Can you smoke fish on a Big Green Egg?

Picture this: wisps of fragrant smoke curling around succulent fish, infusing it with layers of tantalizing flavor. It’s the art of smoking fish, a sacred ritual celebrated by food lovers across the globe. And if you’re lucky enough to own a Big Green Egg, get ready to take your culinary game to soaring heights. This ceramic kamado-style cooker is not just any grill; it’s a taste-transforming powerhouse that will make your seafood creations sing.

Whether you’re a seasoned pitmaster or a curious beginner itching to dive into the world of smoking, let me tell you – smoking fish on a Big Green Egg is an adventure like no other. From delicate salmon flakes to juicy trout and meaty swordfish that’ll make your mouth water, this versatile cooking method turns ordinary fish into extraordinary feasts.

In this blog post, we’ll plunge headfirst into the enchanting process of smoking fish on a Big Green Egg. I’ll share insider tips and tricks that will guarantee your culinary expedition becomes an unforgettable triumph. So grab those tongs, stoke up the coals, and join me on a flavor-filled journey that will leave your taste buds begging for more.


What is a Big Green Egg?

Look no further than the Big Green Egg, a versatile outdoor cooking device that will revolutionize your cooking experience. Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or a novice cook, the Big Green Egg is sure to impress with its exceptional heat control, durability, and versatility.

The Perfect Cooking Companion:

The Big Green Egg, often referred to as a kamado-style grill due to its distinct shape resembling a big green egg, is made from high-quality ceramic material. This material provides excellent heat retention properties, allowing for precise temperature control. From grilling and smoking to baking and roasting, the Big Green Egg can handle it all with ease.

Consistent Temperatures:

One of the standout features of the Big Green Egg is its ability to maintain consistent temperatures over long periods of time. With adjustable airflow vents on the bottom and top, you have complete control over the oxygen supply to the charcoal fire inside. This results in even cooking temperatures throughout the cooking surface, ensuring perfect results every time.

Size Matters:

The Big Green Egg comes in various sizes, catering to different cooking needs. Whether you want to cook a few burgers on the small version or go all out with a whole turkey or multiple racks of ribs on the extra-large model, there’s a size for everyone. The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating delicious meals for any occasion.

Built to Last:

Investing in a Big Green Egg means investing in durability and longevity. The ceramic material used in its construction is resistant to cracking and fading, ensuring that your grill will stand the test of time with proper care and maintenance. Say goodbye to constantly replacing your grill and hello to years of grilling perfection.

Fuel Flexibility:

Not only is the Big Green Egg designed for natural lump charcoal, but it also accommodates other fuel options like charcoal briquettes or wood chunks. This flexibility allows you to experiment with different flavors and cooking techniques, unlocking a world of culinary possibilities. From classic charcoal flavor to the smokiness of wood, the choice is yours.

Advantages of Smoking Fish on a Big Green Egg

This combination is a match made in grilling heaven, offering a range of advantages that will elevate your culinary creations.

First and foremost, the Big Green Egg’s exceptional temperature control sets it apart from other smokers. Its ceramic construction maintains a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process, ensuring perfectly cooked fish every time. No more worrying about overcooked or undercooked fillets—just tender, flaky fish with a smoky flavor that will make your taste buds dance.

Another advantage of using the Big Green Egg for smoking fish is its ability to retain moisture. The sealed ceramic chamber locks in the natural juices of the fish, preventing it from drying out during the smoking process. The result? Moist and succulent smoked fish that will leave you craving more.

But let’s talk about that flavor. The combination of charcoal and wood chips in the Big Green Egg creates a rich smoke that infuses the fish, adding depth and complexity to its taste. And thanks to the natural lump charcoal used in the Egg, you’ll enjoy a unique flavor profile that cannot be replicated by other smokers.

Versatility is another advantage of the Big Green Egg. It can be used as a grill, oven, or smoker, allowing you to experiment with different cooking techniques and flavors. Whether you prefer hot-smoking or cold-smoking your fish, the Big Green Egg has got you covered.

Durability and longevity are key advantages of the Big Green Egg as well. Made from high-quality ceramic, it can withstand high temperatures and extreme weather conditions without losing its functionality or performance. This means you can enjoy smoking fish on your Big Green Egg for years to come, making it a worthwhile investment for any grilling enthusiast.

Preparing the Fish for Smoking

Today, we embark on a tantalizing adventure into the world of smoking fish on a Big Green Egg. Brace yourself for a journey that will ignite your taste buds and leave you craving more. But before we set our grills ablaze, let’s dive into the essential steps of preparing the fish for smoking. Grab your fillet knife and let’s uncover the secrets to creating smoky perfection.

