Smoking haddock in a backyard smoker is a simple way to impart flavor into a mild-tasting white fish. Found primarily in the north Atlantic ocean, haddock has a mildly sweet tasting flesh that is tender, yet slightly firm. By placing it in a smoker, haddock fillets become infused with your favorite smoking wood flavor, making them far more flavorful than a marinade or glaze could do alone. When smoked, you can enjoy your haddock fillet as the star of the meal, or chop it up to add a smoky fish flavor to a soup or stew.
Combine equal parts olive oil with an acidic liquid such as lime juice or balsamic vinegar to create a marinade. Add seasoning and flavoring to your taste, such as salt, pepper and minced garlic. Pour the mixture into a resealable bag.
Add the fillets to the bag of marinade and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to 1 hour, turning the bag over halfway through.
Submerge flavored wood chips in a container of water to soak for about 30 minutes and add charcoal to the bottom of your smoker grill. Fill the water pan in your smoker to the line indicated. You'll want to use a light fruitwood to smoke your haddock, such as an apple or peach wood that won't overpower the delicate fish flavor. Avoid using mesquite or hickory chips, which are far too strong for this fish.
Light the charcoal and bring the heat to between 200 and 225 degrees Fahrenheit, using the vents to adjust the temperature. When the coals start to ashen, place the soaked wood chips on top and close the smoker.
Place the haddock on squares of aluminum foil cut to fit each fillet. Put them on the center racks of your smoker and close the lid. Let the haddock smoke for about an hour to 90 minutes, or until the fillets are no longer opaque and the flesh flakes easily with a fork. The fish must also reach an internal temperature of 145 F, which you can check with a meat thermometer. Serve hot out of the smoker.
- You can add a glaze of any kind to your haddock fillets about 30 minutes before you expect them to be done. Some glazes that complement haddock finish include a sweet maple glaze and a balsamic vinegar-based glaze.
- Avoid overcooking the haddock in the smoker. Overcooking fish using any cooking method can result in dry and rubbery fillets.
- Alexandra Grablewski/Photodisc/Getty Images