Smoked Halibut

Smoked halibut

Tired of smoking cod and salmon? Want to try some new tastes? We have brought you an exciting and incredibly easy-to-make Smoked Halibut. The flesh of halibut fish is firm, this leanness feature of meat will allow to dry brine or marinate the halibut fillets giving an extraordinary blast of flavors.

You can buy the frozen halibut fillets from any nearby supermarket, but if you have the sources and can get fresh halibut fish, there is nothing better than smoking halibut taken fresh from the water. Frozen halibut is available throughout the year but the availability of fresh halibut is from May till September.

Halibut fish overview

All of us have heard a lot about salmon and cod but halibut is a bit less common like seabass, codfish and etc. By reading this post you will get to know more about halibut fish.

Halibut are found in the northern waters of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and is cold-water fish. The fish is greenish-brown or grey in color from the right side and from the left side its color is creamy white. halibut can weigh up to 600 pounds and can live up to 40 years.

What side dishes to choose with smoked halibut

This seafood dish is a perfect protein source and can be paired up with several outstanding side dishes. Some of the side dishes I would love to pair with this white fish are perfectly Smoked Deviled Eggs, Smoked Gouda, Smoked Sweet Potatoes, and Smoked Asparagus.

How to make smoked halibut

We have broken down one of the finest recipes in which we will walk you through the best available method, ingredients, and technique for smoking the halibut fish fillets. Gear up! get your grill ready with charcoal, wood chips, and thoroughly cleaned grill grates. I will be using a pellet grill, while trying this recipe you will be the pitmaster and you can choose the smoker of your preference. It can be an electric smoker, charcoal smoker, or gas grill.

let’s not wait more and go ahead with the finest smoked halibut safari recipe.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Marination time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Cook Temperature: 225ºF
  • Wood Flavor: Alder wood
  • Servings: 2-4 people

Required Tools

  • Smoker of your preference (I prefer using pellet grill smoker)
  • BBQ tongs
  • Sheet pan
  • Rimmed sheet pan
  • Plastic wrap
  • Meat thermometer


  • 4-5 fresh fish fillets
  • 6 tablespoon cooled melted butter
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 2 cloves of finely minced fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • Kosher salt 1 pinch
  • A pinch of black pepper


  1. Light up your smoker and maintain the temperature at 225ºF.
  2. Prepare a mixture of ingredients.
  3. Coat the halibut fillets properly and place them in the refrigerator for marination.
  4. Place the fish on the smoker for 45 minutes.
  5. Remove fillets from the grill and serve.

BBQ Hero Tip: If you want to enjoy the fillets full of flavor and juices try coating the fillets with butter mixture. It will not only enhance the taste but will also prevent the fish from getting dry and will give a silky texture.

Detailed Cooking Instructions

1) Prepare your smoker

Use the alder wood chips and light up the smoker. Maintain the internal temperature of the smoker at 225ºF.

2) Preparing the mixture for marination

Take a small bowl to mix all the ingredients. Pour in all the ingredients. Whisk them well, you can also use a hand blender if you are not comfortable using whiskers. Here I will be using a whisker, do not stop until you see smooth paste.

3) Marinating the fillets with the mixture

Take a shallow sheet pan. Place all the fillets in that sheet pan and pour in the mixture. Coat the fish meat thoroughly with the butter paste. When you are done with coating the meat, cover the pan with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for around an hour.

4) Smoking time

After 1 hour of marination remove the pan from the refrigerator. Take off the plastic wrap and place the fish directly one by one on the grill. Make sure that the grill is preheated to 225ºF. Smoke halibut for 45 minutes. Do not forget to turn the sides of each fillet to perfectly cook them and to get the grill texture on the meat.

When do you know that the smoked fish is ready?

Take a meat temperature probe and insert it in the middle of the fillets. If the internal temperature is at 140ºF it means you can remove the fish from the pellet grill and it is ready to be served.

5) Serving the smoked halibut

When the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F. Remove it from the pellet grill and place it in a rimmed sheet pan. Squeeze lemon juice on the fillets and if you want a bold and strong flavor brush up the fish meat with more butter. If not, then you are ready to serve it on your holiday table with some lemon wedges on the top.

BBQ Hero Tip: Try not to over cook it. If you do so it will ruin the whole taste and will dry out the fish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do not panic! BBQ Hero is here to help. If you are having problems while smoking the fish and you have to face disappointment every time you make smoked halibut, we can guide you on how to overcome those problems. We will try to cover all the common problems faced while smoking halibut.

Is halibut good to smoke?

Halibut is the best fish to smoke. Due to the firm and leanness of the meat, it is easy to smoke and can be smoked in less time as compared to other fishes keeping all the juices and flavors alive.

How long does it take to smoke a halibut?

Smoking halibut will take almost 45 minutes. If the fish is not cooked properly and not good to eat, let it smoke for some more time and use a meat temperature probe to measure the internal temp of the fish. If the internal temp is 140ºF, consider it done. The optimal temperature to be maintained in a smoker to smoke halibut is 225ºF.

What does smoked halibut taste like?

The taste of this fish is similar to the taste of clam or a crab because of its gentle and mild savor. If we compare its taste with fish, it tastes like Tilapia. The meat of this fish is a lot firm and thicker than the codfish.

What do you eat smoked fish with?

I would love to pair this white fish meal with some perfectly Smoked Deviled Eggs, Smoked Gouda, Smoked Sweet Potatoes, and Smoked Asparagus. I have also tried it with apricot sauce and it tasted awesome.

You can also try pairing it up with some creamy sauce, hot white pasta, and salads. Potato can be a good side too!

What temp do you smoke halibut?

The optimal temperature to be maintained in a smoker to smoke halibut is 225ºF. The internal temperature for a perfectly cooked halibut fish is 140ºF. If you leave the fish at a high temperature in the smoker it will destroy all the nice and silky texture as well as will affect the taste and juices of the fish.

What is better, cod or halibut?

Both of them are almost the same with very minor dissimilarities. Codfish is mild in taste and is usually dense and flaky besides Halibut fish have a strong flavor and has a firm and dense texture.

Both the dishes are rich in nutrients and are a rich source of proteins.

What is halibut like to eat?

Halibut has the quality to absorb the ingredients and garnish properly to give you a blast of flavors. The taste of this fish is similar to the taste of clam or a crab because of its gentle and mild savor. If we compare its taste with fish, it tastes like Tilapia.

Great Smoked Seafood Options

If you’re looking to try other smoked seafood recipes, then you must give a try to our Smoked Lobster TailSmoked Shrimp, or Grilled Salmon recipes. They are healthy and easy to make.

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