Step 1: Selecting the Perfect Catch:

When it comes to smoking fish, freshness reigns supreme. Seek out high-quality fish like salmon, trout, mackerel, or whitefish. Bid farewell to scales, guts, and impurities by giving the fish a thorough cleaning. We want our fillets to shimmer with pristine beauty.

Step 2: Filleting Like a Pro:

Unleash your inner culinary artist. Armed with a razor-sharp fillet knife, remove the skin and bones from the fish. This not only elevates the eating experience but also ensures superior smoke penetration and even cooking. Clean and boneless fillets? Checkmate.

Step 3: Brine Time:

Why settle for ordinary when you can embrace extraordinary flavors? The secret weapon lies in brining – an art that infuses your fillets with tantalizing tastes while keeping them juicy and tender. Create a brine solution using salt, sugar, and your favorite seasonings. Allow those fillets to luxuriate in this flavorful bath for hours or even overnight.

Step 4: Rinse and Dry:

After their flavor-packed brine bath, it’s time for a refreshing rinse under cold water to bid adieu to excess salt. Gently pat them dry with paper towels, preventing overly salty or dried-out fish during the smoking process.

Step 5: Prevent Sticking:

No games of hide-and-seek on the grill, please. Apply a delicate layer of oil or cooking spray to ensure easy removal and prevent any sticky situations. Smooth sailing ahead.

Step 6: The Marinade Magic (Optional):

Ready to elevate your fish to flavor nirvana? Consider marinating the fillets before smoking. Select a marinade that complements the distinct taste of the fish and allows them to bask in a symphony of delicious flavors for the recommended time. Your taste buds will erupt in a standing ovation.

Step 7: Chill Out:

Before our fishy friends embrace the smoky embrace of the Big Green Egg, ensure they’re properly chilled. Cold fish acts like a sponge, eagerly absorbing smoky flavors while maintaining a firm texture during smoking. Stay cool, my grilling comrades.

Setting Up the Big Green Egg for Smoking

Now, we’ll be diving into the art of smoking fish on this versatile outdoor cooker. Get ready to elevate your seafood game and impress your friends and family with perfectly smoked fish every time.

Start with Clean and Dry Charcoal

Before you begin, make sure your Big Green Egg is clean and free of any leftover ash or debris from previous cookouts. This will ensure a fresh start for your smoking adventure. Grab a bag of lump charcoal, which is recommended for a cleaner burn and better flavor. Avoid using lighter fluid or briquettes, as they can impart unwanted flavors to your fish.

Light the Charcoal

Now it’s time to get the fire started. Place a few handfuls of charcoal in the bottom of the Big Green Egg and create a small well in the center. You can use fire starters or a chimney starter to ignite the charcoal. Once the coals are lit and starting to ash over, carefully transfer them to the well in the Big Green Egg. The flames will dance and crackle, setting the stage for smoky goodness.

Control Airflow for Consistent Temperature

Controlling airflow is essential for achieving and maintaining the desired smoking temperature. Begin by partially opening the lower vent to allow air in. This will fuel your fire and keep it burning steadily. Then, adjust the top vent to control the flow of smoke and heat out of the cooker. It’s like conducting an orchestra of flavors, creating a harmonious balance between smokiness and tenderness.

Enhance Flavor with Wood Chunks or Chips

Now let’s add another layer of smoky deliciousness. Consider adding wood chunks or chips to the charcoal. Soak them in water for about 30 minutes beforehand to prevent them from burning too quickly and producing bitter smoke. Experiment with different types of wood, such as apple or hickory, to find your favorite flavor combination. This is where the magic truly happens.

Create a Moist Cooking Environment

Moisture is the key to juicy, succulent fish. Place a drip pan filled with water or your choice of liquid, such as beer or apple juice, on top of the plate setter or convEGGtor. This will help create a moist cooking environment and catch any drippings from the fish, preventing flare-ups and keeping your fish tender and flavorful.

Preheat to the Perfect Temperature

Now it’s time to bring the Big Green Egg to life. Preheat it to the desired smoking temperature, typically between 180°F and 225°F. Use a wireless meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the fish while it smokes. This will ensure that you achieve the perfect level of doneness without overcooking.

Maintaining the Desired Temperature for Smoking

Achieving that perfect smoky flavor requires mastering the art of maintaining a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process. So, let’s fire up those grills and learn how to keep that desired temperature steady.

First things first, before you embark on your smoking adventure, it’s crucial to start with a clean slate. Scrub those grill grates until they gleam, removing any remnants of previous cookouts. This ensures an even cooking surface and prevents any unwanted flavors from sneaking into your fishy creation.

