How To Smoke Fish In An Electric Smoker | Learn The Right Way

How To Smoke Fish In An Electric Smoker

People of all ages can enjoy smoked fish, a delicious and versatile dish. Smoking fish in an electric smoker helps keep the flavour intact, making it easier to prepare. If you’re new to smoking fish, learning how to smoke fish in an electric smoker is a great way to start. This guide reviews the basics of smoking fish in an electric smoker to help you get started. 

Choosing the Right Fish

The key to a successful smoked fish dish is choosing the right type of fish. For electric smokers, you’ll want to select firmer types such as salmon, tuna, and cod. These will hold up better in the smoker and provide more flavour. Then softer varieties, such as trout or tilapia. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure the fish is fresh and high-quality. Look for fish with no odd odours or signs of spoilage. 

Preparing the Smoker

  • The first step in smoking fish in an electric smoker is preparing the smoker himself.
  • Ensure you have enough wood chips to last throughout the cooking process. It will help to provide the smokey flavour you’re looking for. 
  • You can use either hickory or mesquite chips, depending on your preference. 
  • Once you have the wood chips ready, it’s time to fire up the smoker. 
  • Set the smoker to about 225 degrees Fahrenheit and let it preheat for 15-20 minutes before adding your fish. 
  • You can also prepare your fish by seasoning it with salt and pepper during this time. Or any other seasonings of your choice. 

Bringing the Fish

Brining is an essential step in smoking fish. It helps to prevent the fish from drying out while also adding flavour. To brine your fish, mix kosher salt with water and submerge the fish for about 30 minutes. It will help to season the fish and keep it moist during cooking. 

Preparing the Fish for Smoking

Once you have brined the fish, it’s time to prepare it for smoking. Start by patting the fish dry with a paper towel and then oil a wire rack before placing the fish on it. It will help to prevent sticking during cooking. Next, add wood chips to the smoker and let them smoke before adding your fish. 

Smoking the Fish

Once the wood chips have smoked and you’ve added your fish, it’s time to start smoking. Close the lid on your electric smoker and let it cook for 30-45 minutes. During this time, check on the fish to ensure it cooks evenly. Once you can flake the fish with a fork, it’s done and ready to serve. 

Monitoring and Maintaining the Smoking Process

When best-smoked fish recipe in an electric smoker and learning how to smoke fish in an electric smoker, keeping a close eye on the process is essential. Check the temperature every 10-15 minutes and adjust if needed. Additionally, check the wood chips throughout the cooking process. Add more as necessary for optimal smoke flavour. 

Adding Smoke Flavor

The smoke flavour makes smoked fish so delicious, and adding a little extra, if desired, is essential. You can add wood chips or sawdust to the smoker while cooking to achieve this. It will help the smoke flavour penetrate the fish more deeply for a richer taste. 

Storing Leftovers

You should store any leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate them immediately. Smoked fish can last up to a week when stored well. So, it’s essential to make sure you keep any leftovers appropriately. 

Safety Precautions

When smoking fish, there are a few safety precautions to remember. 

First, always use fresh fish and heat the smoker to the correct temperature. Wear appropriate protective gear, such as an oven mitt or heat-resistant gloves. Finally, never leave your electric smoker unattended while in use. Always keep an eye on the process. 

Checking for Doneness

The best way to check for doneness is by using an instant-read thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the fish and check for an internal temperature of 145 F.

If needed, let the fish cook until it reaches this temperature. 

Serving Smoked Fish

Once your fish has finished cooking, it’s time to serve. Smoked fish is excellent served on its own with some lemon wedges or used as an ingredient in dishes such as salads, tacos, or sandwiches. Additionally, you can freeze smoked fish for up to two months and then thaw and reheat it when ready to eat. 

Troubleshooting and Tips

If you need help with your smoking, there are a few things to remember. First, plug in the electric smoker and set the temperature control correctly. Additionally, make sure to add wood chips regularly. It will ensure optimal smoke flavour throughout the cooking process. If the fish isn’t cooking well or appears raw, increase the temperature. Keep an eye on it until it’s done. 

Advanced Techniques and Flavoring

You can experiment with more advanced techniques once you’ve mastered the basics of smoking fish in an electric smoker. Try adding herbs and spices to your brine or marinade for added flavour. You can use different wood chips, such as applewood or cherry, for a unique smoky flavour. Finally, add some liquid smoke to the smoker during cooking to boost the smokey flavour. 


Can you cook fish on an electric smoker?

Yes, you can cook fish on an electric smoker. Smoking fish in an electric smoker is a great way to get that smoky flavour without using charcoal or wood. Start by selecting the correct type of fish and then prepare the smoker by adding wood chips. 

Do you put water in a smoker when smoking fish?

No, you do not need to put water in a smoker when smoking fish. Consider bringing the fish for added flavour and moisture before smoking. It will help prevent the fish from drying out while providing that delicious smoky flavour. 

What is the best fish to smoke in an electric smoker?

The best fish to smoke in an electric smoker is fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, or mackerel. These fish have high-fat content, which keeps them moist during smoking. The fat content also enhances the depth of the smoky flavour. But, you can smoke any fish in an electric smoker with excellent results. 

How long do you leave fish in a smoker?

The duration for leaving fish in a smoker depends on various factors, such as the type of fish, its thickness, and the smoker’s temperature. Smoking fish can take between 1 to 3 hours at a temperature of 200°F to 225°F. Always remember to check the internal temperature of the fish. It should reach 145°F for safe consumption. 


Smoking fish in an electric smoker is a great way to add a delicious smokey flavour to your seafood dishes. With the proper preparation, you can create flavorful and moist smoked fish. Remember these tips and tricks as you start and learn how to smoke fish in an electric smoker smoking your own fish for tasty results every time.

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