Delicious smoked fish recipe from an experienced fisherman

It’s called The Bay of Plenty for a reason! This stretch of coastline in New Zealand has some of the world’s most abundant fishing, along with some of it’s most spectacular marine life.

Every year the The Tauranga Sport Fishing Club hosts a competition which draws anglers from around the globe, hoping to catch some snapper, marlin, or yellowfin tuna. Local fishermen stay closer to the shore, bringing home kingfish, tarakihi or kahawai for the local restaurants or the family barbecue.

The Bay even has its own fishing seasons, with the colder water of autumn and winter suitable for deep sea fish such as hapuku (groper) and warehou. As the ocean currents start to warm up, snapper, kingfish and marlin become a more common catch.

Of course, catching a fish is only the first part - you still have to cook it! And there’s no better way than smoking a nice fillet on the barbecue. This slow-cooked method allows the meat to keep its moisture, while at the same time adding the unmistakable flavour smoking brings. It may take longer than simply throwing it on the grill, but trust us, once that succulent, tasty meat falls off the bone you’ll understand why it’s worth the wait.

The following recipe was kindly given to us by our good friend James Allan, who’s an avid fisherman in the area, and we reckon he has the best smoked fish for miles. Enjoy!



Per average size fish (1.5 kg)

50g salt

20g Herbs of choice (I like to use Rosemary)

50g Brown Sugar

50g Honey

Sprinkle of cracked Pepper

Sprinkle of Paprika


This can be used for fillets, split whole fish leaving the bone in, or wings and frames from large fish. 

Place fish on a wire rack with a drip tray underneath, spread the salt and half the herbs evenly over the fish. Leave in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

To have the Engel Fire ready for smoking, build a fire and let it die down to get a bed of hot embers.

Rinse the excess salt mix off and pat dry with a paper towel. Lightly smear the honey over the fish, then sprinkle the remaining ingredients evenly.

Place the fish on the wire rack on the grill and put the grill up to maximum height. The wood chips need to be damp to ensure only smoke, no flame. Place about 2 cups of the wood chips on the embers. Close the flue butterfly and doors. Check very 20 mins and add more chips as required.

This can take up to 4 hours depending on the thickness of the fish. Pull the meat apart slightly in the thickest part to see how cooked the fish is. Once the centre is just turning white remove from the smoker. Smoke any longer and it will start to become dry when it is cold.


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This recipe was specially made with the Engel Fire cooker in mind.

This remarkable machine is unique to New Zealand, it’s hand-crafted, and comes with a lifetime guarantee. If you would like to know more please contact us today, and let's get the ball rolling on your very own Engel Fire.

RecipesJude Engel