Now, let’s talk about the heart of your smoking operation – the charcoal. Fill the charcoal chamber with your choice of lump charcoal, leaving ample space for airflow. Use a chimney starter to ignite the charcoal until it’s coated with a delicate layer of white ash. This ensures a clean burn and consistent heat distribution, allowing that smoky goodness to infuse your fish.

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To create the perfect environment for smoking, we need to introduce our secret weapon – the convEGGtor or plate setter. This accessory is like a guardian angel, shielding your fish from direct flames while creating indirect heat that results in tender, flavorful goodness. Place it carefully inside the Big Green Egg, and you’re one step closer to achieving smoked fish nirvana.

Now, let’s set up the grill for indirect cooking. We all know moisture is key when it comes to smoking fish, so place a drip pan filled with water or another liquid underneath the cooking grate. This not only helps maintain moisture but also prevents flare-ups from sabotaging your culinary masterpiece.

Ah, now it’s time to conduct that temperature symphony like a true maestro. The vents on the top and bottom of your Big Green Egg are your orchestra members – each playing a crucial role in regulating airflow. For the perfect smoking temperature, start with the vents halfway open and fine-tune as needed. This delicate balance ensures you don’t end up with fish that’s either overcooked or underwhelming.

Of course, monitoring the temperature is essential. Don’t skimp on a reliable thermometer – invest in a digital probe thermometer that will be your trusty sidekick throughout the smoking process. Place it into the vent opening to get an accurate reading of the internal temperature. With this handy tool by your side, you’ll never miss a beat.

But what if the temperature starts to waver from your desired range? Fear not. Simply add a few more lit coals through the top vent, like gentle whispers of heat, ensuring your fish remains cozy and content.

On the flip side, if the temperature decides to dance too high, take control and partially close one or both vents. This reduces airflow, taming that fiery spirit and bringing the heat back to where it belongs.

Placing the Fish on the Big Green Egg

So you’ve got your Big Green Egg fired up and ready to go, and now it’s time to tackle the art of smoking fish. Whether you’re a seasoned grilling pro or just starting out, properly placing your fish on the grill is key to achieving that perfectly smoked flavor. Lucky for you, I’ve got all the tips and tricks you need to master this technique. So grab your apron, fire up the Egg, and let’s get grillin’.

Step 1: Prepare and Season Your Fish

Before we even think about placing our fish on the grill, we need to make sure it’s properly prepared and seasoned. This can be as simple as adding some salt, pepper, and herbs for a subtle taste or marinating your fish in your favorite flavors. Get creative and experiment with different seasonings to find your perfect combination.

Step 2: Get Your Grill Grates Ready

Start by ensuring that your grill grates are clean. Nobody wants last week’s grilled burgers sticking to their fish. Give them a good scrub with a grill brush to remove any leftover residue.

Step 3: Don’t Overcrowd the Grill

Now it’s time to place your fish on the grill. Remember, we want to give each piece of fish some breathing room. Overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking and even sticking. Leave enough space between each piece to allow for proper air circulation.

Step 4: Skin-Side Down is the Way to Go

When placing your fish on the grill, it’s best to start with the skin-side down. This helps protect the delicate flesh of the fish and ensures that it cooks evenly without drying out. Plus, it adds a nice crispy texture to the finished product.

Step 5: Consider Using a Fish Basket or Plank

If you’re smoking larger pieces of fish, like a whole salmon or a fillet, you may want to consider using a fish basket or a plank. These tools provide support and help prevent the fish from falling apart or sticking to the grill grate. They’re especially handy if you’re new to smoking fish.

Step 6: Monitor the Temperature

Keep a close eye on the temperature of your Big Green Egg while your fish is smoking. Aim for a temperature range of around 225°F to 250°F (107°C to 121°C). This slow and steady cooking process allows the fish to absorb all those delicious smoky flavors.

Step 7: Test for Doneness

Now here comes the fun part – testing for doneness. Fish can be tricky to cook, as it can easily go from perfectly cooked to overdone in a matter of minutes. To make sure your fish is cooked to perfection, use a meat thermometer to check its internal temperature. Once it reaches 145°F (63°C), you’re good to go.

Monitoring Temperature and Doneness During Smoking

When it comes to smoking food, monitoring temperature and doneness is absolutely crucial. It’s the key to achieving that perfect smoky flavor and ensuring your food is cooked to perfection. Let’s dive in.

First and foremost, monitoring temperature allows you to have control over the cooking process. Different foods require different temperatures to cook properly, and smoking is no exception. By keeping a close eye on the temperature, you can ensure that your food is cooking at the right pace and avoiding any undercooking or overcooking disasters.

