How to Smoke Fish in an Oven

How to Smoke Fish in an Oven

To smoke fish in your oven, there are a couple of techniques that a home cook can utilize to impart that wonderful smokey flavor on their meal. To turn your oven into a temporary meat smoker, liquid smoke or a smoker bag can be used as an alternative to purchasing that longed-for outdoor smokehouse

Smoking your fish in an oven is a great way to add both a delicious flavor and an alluring aroma to intoxicate even the pickiest of eaters and is much easier than many assume it to be. With these two techniques, you won’t be in want of a smokehouse any longer.

How to Smoke Fish with Liquid Smoke

For this oven smoked fish technique, you will need plenty of prep and cooking time due to the long cooking process. You may even want to prep the night before to allow ample cooking time the following day. With this in mind, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Fish fillet of your choice of fish
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 oz. of liquid smoke

You will also need the following kitchen equipment:

  • Plastic wrap
  • A large bowl
  • Cooling rack
  • Nonstick spray
  • Oven mitt

This cooking technique is a great option for cooks simply due to its availability. Although liquid smoke may sound like it wouldn’t be easy to get ahold of, grocery stores have it readily available in the same aisle or near the barbeque sauce section.

Smoking fish, as well as any other meat, imparts an array of scrumptious flavors ranging from hickory, oak, maple, mesquite, pecan, apple, alder, and cherry to the meal. Even so, if you want to add more flavor feel free to add more seasonings than just the salt and pepper mentioned above.    

Prepare and Smoke the Fish

As mentioned, you may want to begin prepping your fish the night before. You will want to prepare your fish in the following way:

  1. To get started you will want to take your fish fillets and place them in your bowl.
  2. Take the 4 ounces of liquid smoke and pour it into the bowl with your fish.
  3. One by one, coat your fish with salt and pepper to taste, as well as any other seasoning you may desire to put on them.
  4. Once you have it seasoned to taste and everything within the bowl, cover it with the plastic wrap and allow it to marinate in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.
  5. When the 8 hours are up, preheat your oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is preheating, take your fish and rinse off any excess seasonings.
  6. You will then want to take your nonstick cooking spray and spray the cooling rack to keep the fish from sticking to it as it cooks. You can then place your fillets on the rack and into the oven.
  7. To keep your fish from steaming instead of smoking, open the oven door a crack. With your oven set at this temperature, you will want to smoke your fish for 8 hours or until it looks opaque, flakes apart with a fork, or if using a meat thermometer, it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook time will likely vary depending on the type of fish that is being cooked.

For both this and the following technique, cooks should be sure to use their kitchens exhaust hood throughout the smoking process to allow the smoke to escape somewhere other than inside the house.

How to Smoke Fish with a Smoker Bag

Another easy alternative to smoke fish in an oven is to use a smoker bag. You will need the following ingredients:

  • Fish cut and type of your choosing
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Smoker bag
  • Any preferred seasonings

You will also need the following kitchen equipment:

  • Bowl
  • Large fork
  • Oven mitt
  • Cookie sheet

Prepare and Smoke the Fish

This technique is significantly less time consuming than the first and requires less preparation time. If you don’t have the time to allow for a slow smoke infusion, or you have some last-minute guests coming over, this would be your next best bet in still being able to enjoy that smokey flavor.

  1. You will want to begin by preheating your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Then, placing your fish in a bowl, season it with the selected seasonings. As you do so, you may want to keep in mind that smoker bags come with their own seasonings and wood chips to impart the smokey flavor and aroma. In this case, less might be more depending on the brand and your own taste preferences.  
  3. Once you have the seasonings on, use your large fork to slide them into the smoker bag. When it is nicely situated within the bag, seal it according to the smoker bag directions. Directions may be as simple as folding the end three times and sealing it shut by pressing down on it.
  4. Take your sealed smoker bag and place it on a cookie sheet prior to placing it in the oven for an easier transfer between oven and stovetop. Depending on the brand of smoker bag, directions for cooking fish may differ. For the most part, you will want to allow it to smoke for fifteen minutes before reducing the heat to 345 degrees Fahrenheit and allowing it to cook an additional fifteen minutes. (As with the previous technique, this cooking time will vary on the type and thickness of the fish selected).
  5. Once done, allow it to rest for ten minutes. Carefully open the smoker bag to avoid burning yourself and serve.

Choosing which method will greatly depend on the desired flavor and cook time, but both make for an impressive meal to showcase to family and friends. Learning how to smoke fish in an oven is a great way to change things up. With plenty of elaborate recipes out there on how to make smoked fish, these easy smoke-infusing options allow for a wide range of mouth-watering meals.

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