fish on the barbecue

10 February 2014

Smoking fish on the barbecue is a quick and easy way to make delicious, moist fish that everyone will love.

We tend to smoke fish like trevally and kahawai that are a little bit stronger in flavour than snapper, although snapper of course smokes beautifully as well.  Pictured here are some trevally, caught just off the Tairua coast yesterday.  Size limit for these guys is 25cm and at just over that they are great little fighters that will have you convinced you've hooked a much bigger fish. 

We've gone away from the traditional method of gutting and heading the fish, slicing it open along the backbone and smoking it whole as we found it cooked unevenly, with the thinner sections becoming dry and overcooked while the thicker areas were not quite done.  Now, we fillet the fish and then chop them into similar sized portions so they all cook evenly, which seems to give a better result.

Liberally sprinkle each piece of fish with salt and brown sugar and leave it in the fridge for a while so that the salt and sugar work their magic.  Now go and finish cleaning up the boat!

When you're ready remove the grill and hot plate from the BBQ and set your smoker up on top of the burners.  Put a layer of sawdust in the smoker then we like to add some citrus zest which we think adds a bit to the flavour.  You'll need the BBQ on a high heat setting, each barbie is a bit different but you want to get the wood chips smoking nicely. 

Enjoy an ice cold beverage while you wait for your fish to cook. Lift the lid and check it every few minutes as it won't take long, but watch out the smell will draw the whole neighbourhood around to see what you've caught!

BBQ fish smoker NZ Smoking fish on the BBQ 
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