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Smoking Mackerel


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My son and I went fishing yesterday and came home with some thick pieces of King Mackerel fillets.  Mackerel is an oily fish that’s perfect for smoking.  We binned the fillets for 6+ hours before firing up our Kamado Joe.  The target temperature was 180-200F (measured it at the grill) and because I'm pretty new to using the ‘Joe, I managed to overshoot our target… by a lot.  It took an hour to get the temperature to come down from 250 to 210F.  That's when we opened it up, added three smallish chunks of apple wood, installed the indirect heat stones, and closed the top.  While waiting for the temperature to recover we took the fish out of the fridge, and dried them with paper towels.  The temp was 170F when we put the fish, skin side down, on the grill. The KJ stabilized at ~180 and after 2.5 hours, the fish reached the desired internal temperature of 140F. 


The Mackerel was excellent, moist and mildly smoky.  As expected the skin wasn’t crispy at all so we easily scraped it off before eating.  The next day the leftovers where turned into a dip that we ate with cut up veggies.  It was even better than the first meal. 


Full disclosure, we used blue bag Kingsford charcoal for heat.  It did a good job of holding the low temperature we were looking for. 



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