Easy Smoked Sardines Recipes

our recipe for smoked sardines
3-2-1 Method Smoked Pork Ribs Recipe
Smoked Ham with Honey Glaze Recipe

Smoked sardines are a fantastic meal you can prepare in no time! They are one of the healthiest foods you can consume. Did you know that they are packed full of omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA? That is more than most other seafood.

Sardines also have some other health benefits. For example, they are an excellent source of vitamin D and B12 content. This fish is also high in minerals such as selenium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. Because of its nutrition, it is essential to add them to your diet as they are high protein and low carb source.

So, in this article, we will explain how to make your own homemade version and show you the most delicious smoked sardines recipes.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the different ways you can eat this seafood.

Barbecuing is unquestionably a disorderly field, which is precisely why the numbers can bring a certain comfort. That just might be the thing that explains the popularity of the so-called 3-2-1 ribs-cooking method.
Are you not familiar with this method? Basically, it's a process divided into three separate time blocks - the first lasts for three hours, the second for two, and the final one for just one hour.
In this article, we'll be taking a closer look at this popular recipe, examining it in details, analyzing its advantages and downsides, and we'll also take a look at some variations and alternatives to it. Read on!
The most convenient way to smoke your food is by using a high-quality electric smoker. The best thing about this product is that they are convenient, easy to use and will save you time and money. You just need to place the food into it, set the right temperature and leave it to do the job for you.
Ham can be a fantastic meal when it is adequately smoked. It’s not the easiest task, but if you follow our step by step smoked ham recipe, you will have the best possible results. Anyone can make this delicious meal because there are no tough preparations or complicated steps.
This honey glazed ham is a mouth-watering dish that is ideal for the festive season. Your whole family will love this meal, and it will become their favorite. It is slow-cooked to the perfection and serves eight to ten people.
It is best to cook this honey glazed ham in advanced, so you get the most flavors.

How to Smoke Sardines

What You Will Need:

  • Gutted, fresh sardines
  • Water, 4 cups
  • Salt Kosher, ¼ cup
  • Honey, ¼ cup
  • Bay leaves, 4 to 5
  • 1 chopped finely, grated onion
  • 2 smashed cloves garlic
  • Chopped cilantro or parsley, ½ cup
  • 3 to 4 hot, dried, crushed chiles
  • 2 tbsp. peppercorns


  1. First, you need to gut and wash the sardines. If you want, you can split them up and remove the ribs and backbone. Although this step is useful, you might have difficulties to deal with it in the unit. So, we recommend not to remove the bones from it.
  2. Next step is to prepare the brine. Use all the ingredients and place them in a pot over medium-high heat. Bring to boil and turn the heat off. Stir the mixture well to combine correctly. Cover it and leave it at the room temperature to rest.
  3. Submerge the fish in it, when it cools off, in a non-reactive, covered, large container. Sometimes you won't have enough brine for the food, but this can easily be fixed. Just prepare the second batch. You can place more salt and water in the exact ratio as the first one: to ¼ cup goes 4 cups.
  4. When you have finished this step, place the sardines in the refrigerator and leave them to soak overnight or for about twelve hours. Make sure you don’t leave them for too long, or they will be too salty.
  5. After you have done that, take them out of the brine and rinse under cold, running water. Use a paper towel to pat dry properly. Place them on a rack and leave it to dry in a cool place. You can also use a fan for about thirty minutes. We leave them for about an hour just in case. Turn the sardines over a couple of times to ensure equal drying. That way you will form a pellicle, which is a layer on the fish’s outside that will help smoke adhere to the food.
  6. When your meal is shiny and dry, they are ready for smoking. Place them in your appliance, and make sure they are not near the heat. We recommend to cook them on low heat, slowly over almond wood for about four to five hours. If you prefer you can also use some other wood such as apple, hickory or maple. Bear in mind not to use the pine.
  7. Smoke the sardines gently at 140 degrees F of the internal temp. It is essential to do it slowly. You must be wondering why. Well, it is vital for the healthy omega-3 fatty-acids to stay in the sardines. Smoke will penetrate the meat so that the oils don’t weep out of the fish.
  8. After four or five hours they will be ready. Remove them from the electric smoker, and leave them to cool at the room temp. To store it properly you need to use an airtight plastic and seal them. That way the sardines can keep for two to three weeks in the refrigerator. If you place them in the freezer in a vacuum-seal container, you can keep them up to a year.
  9. Another way to store your fish is to remove their heads and place them in a Tupperware or a jar and then pour in the oil. If they are completely submerged, they can last for months in the fridge. 


