This easy smoked red snapper recipe is the perfect way to make a delicious dinner. Try it today and let your taste buds savor the flavors!
What should I know about Red Snapper?
Red Snapper is a pretty widely available fish. When produced from the wild, the fish is caught in the US Gulf along the southern coast. How does red snapper taste? Red Snapper is a mild-flavored fish, with firm white flesh. It is a great fish to be able to impart so many different flavors to it. Whether you want a spicy, smoky, or sweet, red snapper can help you achieve a great-tasting dish. It is also pretty firm and the meat can handle some rough treatment, which makes it perfect for grilling or smoking. It will not fall apart on you as you try to turn it or lift it from the grill grates. Once cooked, you can serve it as a whole filet, a portion, or use it in other dishes like smoked fish tacos.
Red Snapper - You can either use whole red snapper fillets or precut portions. For this recipe, I used two six-ounce portions. Whenever I am smoking fish, I always check for pin bones. You can use a set of kitchen pliers to pull out any that you find.
Smoked Paprika - I love smoked paprika in many of my recipes. It adds a great flavor and compliments the fish and the wood smoke perfectly.
Salt and Pepper - You need well-seasoned fish. Since we aren't using brine for this fish, we want to make sure we have a perfect balance of salt and pepper.
Olive Oil - You only need a tablespoon olive oil. You could also choose to use grapeseed or vegetable oil. The oil will absorb quite a bit of the smoke flavor.
How to Smoke Red Snapper
This is a rather simple recipe. With only a few steps you will be able to enjoy a wonderfully delicious meal.
Step 1 - Prepare the Red Snapper
Remove the fish from its packaging. Rinse under cold water and pat it dry with a paper towel. Then apply some olive oil to all sides of the fish. This will help keep the fish from sticking to the grill grates as well as help hold the bbq rub onto the fish. Then season the fish with the dry rub mixture. Be sure to coat all sides. Once the Snapper is seasoned, you are ready to place it into the smoker.
Expert Tip - If you are using frozen fish, it is very important to thaw the fish completely and let it dry. If there is too much water in the fish, it will steam as it cooks and you will end up quickly with over cooked fish.
Step Two - Smoke the Red Snapper
Place the seasoned fish into a preheated smoker. Place the fish directly onto the grill grates. For this smoke, I used my Traeger Pellet Grill with a cherry wood and hickory wood pellet blend. Smoke the Red Snapper at 225°F for about 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 130°F. I recommend using a meat thermometer where you can leave a probe in the fish as it cooks to monitor that internal temperature. You don't want to overcook the fish. Watching that internal temp is crucial.
Step Three - Serve the Smoked Snapper
Once the snapper reaches the final internal temperature of 130°F, remove it from the smoker and serve. Finish it with a quick squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice for a perfectly balanced taste. Enjoy!
Whole Fish - If you want a smoked whole snapper, you can you this same recipe. Just season the whole fish, inside and out, and then follow the remaining steps. When smoking whole fish, you will add a little more time, about 20 minutes, but you will still watch the internal temperature. If you are looking for another great fish recipe, try our Smoked Trout, Smoked Salmon, Smoked Cod, or Smoked Swordfish.
Spices - Replace the bbq rub with a more traditional Mexican spice rub for taco night. Combine chipotle powder, with salt and pepper for a little kick of heat.
Cedar Planks - If you don't have a smoker, you can also grill the red snapper on cedar planks. Be sure to not place the cedar plank over direct heat. This will help to avoid the wood plank igniting.
How to serve Smoked Red Snapper
There are several ways you can serve smoked red snapper. You can simply smoke the filet or fish portions separately and serve them as you would a main protein on a dish. Smoked Snapper is a perfect centerpiece of the dish and can be complimented by a plethora of side dishes. I serve smoked snapper with Blackstone Potatoes, Smoked Zucchini, and freshly cooked broccoli with lemon and garlic.
You can also break up the smoked red snapper fillets into beautiful flakes and serve them in fish tacos. Be sure to hit it with some fresh lime juice for a wonderful bite with a bright pop of citrus flavor.
- 12 oz red snapper fillet two 6 ounce portions
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Combine dry seasoning in a small bowl.
- Remove the red snapper from the packaging. Rinse the fish under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
- Brush fish with olive oil. Then apply the dry seasoning to all sides of the fish.
- Place seasoned red snapper into a preheated smoker and smoke at 225℉ for approximately 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 130℉
- Remove from smoker and serve. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon.