Smoked Swordfish Steaks are beautiful and impressive as the main course of your meal. Smoked to perfection, golden brown, juicy, and tender, this Smoked Swordfish recipe will have all your guest impressed with your culinary abilities!
Whether you are smoking these on a pellet grill or a charcoal smoker, the key here is going to be a low temperature to allow the fish to be there a while, absorbing the smoke flavor without overcooking. There are a few simple ingredients and three easy steps to making this Smoked Swordfish recipe.
Ingredients for Smoked Swordfish
You don't need much for perfectly smoked swordfish.
Swordfish - I used swordfish steaks. Swordfish fillets are so large that they are generally cut into steaks. A 6-8 oz portion is a perfect serving size for smoked fish. I did not have fresh fish. I order a lot of my fish and meat from an online retailer and it all comes frozen. It is important to make sure you thoroughly defrost the fish. Then let it dry and use a paper towel to wick away any extra moisture before bringing the fish.
Olive Oil - Just a little to allow the smoke to stick to the fish and keep the fish from sticking to the grill grates.
Coarse Kosher Salt - We will use the salt as a dry brine for the swordfish.
Black Pepper - Pepper gives a nice earthy spice to the fish. Also, with the garnish of lemon and a fresh squeeze of lemon juice, it gives a beautiful lemon pepper season to the smoked swordfish.
Lemon - I love fresh lemon with fish. If you don't have a lemon, some lemon juice can serve as that drizzle of acidity to make a perfectly balanced dish.
Instructions for Smoked Swordfish Recipe
Step One- Smoked Swordfish Brine
First, we are going to use a very simple dry brine to season the fish and help keep it moist through the smoking process. Use coarse kosher salt, you only need about ¼ cup to total coat a swordfish steak. Place swordfish in a container and sprinkle the salt on both sides. Then place a lid on the container or use plastic wrap. Place brined fish into the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
Step Two - Smoke the Swordfish
Once the swordfish is done brining, remove it from the refrigerator and rinse it thoroughly under cold water to remove all the salt. Use paper towels to dry it off. Then place it on a cutting board. Lightly brush both sides with olive oil then season with freshly ground black pepper. DO NOT SALT the fish at this point or it will be too salty. The brine already seasoned the fish with salt.
Place the swordfish steak onto the grill grates in a preheated smoker and smoke at 180°F - 200°F for about an hour and a half or until the internal temperature reaches 130°F. If you can keep the temperature low, it allows you to smoke the fish for longer, giving the fish a beautiful smoky flavor. Use an internal meat thermometer probe to monitor the internal temperature of the swordfish. Push the thermometer probe into the side o the fish into the thickest part of the fish to be sure to have an accurate reading.
Step Three - Serve the Smoked Swordfish
As the swordfish steak smokes, the outside flesh will turn to a beautiful golden brown. Once the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees Fahrenheit, remove it from the smoker and serve. Garnish the dish with lemon wedges or thin slices of lemon. The acidity from citrus is the perfect flavor balance for smoked fish.
What are the perfect side dishes for smoked swordfish?
What if I don't have a smoker or a pellet smoker?
Great question. You can smoke fish on a gas grill, as long as you can properly monitor the temperature. The key to smoking is indirect heat. Where the flavor of the smoke and the hot air, cook your fish. Preheat your grill with low or medium heat from only one burner. Once the temperature of the grill reaches 180-200°F temperature, place a smoke box in the grill with either woodchips or wood pellets. Light them on fire, then allow them to slowly burn to create the smoke. Place your swordfish on the grill, close the lid, and watch both the grill temperature and the internal temp of the swordfish. It will still give you that wonderful smoky flavor. Enjoy!
You can also make Air Fryer Swordfish.
- 12 oz swordfish 2 six-ounce portions
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ lemon for fresh squeezed juice
- ½ cup salt coarse
- Place your swordfish steaks into a container and cover both sides with coarse salt. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 60 to 75 minutes.
- Remove from the refrigerator and rinse all the salt off the swordfish with cold water. Pat dry with a paper towel.
- Brush all sides of the swordfish steak with olive oil, then season the fish with fresh ground black pepper.
- Place the swordfish into a preheated smoker and cook at 180°F until the internal temperature reaches 130°F. (This will take approximately 90 minutes).
- When the fish is done, remove it from the smoker. Place it on a plate and drizzle lightly with fresh lemon juice. Enjoy!
Looking for some other great recipes? Try Smoked Salmon, Smoked Cod, or our Stuffed Smoked Tilapia. Looking for some other protein, give our Smoked Pork Chop a try, or maybe a thick and juicy smoked ribeye steak.