Having only just bought a charcoal fired barbecue/smoker, I am confused about brining times. Having searched the web I found some sites recommend 20 minutes, for mackerel, others much longer, who is right?

  • While your question is a bit different I would suggest reviewing cooking.stackexchange.com/q/54559/6279 (especially Athanasius' lengthy analysis of Marinading vs. Brining)
    – Cos Callis
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 21:00
  • 3
    Is your question specific to mackerel and/or other similar fish? Or are you interested in brining times for different types of meat? Either way, an edit to clarify would be helpful.
    – logophobe
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 21:19

1 Answer 1


I smoke mackerel and eel just with fine salt and ground black pepper in the open belly (kept open with a couple of toothpicks). Vertical smoking about 6h at 35-40ºC smoke.

If you marinate them, I don't know if the meat wouldn't fall apart. I marinate (just the fillets and just marinated) covered with wine vinegar and lemon juice (80% to 20%), garlic, a little salt or no salt and black pepper. After 4-6h it's ready to eat over toast, as a snack with cold dry white wine. Best next day. Holds for a week in fridge (covered with marinade). Sardines are the best like this.

  • 2
    Hello and welcome to the site! I took the liberty to edit your post a bit for easier readability, if you disagree, we can always edit more or roll back. Please note: It's usual here to skip all kinds of greetings etc., so I deleted this, too. Not because we are impolite, but because we want to collect the essential information and ensure quick and easy readability.
    – Stephie
    Commented Mar 28, 2015 at 20:03

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