The Best Way to Cook Real Smoked Kippers

Fish in the smoking oven.


The best option for cooking real smoked kippers will depend on several factors, including what type of taste you want to produce and what cooking implements you have available. Real smoked kippers are herrings -- or small, silvery, saltwater fish -- that have been gutted, split in half, salted and smoked. Despite being smoked, kippers require additional cooking as they are usually left undercured so that the fish retain higher quantities of moisture.

Why Kipper?

While the prospect of eating salted, smoked herrings, may be a hard sell for some members of your family, especially the younger ones, real smoked kippers provide several nutritional benefits. As SelfNutritionData notes, kipper is a “very good source” of selenium, which acts as an antioxidant; vitamin B12, which helps the body produce energy; and protein, which helps in the repairing and building of bodily tissues. Kipper is also a “good source” of phosphorous, which aids in the formation of bones and teeth; and vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium.

Cooking Strategies

Regardless of what cooking appliance you use for cooking real smoked kipper, there are some general strategies that can help optimize the cooking process. For example, to preserve maximum flavor, you should always cook kipper “on the bone” or with its flesh still attached to its bones. However, you can cut off the tails and heads of kippers, as these parts are undesirable. Because kippers are so small, you should be able to accomplish this with a pair of scissors. For some kids, seeing the fish heads and tails can actually be the novelty that convinces them to give them a try, so use your judgment.

Cooking Style

According to the online cooking resource, Delia Online, the best way to cook real smoked kippers is to grill them. For best results, you should not try to place the kippers directly on to the grill’s grate -- or grilling surface. This is because in addition to falling through the grate, the kippers may become stuck to the grate and stink up the grill. Instead, grease a piece of aluminum foil, place the kippers on top and then place the foil on the grill. If you do not own a grill, or the weather is not favorable for grilling, another option for cooking real smoked kippers is to bake them in the oven. However, unlike with a grill, baking will not produce a distinctive, smoky flavor. In addition, baking kippers will likely stink up the kitchen!

Jugging: A Traditional Take

If you are looking for a more traditional cooking method for real smoked kippers, make jugged kippers. Jugging kippers, in comparison to grilling or baking, will better preserve their salty, briny taste. The process requires that you pack several kippers upright in a large glass jug and pour in boiling water until the water covers the kippers. Cover the jug with a lid, wait about six minutes then drain and dry the kippers before serving.