How to Debone a Mackerel


Mackerels are a truly wonderful fish and the centerpiece of many great European recipes. Unfortunately, because of their size, they are most typically sold with bones. If you know the fairly simple process of boning a fish at home, this is a very small problem that can save you money -- fish with bones are cheaper -- and expand the fish you will be able to enjoy, as well as increasing you all-around food prep knowledge.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • Sharp knife
  • Rolling pin
  • Tweezers
  • Cut along the belly of the fish, lengthwise. If the head is still on your fish, cut that off too.

  • Open the fish up, and lay it on a counter or cutting board flesh-side down.

  • Tap the fish firmly with the rolling pin, to loosen the spine. Using the handle of the pin, tap up and down the spine pointedly for good measure.

  • Flip the fish over.

  • Separate the bones from the fish, by pulling upwards and using your sharp knife to cut, when needed. Go slowly and carefully and almost all the bones should come up.

  • Use tweezers, if necessary, to remove any small bones remaining.

Tips & Warnings

  • The directions for boning a mackerel can be applied to other fish.
  • Always follow food safety rules when working with fish.
  • Always use caution when working with sharp knives.

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