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Smoked Spanish Mackerel

Cooking a Spanish smoked mackerel has been a personal experience I will never forget. The finished product’s taste is one of the most exquisite flavors I have ever experienced. I picked up a few Spanish mackerels from the market, looking for something new and different to cook.

We always enjoyed the occasionally smoked salmon dishes I’d whip up, but I had never gone for a Spanish mackerel. I had heard about delicious recipes for Spanish smoked mackerel, so I was curious to see if I could recreate one.

smoked spanish mackerel

I filleted the fish before rubbing it in the mixture of salt, sugar, garlic, and coriander and leaving it aside to cure for an hour or so. Then I lit the charcoal on my grill and set the chunks of fish onto the grill. As soon as the mackerels started sizzling away on the grill, I put a timer to get the perfect timing down.

About 30 minutes later, the Spanish smoked mackerel was ready to be enjoyed. The smoky flavor and the aromatic spices in the marinade made it the best-smoked mackerel I have ever tried. I was so delighted with the result, it was beyond my expectations.

This personal experience of cooking a Spanish smoked mackerel has definitely opened me up to cooking various other smoked dishes.

Is eating smoked mackerel good for you?

A smoked mackerel is generally a healthy option for those looking to incorporate more fish into their diets. While smoked mackerel may be higher in sodium than other fish, it still contains essential vitamins, minerals, and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Smoked mackerel also offers an easy way to make sure you’re getting enough protein in your diet.

Eating this type of fish can also reduce your risk of heart disease due to its high levels of antioxidants and polyunsaturated fats. However, if you are on a salt-restricted diet, consuming smoked mackerel should be done with caution, as the amount of salt in the process of smoking can increase the sodium content significantly.

smoked mackerel temperature

How long does mackerel take to smoke?

Smoking mackerel is a great way to bring out its delicious flavor and preserve it for later use. Generally, it takes about 2-3 hours of smoking at 110°C (210°F) for the fish to finish up nicely. To ensure your mackerel is ready, check its texture with a fork or knife. If it flakes easily and looks cooked through, it should be ready.

If you want to add extra flavor, gently rub in some herbs or spices before popping them in the smoker. All this together can make for one delicious smoked mackerel!

smoked mackerel recipe

Do you eat smoked mackerel hot or cold?

Smoked mackerel is a delicious and versatile fish that can be eaten either hot or cold, depending on your preference. Hot-smoked mackerel has a very different flavor profile from cold-smoked mackerel, featuring more of the smokiness that the cooking process provides.

It’s often served with melted butter or creamy sauces to offset the robustness of the fish. On the other hand, cold-smoked mackerel has a milder flavor and smoother texture thanks to its time spent curing in salt and smoke. That makes it great for salads or sandwiches when you don’t want something too strong.

Ultimately, it’s up to you which temperature you like best – hot or cold!

smoked mackerel fish

What do you serve with mackerel?

When serving mackerel, a casual meal could include various items to complement the fish. Grains such as wild or brown rice are ideal for providing texture and staying power, while adding vegetables like grilled bell peppers, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes can give flavor and color.

An accompanying salad with fresh vegetables, herbs, diced apples or pears, and creamy vinaigrette adds brightness and additional nutrients. Creamy mashed potatoes are another great side dish that brings out the flavor of mackerel when drizzled with olive oil or seasoned butter. For an added fruity note with minimal effort, consider including a refreshing fruit salsa made up of diced pineapples, mangoes, red onion, and cilantro.

You can also serve the meal with some crusty bread to mop up all those delicious juices from your perfectly cooked mackerel!

Smoked Spanish Mackerel

Delicious smoked spanish mackerel recipe

Course Main Course
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes


  1. Salt them well on both sides and lay them on a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 1-1/2 hours while wrapped in plastic.

  2. Take the fish out of the refrigerator and wash them in cold water. Use dry paper towels to absorb any remaining wetness. Take out two of the smoker's racks. Rack the fillets with the skin side down. Leave them alone while you get the smoker ready.

  3. Turn the smoker's top vent on. Put the lemon slices in the water, and fill the bowl to the halfway point with water. Prepare the side tray for wood chips. Smoker preheating requires a minimum of 5 minutes with the door closed and set at 275°F.

  4. Prepare the smoker by placing the fish racks inside. Two hours of cooking time is required to attain an internal temperature of 160F and fork-flake texture in the fish. Between 45 and 60 minutes, check on the water and wood chips and add more if necessary.

  5. Whether you want to serve the smoked fish warm or at room temperature, it goes well with toasted bread.

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