This Smoked Rockfish recipe melts in your mouth with its subtle infused smoke flavor. Whether you choose to eat this as a meal or partner it with another dish, be prepared that it will rival Smoked Salmon and Smoked Trout.
We ordered two pounds of rockfish from Pikes Place Market as we knew we were going to want to smoke one pound and grill another one and we are so glad that we did. Our only regret is that it’s all gone already. The good ones go fast.
🍽️Why This Works
Hands Off: One of the big reasons to love smoking is that it is so hands off. You put everything on to smoke and then you walk away and get some other things done for the day while your meal quietly cooks.
Simple: This is a simple, smoke and salt recipe. It doesn’t get easier than that. You can jazz it up even more by adding a sauce on top of it, mixing it into a dip, drizzling a brown butter sauce over the top, making it into a huge spread of nachos, slice it up on top of a salad like we did the kuri squash. The options are endless and that doesn’t count just simply eating it plain and simple like you would smoked salmon.
Two Ingredients: Just salt and the rockfish is all you need here. Let the smoke do the work and the end result is amazing.
Pacific Rockfish |This is also known as Rock Cod, Pacific Snapper or Pacific Ocean Perch. It is a popular West Coast fish that can be found in the near shore so you won’t need an offshore charter to snag a few of these on your next fishing trip. These can be found at fish markets around the US or ordered from places like Pike Place Market in Seattle.
Salt |We used a coarse salt here and we just spinkled about ½ tsp or so on both sides.
Step One: Preheat the grill to 225 degrees. Use an indirect heat by turning off the center burners of a gas grill or adding a ceramic plate setter for the Big Green Egg.
Step Two: Rinse off the fillet and pat it dry before adding a light sprinkle of coarse salt.
Step Three: Add a light fruit wood or alder to the grill for smoking.
Note: Stay away from the stronger flavored woods like mesquite and hickory. The flavors of those woods will overpower the light fish. I created a wood smoking cheatsheet for reference.
Step Four: Lay the fillet on the grill grate. I used a non-stick copper grilling mat to protect the fish, but it isn’t necessary. I do like the fact that it is easy to clean off and I don’t have to worry about the fish sticking to the grill. If you don’t have a Copper Grilling Mat or don’t know how to use them, we give you all the tips and tricks here.
Step Five: Remove the fish when the temperature in the thickest part reaches 145 degrees. This took about two hours for this thick fillet.
Step Six: Allow the fish to cool completely and wrap it in saran. Place it in the refrigerator. While the fish is delicious straight off the grill, the flavors really pop when you give the smoke time to permeate rest of the fish overnight in the fridge. Try it and see!
❗ Expert Tips
Freeze smoked fish with no problem. So think about making this early for a party you are going to head to in a week and you want to make an incredible dip or spread to take with you. Make a couple batches to make fritters later on the cast iron in the house when it’s raining.
Don’t use hickory or mesquite here for your wood chips as it will just overpower the fish. We choose peach this time but any mild wood would work nicely. Always think of fruit woods as safe bets if you aren’t sure how much “smoke” flavor you want to have.
To achieve a more intense flavor, wrap it in Saran after it has cooled off, refrigerate for 1-2 days and then serve. This is an option and not necessary to enjoy the incredible flavor that will be had right away.
It’s a mild fish with a little bit of sweetness.
YES!! Each serving has 33 grams of protein and is packed with omega fatty acids in addition to Vitamin D and potassium.
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- 1 lb Pacific Rockfish
- 1 tsp Coarse Sea Salt
- Preheat the grill to 225 degrees with an indirect heat. For gas grills, turn off the center burners. For a kamado grill, add a plate setter.
- Rinse and pat the fillet dry before sprinkling on a little bit of sea salt.
- Add a fruit wood to the grill or another mild option like alder.
- Place the fillet on a copper mat on the grill.
- Allow the fish to smoke until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
- Remove the rockfish and allow it to cool. Wrap it in saran and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight. The flavors will intensify as it is tightly wrapped.