Smoked Mackerel Recipe

Home smoked mackerel takes no time at all, tastes amazing and can be done without any shop bought equipment.
If you need any tips on how to make a hot smoker please read this article first:

smoked mackerel




The first thing to understand is what is known as a pellicle. Before you smoke meat/fish it is imperative that you salt it properly first. This draws out some of the moisture and changes the outside of the flesh. Once the salt has been removed and the meat/fish has had a chance to dry you will notice that it has a slightly tough skin on the outside. This is called the pellicle. The pellicle acts as a protective layer that keeps moisture locked in but also lets in all the smoke flavour.



Once you have filleted your Mackerel you will need to salt them. This should only take about 30 minutes or so. You can choose to do this in brine or as a dry cure.

If you choose to dry cure the fish you will need to cover the fish in 90% rock salt and 10% sugar.

If you choose to wet cure (brine) follow the same instructions for the dry cure but add a pint of water for every 60 grams of cure mix.


After 30 minutes of salting you will need to wash the salt off. Now dry off each of the fillets and return to the fridge for an hour or so. Ideally you would wait long than this (I leave my salmon 24 hours for the pellicle to form) but mackerel doesn’t enjoy sitting around and is always best as fresh as possible.

When you are ready fire up the smoker and add the fish. It should take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. Just keep checking it. Once its cooked through its ready to eat!

how to make a hot smoker

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