BBQ Mackerel Recipes - A Grilled Treat

Freshly grilled fish is a delicious summer treat. Mackerel is a wonderful fish, and good for you too - it contains the "good fats" that are reputed to help keep hearts healthy. There are lots of , and this is one of our favorites just because it's quick, it's easy, and of course it's tasty. And no need to spend time marinating!

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What You Need

  • 1 fish per person (and maybe a couple of extra just in case) - cleaned, each 400 grams or less
  • Freshly chopped garlic, about 2-3 tsp per small fish
  • Finely grated lemon zest, about 1-2 tsp per small fish
  • 1 or 2 lemons, cut into big wedges or quarters
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Rosemary, light sprinkle (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Optional - a handful or two of alder wood chips, if you like a smoky flavor. If using, soak the wood chips in water for an hour or two first. Then drain.

The amount of seasonings you need will depend on the size of the fish.

How To Prepare This Barbecue Fish Recipe

  • Rinse each fish under cold water and pat dry (both inside and out).
  • Score each fish diagonally 3 or 4 times, with a sharp knife. Do both sides.
  • Rub each fish lightly with olive oil, then with the chopped garlic, both inside and out.
  • Sprinkle with the lemon zest, sea salt and rosemary (if using).

Grill Instructions

  • Make sure your cooking grate is sparkling clean.
  • Pre-heat the barbecue.
  • Once the coals are nice and hot, you can add the chips if you're using them.
  • Oil the cooking grate by soaking part of paper towel in oil, then using tongs to grasp the paper towel and grease the grate.
  • Place each fish carefully on the cooking grate. Cook for approximately 4 to 6 minutes per side, turning carefully. The fish is done when the flesh is opaque and feels firm to the touch. The skin should be deliciously crispy.
  • Just before the fish is done, place lemon wedges carefully on the grate (make sure they don't fall through!) and grill for just a minute or two.
  • Serve the fish immediately with the lemon wedges.

Remember to watch the fish carefully to avoid burning it! If you have the option with your BBQ, you might want to try cooking it with indirect heat instead.

Mackerel are normally sold whole. This fish tends to deteriorate faster than other types, so if you can, try to get fresh mackerel from a fish market (you can ask them to remove the heads and fins if you like) and barbecue it the same day. Fresh mackerel really does make a difference in BBQ mackerel recipes, so it's worth the effort if it's an option in your area. Check out more to create your own custom feast!



This website offers tips on how to BBQ as well as some of our favorite barbecue recipes. We barbecue with a charcoal grill in an outdoor kamado-style cooker called The Big Green Egg. We love food and we love the grill, and hope you enjoy our recipes!