How to Make Smoked Fish in the Oven

How to Make Smoked Fish in the Oven

Smoked fish is a delicious and versatile dish that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. While it may seem like a complicated process, making smoked fish in the oven is actually quite simple and can be done with just a few ingredients. In this article, we will guide you through the steps of making smoked fish in the oven, along with some frequently asked questions and their answers.


– 2 pounds of fish fillets (salmon, trout, or mackerel)
– 1/4 cup of sea salt
– 1/4 cup of brown sugar
– 1 tablespoon of black pepper
– 1 tablespoon of paprika
– 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
– 1 tablespoon of onion powder
– Wood chips (such as apple, cherry, or hickory)


1. Prepare the fish fillets by rinsing them under cold water and patting them dry with a paper towel. Ensure that all bones are removed.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the sea salt, brown sugar, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder to create a dry rub.

3. Sprinkle the dry rub evenly over both sides of the fish fillets, ensuring that they are thoroughly coated. Place the fillets in a shallow dish and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight for a stronger flavor.

4. Preheat your oven to 225°F (110°C). While the oven is heating, soak your wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes. Drain the wood chips and set them aside.

5. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil. Place a wire rack on top of the foil-lined sheet.

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6. Spread the soaked wood chips evenly on the bottom of the baking sheet. Place the wire rack with the fish fillets on top of the wood chips.

7. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and let the fish smoke for approximately 2-3 hours, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). The cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the fillets.

8. Once the fish is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. The fish will continue to cook slightly as it cools.

9. Serve the smoked fish hot or cold, depending on your preference. It can be enjoyed on its own as a main dish, or used in salads, sandwiches, or pasta dishes.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Can I use frozen fish fillets?
– Yes, you can use frozen fish fillets, but make sure to thaw them completely before applying the dry rub.

2. Can I use a different type of wood chips?
– Absolutely! Experiment with different types of wood chips to achieve different flavors. Apple, cherry, and hickory are popular choices, but you can also try mesquite or oak.

3. Can I add additional seasonings to the dry rub?
– Of course! Feel free to adjust the dry rub to your taste preferences by adding herbs, spices, or even a touch of heat with some cayenne pepper.

4. Do I need to flip the fish fillets while smoking?
– It is not necessary to flip the fish fillets while smoking in the oven. The heat will circulate evenly around the fillets, ensuring they cook thoroughly.

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5. Can I use a gas oven instead of an electric oven?
– Yes, you can use a gas oven. The process and temperature remain the same.

6. Can I smoke fish without a wire rack?
– While a wire rack helps to elevate the fish and allow smoke to circulate, you can still smoke fish on a baking sheet without a rack. Just ensure you flip the fish halfway through the cooking process.

7. How long can I store smoked fish?
– Smoked fish can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

8. Can I freeze smoked fish?
– Yes, you can freeze smoked fish. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer-safe bag or container. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

9. Can I use this method to smoke other types of seafood?
– Absolutely! This method works well for other seafood like shrimp, scallops, and even oysters.

10. Can I use this method on a charcoal grill?
– While this article focuses on smoking fish in the oven, you can adapt the method to a charcoal grill by using indirect heat and adding soaked wood chips to create smoke.

11. Can I use a smoker instead of an oven?
– Yes, you can use a smoker to smoke fish. The process and temperature will be similar, but the cooking time may vary.

12. Can I use this method to smoke fish with skin on?
– Yes, you can smoke fish with the skin on. Just ensure that the skin is scaled and clean before applying the dry rub.

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Now that you have the knowledge and confidence to make smoked fish in the oven, it’s time to gather your ingredients and enjoy the delicious flavors of this versatile dish. Whether you’re a seafood lover or looking to impress your guests, smoked fish is sure to be a hit.

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