Smoked Asian Carp

Recipe from Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant



20 min

Prep Time

4-5 hours



  • 5 lbs Asian carp, skin on fillets
  • 1 cup kosher or pickling salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar


  1. Mix salt and sugar in a bowl. Roll fillets in salt/sugar mixture until coated.
  2. Seal fillets in a re-sealable plastic bag and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Flip the bag over and refrigerate for an additional 2 hours.
  3. Remove fillets and rinse under cold water. Place fillets on a cooling
  4. Soak wood chips in water one hour before smoking. Light charcoal and let it burn until covered with light ash. Fill the smoker’s water pan to create steam in the smoker and keep fish from drying out.
  5. Lightly oil the grill and position brined fish skin-side down on the rack.
  6. Add a handful of wood chips to charcoal and close the smoker. Replenish chips every 20–30 minutes.
  7. Most fish will be cooked in 1–2 hours, but times will vary with the outside temperature and the number of coals.
  8. Finished fillets will have golden honey to mahogany color, depending on the type of wood chips used. Cooked fish will flake easily and be opaque on the inside.
  9. Allow fish to cool and serve “as is” or use in recipes that traditionally call for smoked salmon.