Smoked Fish

Smoked Fish

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 - 45 minutes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2.5 hours

Servings: 8 people

Suitable For: Serving cold with freshly baked bread

We’ve prepared a smoked fish recipe that’ll make you want to get your smoker out for every occasion. This irresistible yet straightforward recipe combines all the best flavours to get the most out of your fish. Try it, and let us turn you into a master chef!


2 x fish fillet, skin-on and boned or 

1 x whole fish, backbone and pin bones removed


2 cups of water 

½ cups soy sauce 

¾ cup dark brown sugar or treacle sugar 

½ cup of sea salt 

½ tablespoon granulated garlic 

Sour Cream:

1 cup sour cream 

½ cup fresh chopped dill 

pinch of salt 

freshly ground pepper


For Smoking:

1 cup oak or applewood chips for fillets (soaked for 30 minutes before use) 

2 cups for the whole trout (soaked for 30 minutes before use) 

Vegetable oil, for the grill basket


  1. Combine water, soy sauce, sugar, sea salt and granulated garlic in a non-reactive dish. Some plastic and metal containers can react with food and change the flavour for the worse. Cover the fish with brine and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  2. In the meantime, set up your smoker for indirect cooking by building your charcoal fire to one side or in the separate firebox. Get the temperature to a steady medium heat. Place a drip pan under the braai grid in the indirect heat zone.
  3. For fillets, place 1 cup of soaked wood chips on the coals. For whole fish, keep ½ cup soaking to add later in the smoke.
  4. Remove fish from brine and place in a lightly oiled grill basket and place it over the drip tray. If you don’t have a grill basket, simply shape aluminium foil into a box shape and poke several holes in the bottom to allow heat and smoke through.
  5. For fillets, smoke for 12 - 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
  6. For whole fish, smoke for 10 minutes, flip the grill basket or turn fish with a spatula. Drain and add remaining ½ cup of wood chips to the coals. Continue to smoke for 8 - 10 minutes or until cooked through.
  7. In a mixing bowl, combine sour cream, salt, pepper and chives. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, capers, lemon wedges and your favourite salad.
  8. You can try this same method with your favourite fish, like Hake, Kingklip or Steenbras.


Tip 01 Tip 01

The best woods to use for smoking fish are sweet, mild woods like apple, cherry or oak because they won't overpower the delicate flavour of the meat.

Tip 02 Tip 02

Stuff a fresh bagel with scrambled eggs, dill and your smoked fish for a breakfast of champions!

Tip 03 Tip 03

Fattier fish smoke better than leaner fish.