1. Smoked Sardine Brandade

Smoked Sardine Brandade


  • Peeled russet potatoes, cut into one-inch chunks, ½ pound
  • 2 peeled garlic cloves
  • Coarse salt
  • Smoked Pacific sardines, stored in olive oil, 4.25 ounces
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice and finely grated zest of one lemon
  • Cayenne pepper, pinch
  • 1 sliced loaf crusty multigrain, small bread


  1. Pour the water into the medium saucepan and add garlic and potatoes. Season it with salt according to your personal preferences. Bring this to boil, then low the temperature and simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. When you drain it, you need to reserve water and return the pasta to the saucepan. It is enough to set aside 1 cup of liquid.
  2. Add sardines and all their oil. Stir this mixture, so it combines well, and then stir in oil. Use the reserved water and add it to the pan. Whisk in zest and lemon juice. Season the mixture with cayenne to taste.
  3. Set the broiler and preheat it. Use the olive oil to brush the bread and smoke for about one to two minutes, or until crispy and golden brown. It is best when this meal is served with branded and hot. Bon appetite!

2. Pasta with Lemon and Sardines

Lemon and Sardine Pasta


  • Smoked whole sardines, 2 4 ounces
  • Linguine or some other dried pasta, 12 ounces
  • 4 tbsp. divided olive oil
  • 4 finely chopped, garlic cloves
  • 1 finely chopped, small shallot
  • ¾ tsp. red pepper flakes, crushed
  • 4 quartered, trimmed radishes
  • Baby spinach or kales leaves, 2 cups
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice, fresh
  • Freshly ground pepper, kosher salt
  • Lemon zest


  1. If needed, clean the sardines, by splitting in half and removing the backbones. Set them aside so you can make the rest of the recipe.
  2. In a large pot pour the salted water and bring to boil. Cook the pasta while frequently stirring, until it is done. Drain it, and reserve the cooking liquid. About one cup.
  3. In the meantime, heat two tablespoons oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add red pepper flakes, garlic, shallot and cook for about two minutes or until the mixture is fragrant. Don’t forget to stir occasionally.
  4. Add ½ cup reserved cooking liquid, half of the sardines, kale, radishes, and pasta to pot. Cook at the medium-high heat adding more pasta water if needed, until the sauce covers all the pasta. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle the meal with pepper, salt and if you want, add more lemon juice. Top with remaining sardines and lemon zest. Serve when it is hot. Bon appetite!

3. Mediterranean Sardine Pasta with Chili Flakes, Capers and Lemon

Mediterranean Pasta with Sardines


  • Spaghetti pasta or angel hair, 8 oz.
  • 6 tablespoons, virgin olive oil, extra
  • Minced shallots, ¼ cup
  • 2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes spicy, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Smoked sardines in olive oil, 4.375 oz.
  • 3 tablespoon rinsed capers
  • 5 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped basil or fresh parsley


