Fish is a great base for a delicious meal, as it is low in fat and high in omega-3. Not just this, but it’s easy to prepare it in many different ways, making it an extremely versatile ingredient.
One of the best ways to prepare fish is to smoke it. In fact, smoked fish is a dish that has been popular all around the world, for centuries.
One of the reasons that smoked fish became so popular was that as well as tasting great, smoked fish is also preserved, allowing it to stay fresh and delicious for much longer than unsmoked fish. Before fridges and freezers were commonplace, smoking fish was a great way to make sure that you could enjoy it for weeks to come.
Nowadays, we don’t need to smoke fish to preserve it, but it’s still a great way to prepare a delicious meal that you and your whole family can enjoy.
How to Smoke Fish
You might be interested to know how you go about smoking fish, so you can decide if it is worth your effort. Actually, smoking fish is very straightforward — especially if you have a good quality smoker (more on that soon).
Essentially smoking has two steps — first, salting, and then either heating or cooling the fish. For the first step, you can either bathe or inject the fish with brine, or simply cover it in ground or rock salt. After this, it’s a matter of heating or cooling the fish. Heating is a much more common method, and uses a smoker to ensure perfect results.
That’s why having the ideal smoker is so important for getting delicious smoked fish. Let’s take a look at some of the most well-known brands on the market, and find out which one is the best for smoking fish.
The Best Smokers for Fish – At a Glance
|Brand Name||Maximum Temp||Number of Racks||Weight|
|#1. Camp Chef Smoke Vault|
Our Best Pick
|350°F / 176°C||4||75 lb (34 kg)|
|#2. Smokehouse Little Chief|
|165°F / 74°C||5||75 lb (34 kg)|
|#3. Nordic Ware|
|N/a - 210°F recommended||1||9 lb (4 kg)|
#1. Nordic Ware 36556
This American-made smoker is great for preparing smoked fish as well as other meats as well. It is so easy to use, and we also love that it doesn’t take up too much room. It can be used on any stovetop including gas hobs and barbecues.
The diameter of the smoker is just 13”, meaning that it will fit comfortable in any barbecue area or even in your kitchen if you’re short on space. We also love the stylish red colour that really makes this smoker stand out.
While it is a compact smoker, it can fit quite a lot of fish inside due to its steep dome shaped lid. Under the lid, you will find a base pan, water pan and a nonstick smoking rack. There is also a thermometer so you can carefully measure the temperature it is cooking at, and a recipe book if you need any ideas!
The smoker itself is manufactured in the USA, with the thermometer made in China and the handle from Taiwan. It will turn any meal into something special!
#2. Smokehouse Products Little Chief
This great offering from Smokehouse is a fantastic choice if you want a larger smoker that delivers great results, every single time.
This smoker looks like the real deal, with four racks and a dishwasher-safe drip pan. The outside is embossed aluminium which looks great when situated outdoors. This smoker shouldn’t be used indoors, so make sure to put it out with your barbecue!
The Little Chief is automatically set to 165 degrees Fahrenheit for the perfect smoking experience without any need to fiddle with the temperature. This means that you can simply turn it on, and get great, consistent results every time. Those who like to fiddle with their smoker, however, may find this a bit limiting.
Smokehouse is a great brand that is well-known for producing and selling high quality products. One mark of confidence in their product is that it is sold with a 2-year limited warranty, which is great for your peace of mind.
#3. Camp Chef Smoker 24” Smoke Vault
If you’re on the hunt for an excellent quality smoker from one of the world’s leading brands, then the Camp Chef 24” smoker will probably suit you very well.
This great option has two cooking grids as well as a jerky rack, and can smoke up to four racks of meat and jerky at the same time.
Unlike the Smokehouse option, the Camp Chef Smoker gives you amazing control. There are three adjustable damper valves, and the door thermometer allows you to track the temperature from 50 to 350 degrees. The heat is easily adjusted via the heat-control dial, which ranges from 160 to 350 degrees.
This smoker is for use outdoors, as it weighs over 75 lbs and does produce quite a lot of smoke while it is smoking the fish.
And the winner is…
These three smokers are all great products that have a variety of different uses. If you are looking for something small and simple, the Nordic Ware option may be perfect. But if you’re looking for something more substantial, you’ll probably be drawn to the Little Chief or the Smoke Vault.
Of the two, our preference is for the Champ Chef Smoke Vault. It gives you a lot more control over how exactly you’ll smoke your meat, which most enthusiasts will appreciate. As well as smoking fish, you can also use it to make jerky, so you don’t need to buy multiple appliances. Plus, we love that despite its modest size, it fits a lot!