Hot smoking fish is easy once you get a few things nailed, and should be embraced and not avoided. Brining greatly improves the texture and taste of any smoked fish. Keep it simple with an easy salt brine for just one hour.

Serve the finished smoked spanish mackerel hot with vegetables, with salad or in a wrap. It’s always great. When cooled and refrigerated the smoked fish will keep for at least a week so can be used in a multitude of dishes until you can get out to dive again!

Hot Smoked Spanish Mackerel

Ingredient List

  • 2kg (4.4lb) spanish mackerel fillet
  • 1 cup (300g) salt
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 handful hardwood sawdust

Hot Smoked Spanish Mackerel


  1. Make a brine by mixing the salt and water, making sure all the salt is dissolved.
  2. Cut fish into 20mm (1In) medallions, leaving the skin on.
  3. Soak fish in brine for one hour, make sure it is fully submerged.
  4. Remove the fish from the brine. Pat it dry and then sprinkle on brown sugar and rub it into the medallions.
  5. Place the medallions in a hot smoker and cook for 18 minutes then turn off heat (Consult the how to Hot Smoke fish section for more details)
  6. Leave fish in the smoker, without removing the lid, for another 8 minutes
  7. The smoked fish is then ready to serve, or remove and cool to use later.

Hot Smoked Spanish Mackerel

This recipe was a submission for 99 Spearo Recipes, our crowdsourced seafood cookbook! check it out here.

James Sakker was the spearo chef behind this creation (and many others). James is Mid-North NSW coast veteran spearo who has a YouTube channel full of his adventures chasing donkey Lobster, shooting class Jewfish and all delivered with class banter and commentary. Subscribe to his channel Catch it Cook it Grow it

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