How to Smoke Garfish

Things You\’ll Need

  • Wood chips

  • Coal

  • Aluminum foil

Garfish refers to a number of species of needle-nosed fish that live in fresh, brackish and salt water areas around the globe. All species of gar are carnivorous and characterized by a long bill, filled with sharp teeth. The largest species, the alligator garfish, reaches up to 10 feet and weighs as much as 300 pounds. Its size, combined with meat that has been compared with the flavor of crab, makes alligator gar a barbeque favorite in the American South.

Step 1

Light your smoker and bring the temperature to about 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Create a bed of aluminum foil on the grill.

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Step 2

Place the gar roasts on the aluminum foil. Use the foil to control the amount of smoke your gar is exposed to. By lifting the sides of the foil, you can protect the fish, or lay it flat so that the smoke surrounds the fish.

Step 3

Watch the color of the meat to judge its doneness. When the fish becomes a dull gray smoky color, it is done smoking. At this point, add any desired seasonings and wrap the fish in foil.

Step 4

Cook the fish for another hour, until the meat easily flakes away.


Use lemon-butter and Cajun seasoning to enhance the flavor of your smoked gar.

Any hardwood will do, but Cajun food expert Jacques Gaspard recommends hickory.


Raw or undercooked seafood can carry with it harmful bacteria. Make sure that your fish reaches a safe internal temperature of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

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