  1. According to the package directions, cook the pasta. When they are done, drain and reserve one cup of cooking liquid. Under cold, running water, rinse the pasta so you can keep the noodles loose. Set it aside.
  2. Use a large saucepan, sauté or sauteuse and over medium temperature, heat the olive oil. When it is warm enough, add salt, crushed red pepper, lemon zest and the shallots. Cook until the shallots are translucent and soft. But be very careful with them because they can easily burn!
  3. When you have done this step, you should add capers and sardines to the pan. Cook until warmed through or for about two minutes. As you stir, break up the fish into smaller pieces.
  4. Slowly stir in lemon juice, when the sardines begin to turn golden brown. Add basil or parsley and cooked pasta to the pan. To evenly cover it with sauce, toss the pasta and mix it well with other ingredients. You can add the reserved pasta liquid if needed to loosen pasta a bit. It can’t be heavy or thick, and the noodles need to be coated with oil. Not too much, just lightly covered.
  5. Add chili pepper flakes, lemon and salt to taste according to your needs. And that’s it; the meal is now ready to be served. Bear in mind that it is best when it is hot! Bon appetite!
Step #1 - The first step consists of preparing the ribs. Prepare them for the 3-2-1 method by carefully removing the membranes, after which you can apply some of your rib rub.
Step #2 - It's time for the first time block. Set your smoker at 225F (110C) and place the ribs (bone-side down) into it. Cook them for the duration of three hours.
Step #3 - After those three hours, get the ribs out of the machine and wrap them in some aluminum foil. Do it as tightly as you can in order to form an airtight seal. Return the ribs to your smoker and smoke them for two hours.
Step #4 - Now would be the time to un-wrap the meat and return it to the machine for one more hour.
Step #5 - During the last half an hour of the cooking time, you can, optionally, apply some sauce to the ribs. To prevent the burning, you'll have to make sure that the cooking temperature is no higher than 265F (130C). Also, don't forget to apply the sauce in a couple of thin layers.
To place a large roasting pan, adjust the racks. With a shallow roasting one, fit the pan. Before start preparing this meal, preheat the oven to three hundred and fifty degrees F.
Under the cold water, rinse the ham, after you have unwrapped it. Put it in the roasting pan on the rack.  Use the foil to cover it and cook the meat for one hour and forty minutes. In the meantime, mix the honey and brown sugar in a saucepan and cook until the sugar has dissolved and mixture becomes smooth, over medium heat.
Use the brown sugar glaze to pour it over the meat and roast it for another one hour and forty minutes. Make sure you baste it with the drippings in the roaster, at least twice while it’s cooking. Calculate twenty minutes for one pound of meat, to adjust the right roasting time for larger or smaller meat.
Use a meat thermometer to check if the meat is done. Place it into a meaty area, but make sure it’s not touching the bone or it’s not in the fat spot. The device should register the temperature of one hundred and sixty degrees F.
Before slicing the ham, leave it to rest for about fifteen minutes. That way you are allowing the juices to set correctly.
The Advantages and Downsides of the 3-2-1 Method
How to Smoke a Ham?
This process is guaranteed to give you ribs that are tender ("fall-off-the-bone"), which is something that many people consider to be the climax of smoked ribs. On the other hand, it probably won't help you win any sort of barbecue competition.
And the reason behind that is the fact that some people have an entirely different opinion on what a good rib is. For some, a well-cooked rib comes with meat that doesn't stick to the bone but still holds to it. To put it more simply, they think that, when you're biting, the meat should be removed away cleanly from the bone - and not fall off.
However, if you're not considering getting into a barbecue competition, you shouldn't worry - just follow this method and your guests will surely be pleased.
The first thing you need to know when buying a ham is that it is always better to pay a little more money for a product that hasn’t 1/3 water weight. Choose the spiral sliced, bone-in, cooked meat that weighs about ten or more pounds.
The next thing is to keep your meat fresh before you want to smoke it. Just place it in the fridge and leave it to rest. When you are ready to prepare smoked ham, remove it from the refrigerator and set aside.
Place it on the baking sheet, use yellow mustard and squeeze it all over the meat to add a little flavor to the ham. Grab a handful of the brown sugar and rub it. Or you don’t have to use any additions if you don't want to, that depends on your personal preference. After you have done that, turn on the smoker.
Put the meat into the unit, on the center rack, flat side down. Set the temperature between two hundred and two hundred and twenty-five degrees F. It is essential to reach the internal temperature of hundred and forty degrees F, so it’s wise to use a digital thermometer.
Leave the meat to smoke for about an hour, hour and a half. Make sure you are checking it so that the ham’s bottom doesn’t get too done. Lower the heat if you notice that it is dark brown.
Take the meat out of the appliance at 2 ½ hours and put it on aluminum foil (double thickness). It is essential that you have enough of it to wrap the whole ham. But, before you do that, use orange juice to spray the meat’s outside.
The next step it is to use the remains of the brown sugar and sprinkle it over the food and then you can wrap it. Return it to the unit until the internal temperature reaches one hundred and forty degrees F, for about one hour.
When it is done, take the meat out of the appliance and leave it to rest for about twenty to thirty minutes, while it’s still wrapped. When you remove the foil, there will be juices on it. But, don’t throw it, because you can use it to pour over the ham right before you serve it.
The Variations
This technique has been mainly designed for the pork ribs - the timing works best for this type of the meat. Those that prefer the baby back ribs should give a try to the so-called 2-2-1 method. Otherwise, they will be risking having the baby back ribs overcooked and dried out - you certainly don't want that to happen!
If you're interested in long-term smoking, you could try placing the wrapped ribs into your oven, after which you could finish them off on a grill (at a low temperature). Due to the fact that most of the smoke flavor is usually delivered in the first couple of hours, this technique won't have an adverse effect on the overall outcome.
All meat has high levels of protein. Ham is pork meat, and it has about 18 g of protein. Protein in beneficial in keeping you full longer. Eating 1 serving of low sodium ham 1 or 2 times a week could help you lose weight. Ham is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. The nutrients found in ham are: Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium, Phosphorus, Riboflavin, Thiamine, and Zinc.

The Conclusion

Most of us know that essential omega-3 fatty acids which are found in sardines, are very healthy and a vital part of a well-balanced diet! The best part about them is that they are also very delicious. And you can make them with anything you prefer. A recipe is just a starting point from which you can improvise. Feel free to combine your own ingredients into these fantastic dishes. Enjoy your meal!

Check out here for more great recipes with electric smoker.

As you can see, the 3-2-1 technique for the pork ribs is easy-to-do and guaranteed to leave you with meat that looks and tastes great. It comes with a predictable time frame and doesn't require any unique ingredients or equipment, and the results are sure to impress your guests.
A word of advice, though - this technique is good only for two or three racks of pork ribs. If you intend to smoke just one rack, the whole process probably won't last for entire six hours. For the really small racks, try the 2-2-1 method.
With our perfect smoked ham with honey glaze recipe and the right electric smoker, you will learn how to make this incredible meal in no time. Surprise your friends and family with this delicious dinner and amaze them. We are sure that this would be their new favorite meat recipe because it’s just perfect.
It doesn’t take much time to prepare it and it’s very easy to smoke the ham. Good thing is that you can just set the smoker and let it do the rest for you. Feel free to explore and experiment with the ingredients and spices. That way you will learn from the first hand, which of them you can combine and which not. Enjoy your meal! Bon appetite!
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