There are a few different methods for monitoring temperature during smoking. One popular option is using a thermometer probe. This handy tool allows you to accurately measure the internal temperature of the food, giving you an instant read on how it’s cooking. It takes the guesswork out of the equation and ensures that your food is cooked to perfection every time.

Doneness is equally important when it comes to smoking food. Achieving the desired level of doneness can make or break your dish. Whether you prefer your steak medium-rare or well done, monitoring the internal temperature will help you achieve that perfect level of doneness.

So, how do you know if your food is fully cooked? The best way to tell is by using a meat thermometer. Insert it into the thickest part of the food, away from any bones, and check the internal temperature. For example, chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C), while beef can vary depending on your preferred level of doneness.

Resting time also plays a crucial role in achieving optimal flavor and texture. Once your food reaches the desired internal temperature, it’s important to let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful final product.

Of course, there are some common mistakes to avoid when monitoring temperature and doneness. One of the biggest mistakes is relying solely on cooking times. While cooking times can provide a rough estimate, they are not always accurate. Always use a thermometer to ensure your food is cooked to the correct internal temperature.

Enhancing Flavor and Moisture of the Fish

If you’re a grilling enthusiast looking to take your culinary skills to the next level, smoking fish on a Big Green Egg is a fantastic way to enhance its flavor and moisture. Get ready to impress your friends and family with perfectly smoked fish bursting with deliciousness. Here are some tips and techniques to achieve mouthwatering results.

Choose the Right Wood

The type of wood you use for smoking can make a world of difference. Delicate fish like trout or snapper pair well with mild woods like apple or cherry, while bolder fish like salmon or tuna benefit from stronger woods like hickory or mesquite. Explore different wood flavors to find your perfect match.

Prepare the Fish

Properly cleaning and filleting the fish is essential for even cooking and better smoke absorption. Remove any bones or scales. Some people also like to brine their fish before smoking, locking in moisture and infusing additional flavor into the flesh.

Control the Temperature

Maintaining a consistent temperature is crucial. Aim for around 180-200°F (82-93°C). The Big Green Egg’s excellent heat retention capabilities make it easy to achieve a steady temperature, resulting in perfectly cooked and moist fish.

Add Flavors

To further enhance the flavor and moisture, consider adding ingredients or seasonings. Sliced lemons or oranges add a citrusy kick, while herbs like dill or thyme provide an aromatic touch. Marinades or glazes can also infuse additional flavors into the fish.

Monitor Smoking Time

The smoking time varies depending on the size and thickness of the fish. Smaller fillets may take around 30-45 minutes, while larger whole fish can take 1-2 hours or more. Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature and ensure it reaches a safe and fully cooked temperature of 145°F (63°C).

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Yes, you can absolutely smoke fish on a Big Green Egg. The versatility of this grill makes it perfect for achieving that smoky, delicious flavor that fish lovers crave. Whether you’re a seasoned grilling pro or a novice, the Big Green Egg is your ticket to perfectly smoked fish every time.

With its ceramic construction and precise temperature control, the Big Green Egg provides a consistent cooking environment that allows you to infuse your fish with mouthwatering smokiness. From salmon to trout to snapper, the possibilities are endless when it comes to smoking fish on this incredible grill.

To get started, simply prepare your fish by seasoning it with your favorite herbs and spices. Then, set up your Big Green Egg for indirect cooking by placing a plate setter or convEGGtor in the grill and preheating it to around 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once your grill is heated up and ready to go, add some wood chips or chunks of your choice (such as apple or hickory) to the charcoal for that extra burst of flavor. Place your seasoned fish on a grilling plank or directly on the grill grates and close the lid.

Now comes the exciting part – waiting for that irresistible aroma of smoked fish to fill the air. Depending on the size and thickness of your fish, it may take anywhere from 1-3 hours to fully smoke. Keep an eye on the internal temperature using a meat thermometer, aiming for around 145 degrees Fahrenheit for most types of fish.

As you patiently wait for your perfectly smoked fish, take advantage of the Big Green Egg’s versatility by experimenting with different flavors and techniques. Consider adding citrus slices or fresh herbs like dill or thyme to enhance the taste even further.

When your fish is done smoking and reaches that ideal internal temperature, remove it from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. The result? Tender, flaky fish with a smoky flavor that will have your taste buds dancing with delight.

So, the next time you’re craving some delicious smoked fish, don’t hesitate to fire up your Big Green Egg.

With its exceptional temperature control and unmatched versatility, this grill is a game-changer when it comes to achieving that perfect smoky flavor.

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