How to Smoke Cod

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Smoked fish is flavorful and can be kept for several weeks.
Smoked fish is flavorful and can be kept for several weeks. (Image: baking fish image by Wouter Tolenaars from Fotolia.com)

Smoking fish such as cod is an ancient practice of preserving it. Fresh fish goes bad after only a few days. By smoking the fish, it will last several weeks. Smoking adds flavor to the fish, depending on the wood and spices used. Using spice rubs, you can bring out the flavor of fish as it cooks. The type of wood you use will change the flavor and smell of the fish. You can experiment with various woods for smoking.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 to 5 fresh cod fillets
  • Apple-wood chips
  • 2 gallons water
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 tbsp. pepper
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup paprika
  • 2 tbsp. cayenne
  • Paper towels
  • Smoker
  • Large plastic container
  • Plastic gloves

Lay out the fish on the paper towels and sprinkle with salt. This will draw out extra moisture from the fish. After 30 minutes, rinse fish in cold water.

Mix the brine in a plastic container by adding 1 gallon of water, orange juice, 1/2 cup paprika, 1/4 cup salt, 2 tbsp. pepper and garlic. Place the fish in the brine for 45 minutes.

Mix the cayenne, onion powder, remaining pepper and paprika to create a spice rub. Remove the fish from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the spices onto the fish while wearing plastic gloves. If the fish has skin on one side, use the rub on the meat side only, not on the skin.

Follow the manufacturer's directions on your smoker to add the apple-wood chips and water as needed. Place the fish in the smoker for one and a half to two hours. The fish should be white and flake easily when done.

Tips & Warnings

  • Experiment with various spices and brines to flavor your fish. You may need to smoke for longer if you plan on cooking more fish. To store the fish, wrap it in plastic, then tinfoil.

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