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Griddled Mackerel with Burnt Lemon

Griddled mackerel with burnt lemon

Simple fresh fish such as mackerel is a real treat. Mackerel is a lovely oily fish and abundent around the Bristish Isles during the summer. They’re really easy to catch as they have such voracious appetites, a string of feathers on a line will often result in you puilling in 3 or 4 from a single cast.

I was on the beach at Salthouse in Norfolk to watch the spectacle of the mackerel chasing much smaller fish right onto the beach, with a single cast I had 6 on my line and a superb dinner. The water looked like it was boiling as the smaller fish tried to make their escape.

Oily fish like these are very good for you. They work really well when served simply with paprika and lemon.

Cooking surfaces

BBQ Temperature


  • 2 large Mackerel
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 lemon


  1. Setup your Big Green Egg for a direct cook with just the cast iron grid. 
  2. Set the temperature to 200°C and give you Egg time to heat up the cast iron (10 minutes is good).
  3. Prepare your mackerel by slicing 3 slits into the flesh on each side. These will allow you to see the progress of your cook.
  4. Once the Egg is at temperature, use a bit of kitchen towel and some olive oil to wipe the grates, this will help the fish not stick.
  5. Sprinkle the paprika on both sides of your mackerel.
  6. Cut your lemon in half and place directly onto the searing grid.
  7. Place the fish onto the griddle and cook for about 4-5 minutes before turning and cooking on the other side.
  8. If you have a thermapen your fish is cooked when it is 50°C but it’s OK to cook it for a little longer (up to 63°C). If not you can pull the flesh apart at one of the slits you made and check if it had cooked through.
  9. Serve your mackerel whole and squeeze over the lemons, which should have burnt on the side facing the grill (shown facing up on the top photo).