Wood fired mackerel on fennel and tomato

Wood fired mackerel on fennel and tomato

There were a couple of firsts when we cooked this dish in the DeliVita pizza oven on one of the live cooks. It was the first time I had deboned a mackerel while keeping the fillets attached to each other, and it was the first time I had cooked fish in the wood-fired oven. Both went perfectly and I really enjoyed cooking it.

The pizza oven blistered the fish skin, exactly what I was after. However, you could do this quite easily in a Big Green Egg.

The recipe for the fennel and tomato is borrowed from Mark’s excellent website Smoked Fine Food. Mark slow roasts the fennel, we ‘nuke’ it. I like both results.

Cooking surfaces


BBQ Temperature



  • 2 mackerel, buy fillets if you don’t want to fillet them yourself.
  • 1 bulb of fennel
  • 4 or 5 plum tomatoes
  • Maldon salt
  • Black pepper, coarsely ground
  • 4 tbsp olive oil



  1. Slice your fennel into 7mm thick slices, cutting the fennel vertically from top to bottom. I leave on the green wispy top. 
  2. Cut your tomatoes into 7mm thick slices. 
  3. Set up your pizza oven or Egg to cook at 220°C or hotter for the pizza oven. 
  4. If you’re cooking on the Egg set it up for an indirect cook in a cast iron skillet. 
  5. Place your fennel into your baking dish or skillet, drizzle with 2-3 tbsp of olive oil and pop into the pizza oven or Egg.
  6. Cook for about 5 minutes before turning. You’re looking for some caramelisation of the fennel. 
  7. Cook for a further 5 minutes and then add the slices of tomato, salt and pepper. 
  8. Cook for 5 more minutes until the tomatoes soften. 
  9. Now oil your fish skin and cook your mackerel either:
    1. on top of the veg in the pizza oven, skin side up until it blisters and the mackerel is cooked through (over 63°C internal temp).
    2. or on a stainless grid, skin side down until it is cooked.
  10. Serve on the fennel and tomato with black pepper to season.

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