Smoked Catfish with herb marinade

My mom and dad came up to visit recently and my dad brought up a bunch of catfish to smoke in the Bradley. I love catfish but I usually eat it blackened or fried. I had never smoked catfish before, so I was eager to give it a go. Catfish is not as oily as salmon or trout but has more than tilapia, haddock or cod and can work great in the smoker. I made an herb marinade to flavour the catfish and help prevent it from drying out during the smoking process.

The catfish came out awesome and had a wonderful smokey flavour enhanced by the herb marinade. This may have been the first time I smoked catfish, but I can tell you that it will not be my last!

Smoked Catfish with an Herb Marinade

5 out of 5
2 reviews
Smoked Catfish with an herb marinade and smoked in a Bradley smoker with alder wood. Easy recipe for any oily white fish.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people


  • 4 catfish fillets
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon , juiced
  • 1 garlic clove , minced
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • wood of choice


  • Mix marinade ingredients together. Place catfish in a shallow baking dish or bowl. Pour marinade on the fish and turn them to ensure the catfish are evenly coated.
  • Cover the dish with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • Start smoker with wood of choice (I used alder) and set it for 225F.
  • Place catfish on racks and put in the smoker.
  • Smoke the fish for 2 1/3 hours.



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  • Love Red Dawn. Hey quick question, so this would be considered hot smoked catfish, right? Have you ever done a cold smoke catfish fillets? And also how big of a pieces of fillets for marinade? Cause you know, unless they came out of farm pond, no fish is the

    • Reply
    • Yes, this would be considered hot smoking the catfish. I have not ever tried cold smoking them so I am not sure how they would turn out

  • Going to try this tonight. Just two questions. I don’t clean racks in my smoker. Should I clean them and spray them or will the oil keep them from sticking to the racks ? Thanks for your time.

    • Reply
    • I would clean them and either spray them or lightly brush them with oil. Not sure if you have ever seen, but there are silicone mesh smoker mats by companies like frogmats and others. They are amazing for stuff like fish, shrimp, almonds. Happy smoking!

      • Reply
  • Had this last night. The absolute best fish I think I’ve ever had. Thanks!!!!

    • Reply
  • hey i came across this website while looking for curry chicken recipes….. i was wowed by your love of not just food… dawn, mullets an ferris b. day off was a sign ur a real human…..then i saw ur recipes and most are in my favorite range. i am a catfish lover but smoked catfish hmmmm…cant wait. cant wait to use this web site for more great cooking.

    • Reply
    • Hey Steve!

      So nice to hear from you and thanks for stoppin by. Another Red Dawn fan eh? Please say it is the 80s version you are speaking of and not that awful remake that came out this year. 😛 Oh and smoked catfish – yeah that is awesome!!

      • Reply
  • You can always use your outdoor grill…alot of hardware stores like Lowes and Home Depot have accessories to do that. Cheap too.

    • Reply
  • Any recommendations if I don’t have a smoker?

    • Reply
    • I have not tried this technique but people have told me it works well.

      • Reply

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