Smoked Red Snapper

Serving Size: 4
Preparation Time: 2:00

  • 1-1/2 lb red snapper filet, skin on—6 oz
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tbs garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp pepper black—freshly ground
  • 1 tbl maple syrup
  • 6 oz wood chips for smoking—moisten
  • 1 each foil pie plate

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the brine

  • 2 qts water
  • 12 oz kosher salt—approx
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tbl garlic granulated
  1. Prepare the brine. Dissolve enough salt in the cold water to float an egg, the amount given is approx. Add the sugar and the granulated garlic.
  2. Brine the fish for one hour. I use frozen red snapper and I put the frozen fish in the brine for about 2-1/2 hours.
  3. Combine the olive oil, brown sugar, garlic and pepper to make a rub, and rub it into the fish well. Oil the skin side lightly, so it won’t stick.
  4. Smoke the fish for 60—75 minutes, depending on thickness at 225 degrees F.
  5. Paint the fish with warmed maple syrup as a glaze.

What if you don’t have a smoker? Lamalle 1-800 660 0750 has a stainless steel stove top smoker, and they sell wood chips of all flavors.

If you have a two burner propane grill, you can put the wood chips (moist) in a pie pan on one side. Cover down. When they begin to smoke, put the fish on the unlit side and close the cover, turn the heat on low.

With a single burner charcoal grill, get the wood chips smoking good, add the fish, turn off the fire. There will be enough smoke to give you flavor, but the fish may cook sooner than you think.

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There are other campfire methods of building a quick temporary smoker, and you can find them in books, but they are too involved for a recipe

In all cases, stop when the fish is glossy opaque. Red snapper slices very nicely when smoked, and tastes like lean sturgeon.

Notes: I find this a delightful appetizer, served sliced with buttered dark pumpernickel bread, and thin slices of sweet onion. It is also good on a bagel, and fits into a buffet of smoked and pickled fishes nicely. The maple syrup glaze is my idea, and if you don’t like it, it is easy to skip, but you won’t know unless you try, will you?

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