Smoked Fish

Smoked Fish

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2.5 hours

Servings: 8 people

Suitable For:

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 2.5 hours
Serving Size: 8
Cooking Method: Smoking


  • 2 fish fillet, skin-on and boned, OR
  • 1 whole fish, backbone and pin bones removed
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar or treacle sugar
  • ½ cup sea salt
  • ½ tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup fresh dill, chopped
  • pinch of salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • capers
  • 1 cup oak or apple wood chips for fillets, soaked for 30 minutes before use
  • 2 cups for whole trout, soaked for 30 minutes before use
  • vegetable oil, for grill basket


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Remove fish from brine and place in lightly oiled grill basket and place the grill basket 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.
  • For fillets, smoke for 12 - 15 minutes or until cooked through.
  • 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.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine sour cream, salt, pepper and chives. Serve with dollop of sour cream, capers, lemon wedges and your favourite salad.
  • 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 alder 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.